Food Allergy or Intolerance

Allergy

Intolerance

Family History

Hayfever, excema, asthma

Migraine, irritable bowel syndrome, behaviour problems

Who does it affect?

Most likely to affect babies and young children due to their under developed immune system

Children- particularly vulnerable because they consume higher doses of food chemicals for their weight

Women (child bearing age) – vulnerable due to hormonal changes

Senior citizens- vulnerable as their aging kidneys and livers slower to excrete chemicals from the body.

How common?

Relatively rare

Affects up to 8% babies under 12 months

3% under 5 years old

Less than 1% adults

Quite common affecting babies(through breastmilk), children & adults

Some experts suggest affects 10% of populations- difficult to calculate as often misdiagnosed

Which foods?

In Australia the most common are milk, soy, egg, peanut and fish

A wide range of foods – aprox 50 additives, natural chemicals, preservatives

Timing

Reactions often quick and easy to identify

Identification delayed up to 48 hours difficult to identify

Dose

Can be the tiniest amount some people react to mere traces

Dose related. In theory everyone will react to additives if does high enough

Symptoms

Itching, rash, vomiting, diarrhoea, breathing difficulties, spreading hives, anaphylaxis leading to collapse and death



Symptoms of food intolerance can come and go and change throughout life including: skin rashes, asthma, frequent colds and infections stuffy or runny nose,

irritable bowel symptoms, colic, bloating, diarrhoea, vomiting, frequent mouth ulcers, reflux, bedwetting, 'sneaky poos', migraines, headaches, anxiety, depression, lethargy, impairment of memory and concentration, panic attacks, irritability, restlessness, inattention, sleep disturbance, restless legs, mood swings, PMT

Diagnosis

Involve an IgE response and can therefore be identified by skin prick tests or RAST blood tests. Confirmation comes with avoidance and challenges.

No laboratory tests exist. Diagnosis comes with elimination diet and challenges *There is a IGg blood test that is said to determine food intolerances – if you are interested contact me for more info

Conventional Treatment

Complete avoidance and retesting once a year in the case of babies and children who may grow out of it.

Elimination diet with challenges to determine the culprits, Gradual reintroduction of certain chemicals to ascertain level of intolerance.

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