Allergies are common; approximately one in three people have some form of allergy. The most common cause of allergy are the allergy provoking foods we eat every day. Other forms of allergy include environmental substances such as house dust mites, mould, synthetic chemicals.

True allergies are immune related. Food intolerances may not be related to the immune system. However, food intolerances can equally cause symptomatic manifestations.

The classic symptoms of allergy are skin rashes, hay fever, rhinitis, sinusitis, asthma and eczema. Severe food allergies can elicit an immediate response such as gastrointestinal upsets; throat swelling which may be life threatening and these are known as type 1 hypersensitivity reactions due to Ig E antibodies.

Hidden allergies are not Ig E based. There is evidence that Ig G antibodies may play a role in chronic allergy.

Why Food allergies?
A number of theories suggest:

1) Leaky Gut Syndrome
The gut is involved in the digestion and processing of food. It is the largest lymphoid organ in the body and enables the body to extract nutrients from food and detoxify harmful substances. Consumption of alcohol, aspirin use, essential fatty acid deficiency, and gastroenteritis and Candida infection of gut may lead to leaky gut as they affect the intercellular joints between gut cells.

2) Digestive Enzymes
Some people who are sensitive to man made chemicals produce insufficient digestive enzymes, leading to large undigested food molecules reaching the gut wall.

Undigested food causes localized reaction in gut, increases the amount of molecules entering the blood stream or supply food to undesirable bacteria and candida in gut. Zinc, a trace element is essential for the production of hydrochloric acid in stomach.

3) Cross Reactions
Environmental pollution increases the risk of inhalation allergies. It is well known that hay allergies are more common in polluted areas. This is because exposure to exhaust fumes, smoke makes a pollen allergic person more sensitive. This may be a result of stressed immune system or a cross reaction to other allergens.

Food allergies
The most common allergy provoking foods are Gluten grains, cow’s milk, nuts, eggs, soy, maize, yeast, shellfish and white fish. Some foods when ingested, causes histamine release and trigger classical allergic symptoms, these include lectins (in peanuts) shellfish, tomatoes, pork, alcohol, chocolate, pineapple, papaya, buckwheat, sunflower, mango and mustard.