The food we eat can make us sick.
Immediate allergic reactions to foods can be life-threatening. These include angioedema, anaphylaxis, and asthma. If something you eat makes your mouth itch, your throat feel tight, your tongue or lips swell, your chest tight, your skin break out in welts or you feel dizzy to the point of passing out — stop eating those foods. Look for immediate medical care.
Food intolerances or delayed food allergies are not as dramatic but can be amazingly annoying, surprisingly common and affect many conditions. Most often this kind of reaction comes from foods a person is eating almost every day where the impact is hidden.
In our office we do skin tests and blood tests as well as elimination, challenge and rotation diets to help define what foods may be bothering you. One area of food intolerance that seems to be getting more common relates to gluten: Sometimes an extensive series of tests is necessary to find hidden gluten intolerance.
Treatments strive to boost tolerance and increase the number of foods that can be eaten for improved nutrition. Techniques include healing “leaky gut”, avoidance, rotation diets, neutralization, and low dose allergen therapy.