What are Food Allergies?
A food allergy is an adverse reaction that occurs from the ingestion of food or a food ingredient such as a coloring or preservative. When an allergenic food (antigen) triggers an antibody immunoglobulin E (IgE) response, IgE binds to white blood cells (mast cells and basophils) and causes the release of histamine, which leads to swelling and inflammation.
Most symptoms of food allergies occur within a few minutes to an hour of consuming food. A food allergy can initially be experienced as an itching in the mouth or difficulty swallowing and breathing. Then, during digestion of the food in the stomach and intestines, symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain can arise.
When allergens are absorbed and enter the bloodstream they can reach the skin and induce hives or eczema, and when they reach the airways, they can cause asthma. As the allergens travel through the blood vessels, they can cause lightheadedness, weakness, and a sudden drop in blood pressure. Anaphylactic reactions can occur and can be severe even if they start off with mild symptoms, such as a tingling in the mouth and throat or discomfort in the abdomen. They can be fatal if not treated quickly. Known food allergens should always be avoided.
Other types of food reactions include food intolerances and food sensitivities. These types of reactions are less severe than food allergies, but can still trigger uncomfortable symptoms and problems for individuals. A food intolerance occurs when the body lacks the ability to digest a particular food, such as a lactose intolerance. A food sensitivity is a delayed immune response involving immunoglobulin G (IgG). Avoiding foods you are sensitive to or rotating them in your diet can be beneficial. Dietary supplements can also be helpful in aiding the body’s ability to digest or handle food intolerances and sensitivities. Digestive enzymes, probiotics, and gut healing nutrients are often recommended.
Village Green offers a variety of tests to find out whether you have food allergies, food intolerances, or food sensitivities. Call for further details.
What are the Symptoms of Food Allergies?
- Headaches, migraines, difficulty sleeping, dizziness
- Coughing, hoarseness, sore throat
- Sores on gums, lips, tongue
- Dark circles under eyes
- Ear infections
- Runny/stuffy nose
- Sinus problems, congestion, post nasal drip
- Bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, nausea, irritable bowel syndrome
- Acne, eczema, hives, psoriasis, rashes
- Joint aches and pains, stiffness
- Aggressive behavior, anger, fear, poor concentration, tension, nervousness, mood swing
- Food cravings
- Attention deficit disorder
- Learning problems
What are Some Causes of Food Allergies?
- Early weaning/earlier introduction to solid foods
- Genetic manipulation of foods
- Impaired digestion/leaky gut
What are the Most Common Food Allergens?
- Shellfish, such as shrimp, crayfish, lobster, and crab
- Tree nuts
- Citrus fruits
In highly allergic people, even minuscule amounts of a food allergen (for example, 1/44,000 of a peanut kernel) can evoke an allergic reaction. Less sensitive people, however, may be able to tolerate small amounts of a food to which they are allergic.
Natural Remedies for Food Allergies
Known food allergens should always be avoided, especially if your reactions are severe. Below are natural remedies that help your body’s ability to digest foods that you may be intolerant or sensitive to. In addition, eliminating and rotating foods in one’s diet can help the body’s digestive system heal.
Digestive enzymes are vital to the proper digestion and absorption of nutrients from food. Pathway SUPERZYMES contains powerful digestive enzymes such as amylase, protease, lipase, pepsin, bromelain, and papain for the breakdown of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. This formula also includes betaine hycrochloride and ox bile, for enhanced support in emulsifying fats and breaking down proteins. Pathway Superzymes may also help protect the body against harmful pathogens.
Beneficial bacteria are critical to a healthy digestive and immune system. This high potency probiotic blend is recommended when advanced support is needed (antibiotic use, travel, troublesome digestion). Pathway 35 BILLION PROBIOTIC features 8 strains of beneficial bacteria that are stabilized using a patented system that provides shelf stability at normal room temperature (no refrigeration necessary). In addition, the bacteria are designed to survive stomach acid secretions during digestion therefore eliminating the need to be enteric coated.
Millions of Americans suffer from Celiac Disease and gluten sensitivity. When gluten is not completely digested, protein fragments called peptides can trigger an autoimmune response that can lead to conditions, which can damage the lining of the small intestine. Pathway GLUTEN-ADE is a comprehensive gluten digestive enzyme formula with both pre- and probiotics. This formula contains high potency DPP-IV enzyme activity for optimal digestion of gluten peptides.
Pathway GI OPTIMAL SUPPORT provides comprehensive support for gastrointestinal health and function. The lining of the gut must have proper permeability and integrity so it can not only absorb nutrients, but also prevent toxins, allergens and microbes from gaining access to the blood stream. Maintaining gut health is the key to promoting overall wellness. Pathway GI OPTIMAL SUPPORT is available in capsule and powder form. Made with non-GMO ingredients.
Holistic Treatment for Food Allergies
At Village Green Apothecary, we believe in using a holistic approach that includes natural remedies to reduce symptoms of food allergies, and food sensitivities.
We’re here to help!
Schedule a consultation with one of Village Green’s naturopathic doctors or certified nutritionists for a personal assessment of your unique situation. During your appointment (either by phone or in-person), our professionals will:
- Review your food allergy symptoms and health history
- Examine your diet and lifestyle
- Recommend specialized testing
- Assess possible drug-nutrient interactions or depletions
- Answer any questions you may have
- Evaluate treatment options
- Create a customized holistic treatment plan for food allergies that includes natural solutions, diet and lifestyle recommendations, and custom compounding.
Contact a Village Green nutritionist by calling 800-869-9159.
Learn more about our nutrition counseling and wellness services.