by Matt Angove, ND, NMD
Food allergies are no doubt becoming a bigger and bigger part of our lives. Unfortunate indeed for food lovers everywhere. But to be fair to our body, it can only be dragged through so much before its ability to continue in pristine rhythm gets interrupted.
How do we get allergies to food?
Allergies to foods are generated by an over-reactive immune system coupled with a porous digestive tract. What happens is that small undigested protein particles, namely polypeptides and peptides of food pass through the intestinal wall into the blood stream and are recognized by the immune system as an invading factor. This occurs because the genetic make up of the food proteins doesn’t belong to you.
The immune system is actually doing precisely what it was engineered to do. However, this overactive arm of the immune system against food proteins actually makes us more susceptible to cancer. The immunoglobulins that cause the allergic symptoms, actually depress the production of your bodies own immune cancer killers. Most notably, natural killer cells and tumor necrosis factor. What you end up with is an imbalance in the immune system.
Imbalances in the immune system not only create opportunity for cancer but also a host autoimmune and inflammatory conditions.
There are many ways to check for food sensitivities. The gold standard is to limit a food category (i.e. dairy products) for a certain period of time. After that time has elapsed you then reintroduce that food category in its purest form (i.e. glass of milk) to your diet.
Cut out dairy for 4 weeks and then at 4 weeks drink 8 ounces of milk at breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you had any symptoms previous to cutting out the dairy write them down and notice if any symptoms disappeared and then notice if any symptoms reappeared upon adding dairy back in.
Something to note is that allergic reactions to food are not always instant and can show up days later. This makes it all the more important to take note of your symptoms during this time period.
You may also get blood tests to check for food sensitivities. These tests also allow you to see your allergic intensity to specific foods.
Most Common Food Allergies
The most common allergenic foods are milk, wheat, eggs, corn, peanuts, non-organic soybeans, chicken, and shellfish.