Food Allergies or Intolerance?

When do you think about food allergies what is the first thing that comes to mind? Swelling tongue, closing throat, hives, emergency, 911? A true food allergy that causes anaphylactic reactions only affects about 3.5-4% of the population. Milder forms of food allergies can cause itching or mild swelling of the tongue or lips but do not affect the airway.

Did you know that food intolerance can cause a multitude of symptoms? Food intolerance can cause a runny nose, headaches, depression, fatigue, heartburn, diarrhea, gas, weight gain, and even joint pain. If you have any of these symptoms then you should be tested for the 30 food allergens that we use in the office.

Once you have the results from your test, the next step is identifying which foods are causing your symptoms. The treatment options for food allergies is not as perfect as the environmental allergies, therefore the only real option is to do an elimination diet. Out of the list of allergens, select one item that you eat on a regular basis, eliminate it

from your diet for 2 weeks and assess for symptom resolution. If your symptoms improve then you know you need to avoid that food or limit your intake of that food. If your symptoms do not improve, then you can put that food back in your diet and move on to the next food on the list. You repeat this process until you have gone through all of the food allergens that you reacted to.

Food Allergens:

Shellfish, Fish, Egg Whites, Chicken, Pork, Beef, Chocolate, Cow’s Milk, Oats, Rice, Whole Wheat, Soybean, Garlic, White Potato, Green Pepper, Corn, Onion, Sweet Potato, Tomato, Apple, Coconut, Cantaloupe, Strawberry, Banana, Cashew, Hazelnut, Peanut, Almond, Sesame Seed, Pecan