Food Allergies

Food Allergies Up 18 Percent, Study Says
The number of children with food allergies has increased 18 percent in the past decade, according to a large national study released by the National Center for Health Statistics. The foods most likely to cause allergies are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts such as walnuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat, according to researchers. Allergic reactions can include respiratory problems, such as wheezing, as well as a rash, diarrhea or vomiting.

Introduction to food allergies

Either food allergy or food intolerance affects nearly everyone at some point. When people have an unpleasant reaction to something they ate, they often think that they have an allergy to the food. Actually, however, only about 3% of adults and 6%-8% of children have clinically proven true allergic reactions to food.

This difference between the prevalence of clinically proven food allergy and the public’s perception of the problem is due primarily to misinterpreting food intolerance or other adverse reactions to food as food allergy. A true food allergy is an abnormal response to food that is triggered by a specific reaction in the immune system and expressed by certain, often characteristic, symptoms. Other kinds of reactions to foods that are not food allergies include food intolerances (such as lactose or milk intolerance), food poisoning, and toxic reactions.

Food intolerance also is an abnormal response to food, and its symptoms can resemble those of food allergy. Food intolerance, however, is far more prevalent, occurs in a variety of diseases, and is triggered by several different mechanisms that are distinct from the immunological reaction responsible for food allergy.
People who have food allergies must identify and prevent them because, although usually mild and not severe, these reactions can cause devastating illness and, in rare instances, can be fatal.

How do allergic reactions to food occur?

The allergens in food are those components that are responsible for inciting an allergic reaction. They are proteins that usually resist the heat of cooking, the acid in the stomach, and the intestinal digestive enzymes. As a result, the allergens survive to cross the gastrointestinal lining, enter the bloodstream, and go to target organs, causing allergic reactions throughout the body. The mechanism of food allergy involves the immune system and heredity.

Immune system: An allergic reaction to food involves two components of the immune system. One component is a type of protein, an allergy antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE), which circulates through the blood. The other is the mast cell, a specialized cell that stores up histamine and is found in all tissues of the body. The mast cell is particularly found in areas of the body that are typically involved in allergic reactions, including the nose and throat, lungs, skin, and gastrointestinal tract.

Heredity: The tendency of an individual to produce IgE against something seemingly as innocuous as food appears to be inherited. Generally, people with allergies come from families in which allergies are common — not necessarily to food but perhaps allergies to pollen, fur, feathers, or drugs. Thus, a person with two allergic parents is more likely to develop food allergies than someone with one allergic parent.

Mechanism: Food allergy is a hypersensitivity reaction, meaning that before an allergic reaction to an allergen in food can occur, a person needs to have been exposed previously, or “sensitized,” to the food. At the initial exposure, the allergen stimulates lymphocytes (specialized white blood cells) to produce the IgE antibody that is specific for the allergen. This IgE then is released and attaches to the surface of the mast cells in different tissues of the body. The next time the person eats that particular food, its allergen hones in on the specific IgE antibody on the surface of the mast cells and prompts the cells to release chemicals such as histamine. Depending upon the tissue in which they are released, these chemicals cause the various symptoms of food allergy.

Most people never think about it, but chiropractic care can help provide allergy relief.
That’s because chiropractic care, often thought necessary for only back and neck problems, can help with keeping the body operating at peak performance. The body’s immune system helps with preventing disease and infection, dealing with stress and overall well being. The immune system also tackles the invasion in a body of foreign substances such as pollution, dust, dead cells, etc. Current research is showing that there is a direct link between the nervous system and the immune system. Chiropractors remove nerve interference and allow the immune system to work optimally.
The immune system is affected by nerves and hormones. An immune system not operating effectively can:

  • Fail to recognize and remove abnormal cells such as those that are cancerous.
  • Be unable to fight infections.
  • Overreact to things such as bee stings, penicillin, certain foods, pollen etc.
  • Become depressed making you more vulnerable to disease.

Allergic reactions are the most frequent immune disorders and happen when the body’s immune system overreacts to allergens such as dust, pollen, pet dander, etc. The response is that the body overproduces neutralizing chemicals such as histamines to correct the problem.
What causes allergies? No one knows for sure. Some theories say it’s our increasing sterile environment. Others suspect the overuse of antibiotics and vaccinations. The idea here is our immune system is at its best when fighting off disease, parasites, and bacteria all by itself. The more we try and help it, the weaker it becomes. It is proven that children who live on farms and are exposed to different animals and the outdoors have fewer allergies than those who are not exposed.

Traditional allergy treatments only deal with the symptom without addressing the cause. This is because western medicine has no cure for allergies. Worse yet, antihistamines used over time or combined with other medication can be deadly. More recently, Canadian researcher Lorne Brandes, in an article published in the May 1994 Journal of the National Cancer Institute, has produced research showing that certain antihistamines (Claritin, Hismanal and Atarax) make cancerous tumors grow faster in lab rodents.

But just how can chiropractors help with such problems?
The answer is simple, chiropractic care releases stress on a patient’s nervous system. This allows the immune system to operate more effectively, which is beneficial to anyone and especially those suffering from allergies.

The chiropractic approach is to remove subluxations, a term for a misaligned spinal vertebra pinching a nerve. Subluxations place stress on the nervous system. Free from nervous system stress, your body will work more effectively to neutralize the allergy-causing chemicals in your environment.

No matter what disease or condition you have, you can benefit from a healthy spine. Spinal health can be as important for your overall healing as proper nutrition. Are you and your family carrying the vertebral subluxation complex in your spines? Only a chiropractic spinal checkup will tell. A healthy spine can improve your life – see your chiropractor for periodic spinal checkups.

Dr. McFarland is here for you! Call 970-256-7454

Office Hours

  • Mon: 9am – 6pm
  • Tue: 9am – 6pm
  • Wed: 9am – 6pm
  • Thu: Closed
  • Fri: 9am – 6pm
  • Sat: By Appt
  • Sun: Closed
Call Us (970) 256-7454

Book an Appointment

  • Please complete the following form to request an appointment. Please also note that availability will vary depending on your request. Your appointment will be confirmed by phone by a member of our staff. Thank you!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Font Resize
Contrast
Call Us Text Us