An allergy is a intol­er­ance to a par­tic­u­lar sub­stance. The term “food aller­gies” refers to hyper­sen­si­tiv­ity reac­tions to cer­tain foods or com­po­nents of food which lead to the pro­duc­tion of spe­cific anti­bod­ies, and the release of his­t­a­mine and other aller­gic medi­a­tors by mast cells. The term “food sen­si­tiv­i­ties” refers to a reac­tion to a spe­cific food or food com­po­nent that is not clas­si­fied as a true aller­gic response (no anti­body involve­ment), but which may also lead to symp­toms such as diar­rhea, gas­troin­testi­nal dis­com­fort, pain and gas as well as other sys­temic symptoms.

Some peo­ple have more pro­nounced symp­toms even to sim­ple foods like wheat or milk. Since an allergy is like an addic­tion, it is often the foods one is most ‘addicted’ to that are suspect.

Impaired diges­tion is a major cause of food aller­gies and sen­si­tiv­i­ties, as the body may iden­tify the undi­gested food par­ti­cles as for­eign sub­stances. If you sus­pect that you might have aller­gies but do not know what they are, it is best to see a nutri­tion con­sul­tant who can assess you for aller­gies and resolve any under­ly­ing diges­tive imbal­ances that pro­voke allergies.

Proper nutri­tion and avoid­ance of aller­genic foods once iden­ti­fied will greatly reduce or clear up aller­gic reac­tions in most cases.

It is also impor­tant to deter­mine the over­all integrity of the gas­troin­testi­nal sys­tem to assess whether or not leak­ing gut syn­drome is the con­tribut­ing fac­tor of allergies.

Fol­low a gen­eral healthy diet, drink plenty of fil­tered water. Avoid sus­pect foods, dairy prod­ucts and the most com­mon aller­gens. After sev­eral months you may be able to rein­tro­duce sus­pect foods occa­sion­ally with­out hav­ing a reac­tion and even­tu­ally you may be able to tol­er­ate your aller­gens in small amounts.