1. Are you sick and tired of feeling
exhausted all the time?
2. Do you have a difficult time managing your weight?
3. Do you have annoying gas, indigestion, bowel irregularities,
or often feel bloated?
4. Are headaches affecting the quality of your life?
5. Do you suffer from joint pains or muscle weakness?
6. Do you crave certain foods or eat the same foods often?
7. Do you get sick more than normal?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you may be
suffering from a common food allergy and not be aware of
it. Of course the only way to know for sure is to consult
your family physician, but here is some information to help.
Allergies to foods can be acute and
the symptom onset rapid, sometimes within moments. The biological
cause is very well understood and because of the rapid symptom
onset, testing is usually not necessary to identify the culprit.
These reactions are not very common but if you think you have a "true"
food allergy it is wise to visit an allergist for comprehensive testing
and advice on precautions.
More commonly, delayed adverse reactions to foods, additives and other
chemicals are not really classical allergies and the delay of symptom
onset and the multitude of possible pathogenic mechanisms involved
render the identification of the offending food(s) or substance(s) to
be much more complicated. Whereas approximately only 2-5% of the US
pop. has a classical allergy to a food it is estimated that as many as
80-90% of the population has some form of adverse reaction to one
or more foods or additives manifesting in a broad range of disorders;
including, migraine headache, weight gain, fatigue, hyperactivity/ADD,
arthritis, breathing and skin disorders, recurring ear infections in
children, depression and various others.
Standard allergy tests, such as skin testing, are not accurate for
these type of reactions as they measure only a single mechanism, such
as mast cell release of histamine or the presence in the blood of the
IgE molecules associated with such release.
Why we're sensitive to some foods.
The immune system is an intricate structure which, under normal
circumstances, protects the body from the harmful effects of invading
elements - viruses, bacteria, other micro-organisms and toxins.
However, sometimes the system over reacts to substances, including
foods and food additives, that are not normally harmful. The result:
hay fever, asthma, migraine, skin problems, intestinal disorders,
painful joints or muscles, frequent ear infections and hyperactivity in
children, chronic fatigue; and, along with any of these or other
disorders, weight imbalance. What makes identifying these harmful foods
difficult is that the symptoms may not emerge until 8 -72 hours after
eating or may follow a dose/frequency dependence that needs several
feedings over several days to weeks.
Is this a common problem? Yes! These conditions impact an estimated 75
- 90% of the population; costing billions in treatments, lost income
due to missing work and absenteeism from school. Former US Surgeon
General, C. Everett Koop, regards obesity as the number 2 cause of
death in America. Obesity substantially increases the risk of heart
disease, osteoarthritis, diabetes, certain cancers and other disorders.
Further, itís a scientific fact that appetite and metabolism are
controlled by blood chemistry, which is adversely affected when an
offending food is consumed. Food sensitivities also cause cravings for
sweets and starches as well as water retention. Therefore, knowing and
avoiding the foods you react to can help you reach your desired weight
and feel much better without significant cost or the use of
Whether you have a particular food allergy or several allergies, only
your physician can tell you for sure, but you need to be aware than
something as simple as a food allergy can be a primary cause of your
weight gain and struggle to lose the weight.