Selasa, 09 Maret 2010

Food Allergies and Food Intolerance

We are on the brink of new health revolution. It is finally being accepted by more and more people that many chronic illness, physical and mental, often going undiagnosed for years and suffered by thousands of people, are caused partially or wholly by allergies and intolerances to the foods that most of us eat every day of our lives.

Food allergy refers to an immediate, often dramatic reaction such as a sore mouth, an itchy red skin rash, an attack of asthma, etc. Blood and skin tests for the allergenic food are positive. In this case, your immune system overreacts, and mistakenly identifies innocent compounds, for example, cows milk or nuts, as enemies like bacteria and viruses. This mistake throws the immune system into a chain reaction of alert. It produces antibodies called immunoglobulin E or IgE to lunch an attack on the false threats (antigens), releasing histamines and other chemicals that provoke the symptoms of allergies.

Food intolerance is in a sense similar to the case of classical food allergies, the body responds abnormally; however, the reactions may be subtle and more difficult to detect. It takes much longer for the complaints to come on. It takes more food to trigger the reactions, and blood and skin tests for the food may turn up either positive or negative. The immune system does not produce IgE. Food intolerance may cause a rage of maladies:

Gastrointestinal complaints: stomach ache, irritable bowel, Crohns disease, ulcerative colitis
Skin complaints: itching, eczema, acne, hires
Joint and muscle complaints: atypical pains, rheumatoid arthritis
Headache and migraine
Pre-menstrual syndrome
Depression and anxiety.

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