Food Sensitivities Facts

Food Sensitivities Facts
A food intolerance occurs when a person has a reaction to a food, additive, or other ingredient in a food, usually because their body lacks a chemical or enzyme needed to digest the food. Food sensitivity is different than a food allergy as it is metabolic, gastro-intestinal, or pharmacologic in nature. Signs and symptoms of a food sensitivity can include skin rashes, hives, angioedema, dermatitis, nasal congestion, asthma, cramping, gas, nausea, IBS, and in some cases anaphylaxis. Because the symptoms of a sensitivity can mimic those of true food allergies it can be difficult to differentiate. Food sensitivities can occur up to 48 hours after ingesting the food in question.
Interesting Food Sensitivities Facts:
Other health issues that may possibly be attributed to food sensitivities include inflammatory bowel disease, chronic hep C, eczema, asthma, headaches, irritable bowel disease, NSAID intolerance, eosinophilic esophagitis and chronic constipation.
Some food sensitivities are caused by organic chemicals, and may occur only when consumed in sufficient quantities.
One of the most common naturally occurring food chemicals is salicylate, which is a common trigger for food sensitivities. This chemical can be found in coffee, wine, tea, nuts, spices and herbs, fruits, and vegetables.
Other chemicals such as sulphites, nitrates, and amines also cause food sensitivity reactions in susceptible individuals.
In order to diagnose a food sensitivity there are a variety of tests that can be performed. These tests include double-blind controlled food challenge, hydrogen breath testing, elimination diets, ELISA testing, cytotoxic testing, MRT testing, and Microarray testing.
In some cases food sensitivities and intolerances can occur days after consuming the food or chemical.
An elimination diet can help to identify offending foods but a person may experience withdrawal symptoms as the chemicals involved are eliminated from the body.
It is estimated that between 2% and 20% of the population have food intolerances and sensitivities.
Some people with food sensitivities, allergies, and intolerances can develop leaky gut. In this instance food is able to pass through the intestinal wall into the blood stream and can result in a variety of health conditions.
In many cases it is not possible to eliminate only one food from the diet to eliminate food sensitivities. This is because it is a chemical in the food causing the reaction and the chemical is likely present in several other foods.
If a person has reactions to wine, strawberries, tomatoes, apples and citrus fruits, they are likely sensitive to salicylate-containing foods.
If a person has reactions to cheese, bananas, avocadoes, tomatoes, wine, and chocolate, they are likely sensitive to amines.
Some people are not able to consume dairy products because they lack the enzyme necessary to digest lactose. Lactose intolerance is not the same as having an allergy to cow's milk.
A person with a food sensitivity may not have a reaction unless they reach their threshold for the substance. One person may be able to tolerate higher amounts than another.
In many cases, a person's health improves if they avoid foods containing the chemicals that are causing adverse reactions.

Related Links:
Food Facts
Animals Facts