Allergies & Food Sensitivities

Friday, 17 November 2017 15:24

Gluten Sensitivity

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Gluten is a hot topic and one of the harder foods to eliminate for many people. It does, however, have a big impact on the health and life of those who are sensitive because it can be lurking in so many places. 
Many health coaches first become aware of the food they eat because of the symptoms of food allergy or intolerance that they or their loved ones suffer from. 
Gluten intolerance is a big topic and this article does not intend to cover the topic in depth. The intention is to cultivate awareness so that readers who suspect they have such sensitivity can seek additional help.
 
Gluten is a protein composite found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye. This protein can causes reactions in people who have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. 
 
Gluten intolerance can manifest itself as a wide range of symptoms. Here are some most common ones, although by no means exhaustive: abdominal pain and cramping, arthritis, attention deficit disorder (ADD), bloating, constipation, irritability, stunted growth (due to poor absorption of nutrients), fatigue, headaches, nausea, osteoporosis, teeth and gum problems, unexplained weight gain or weight loss.
 
Celiac disease – a digestive condition triggered by the consumption of gluten – can cause damage of the villi in the intestinal lining, resulting in a gradual decrease in the ability to absorb any nutrients from ingested food, leading to stunted growth and malnutrition. The damage that are done to the intestinal lining also leads to a higher likelihood of leaky gut syndrome, which can create other types of food sensitivities and systemic health issues.
 
In the case of gluten sensitivity, the protein composite escapes the confines of the digestive tract and makes its way into the bloodstream. When the protein composite reaches the brain, it can cause damages leading to mood issues, attention deficit and sometimes learning disabilities. 
 
 
Usually an elimination diet is the most common and definitive way to confirm gluten intolerance. However, some doctors recommend blood testing and allergen testing to be done first so that biomarkers indicating celiac disease can be confirmed.
 
If you are indeed tested positive for gluten sensitivities, care needs to be taken to avoid gluten in your diet. Grains such as wheat, barley, bulgar, kamut, spelt and rye are of course the obvious foods to avoid (oat and oatmeal themselves do not contain gluten, but can be contaminated due to processing and manufacturing process), however, there are also hidden sources of gluten in our food supply that we may not be aware of. These can include: cheese spreads, flavored yogurt and other frozen dairy products, hot chocolate mixes, chocolates, candy/energy bars, soup mixes and canned soups, processed meat (hot dogs, sausages), gravies and other sauces mixes, ketchup, mustards, marinades, nut butter, soy sauce, drink mixes and other packaged beverages, hydrolyzed vegetable protein (found in may prepared or processed foods), children’s modeling dough (Play-Doh), some nutritional supplements, some medications, and some cosmetics such as lipstick and lip balms.
 
Since gluten can be found in so many hidden sources, it’s best to stick with whole foods as much as possible. If you have to buy processed and packaged foods, read the labels carefully and pick ones that have as few additives as possible.
 
Let me  guide you through an elimination diet, or meal planning to remove gluten from your diet.
 
Reference:
http://gluten-intolerance-symptoms.com/
http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/celiac-disease/tc/hidden-gluten-topic-overview 
Friday, 17 November 2017 15:15

Lactose Intolerance and Dairy Alternatives

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Dairy is one of the most common substances that people develop allergy or intolerance toward. If you are suffer from lactose intolerance, which means your body is unable to produce the enzyme lactase to digest the lactose, you can supplement with lactase enzyme whenever you eat dairy products.
 
There are also many ways we can avoid dairy and substitute dairy products in meal preparation without having to lead a completely “miserable” life in the culinary department.
 
For some people who are allergic to commercial cow’s milk and cow’s milk products, goat’s or sheep’s milk may be better tolerated and can be used instead in moderation. Raw milk is also a great alternative – the enzymes present in raw dairy products are not destroyed by the process of pasteurization, helping pre-digest the protein molecules and lactase, which are the causes of allergic reaction or symptoms of lactose intolerance, respectively.
 
“Milks” made from nuts, seeds and grains can be substituted for cow’s milk for drinking and cooking – provided that you are not allergic to those foods (nuts and soy in particular). More common ones that you can find in stores include soymilk, almond milk, hazelnut milk, coconut milk, hemp milk, rice milk and oat milk. Their consistency and taste vary – from type to type and from brand to brand, so you may need to experiment to see what suits your taste or makes the best substitute for your recipes. 
 
If you buy commercial nut, seed or grain milk, make sure you read the label to avoid added sugar as much as possible. Also, additives are often added to these products to make their consistency and taste closer to cow’s milk. If you want to avoid additives altogether, the best bet is to make your own. [If you have a recipe that you want to recommend, you can add a link here]
 
For a more creamy texture in cooking, mashed tofu can be used. However, soy products such as soymilk and tofu should be used in moderation by most and sparingly by those who suffer from hypothyroidism. Soy has a high allergenic potential as well, so if you have other food allergies or a family history of food allergies, you may want to be careful and pay special attention to see if you have any reaction. If you are allergic to other legumes, such as beans, peas and peanut, you are more likely to be allergic to soy as well.
 
Another word of caution about soy: Soy contains phytoestrogens that may have an impact on our hormonal system, and anti-nutrients that may affect the absorption of vitamins and minerals. The problem with most commercially available soy products today lies in the fact that a majority of them are highly processed, without having gone through the traditional process that can remove their anti-nutrients. Soy protein isolates, found in many processed and packaged foods, are highly concentrated. These processed soy products are very new to our diet, so their effects on our body are essentially unknown. Also note that a lot of the soy in our food chain today is genetically modified, and again, this is so new to us as a species that we just can’t be sure if there is any negative health impact for our body.
Friday, 17 November 2017 14:53

Leaky Gut and Food Allergies

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I knew from a young age that milk just didn't do my body good.  I would get stomach aches and then have to run to the bathroom.  Over time left untreated, I developed other food sensitivities and leaky gut.
 
Our intestines are designed to be impermeable to large protein molecules that our body may mistake as “invaders” and launch an “attack” by producing antibodies, which lead to allergic reactions. Modern diet, lifestyle and medications often times compromise the permeability of our digestive tract, creating what is known as the “leaky gut” syndrome. When the gut becomes permeable to larger protein molecules, they can get into our bloodstream and trigger an immune response, resulting in symptoms of food allergies.
 
Here are some strategies to help protect and heal the digestive tract:
 
Maintain Healthy Gut Flora:
  • Increase intake of probiotics, eat foods such as yogurt, kefir, natto, kimchi and sauerkraut.
  • Eat fermentable fibers (starches like sweet potato, yam, yucca, etc.)
  • Avoid antibiotics, birth control and NSAIDs
 
Reduce Inflammation:
  • Use herbs such as slippery elm and marshmallow roots, which helps coat and heal the intestinal lining and reduce inflammation
  • Increase intake of omega-3 fatty acids – supplement at therapeutic dosage, cold water fish, walnuts, and flaxseed to help support the immune system and reduce inflammation (EPA in particular helps reduce inflammation)
 
Reduce Irritations:
  • Avoid refined carbohydrates, including refined sugar – which irritates the intestinal lining
  • Avoid alcohol, which is an irritant
  • Avoid caffeine, which irritates the gut and dehydrates the body
 
Positive Lifestyle Changes:
  • Reduce stress
  • Practice mindful eating
  • Chew well
 
Book your Food Sensitivity Screening today.
 
Reference:
http://chriskresser.com/9-steps-to-perfect-health-5-heal-your-gut
Saturday, 24 December 2016 14:56

Food Allergy vs. Food Intolerance

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Food Allergy vs. Food Intolerance
 
I remember as a child eating my cereal for breakfast and then developing a tummy ache.  This would happen every morning until I stopped drinking the milk that was added to it.  Eventually, while in college, my roommate told me I must be lactose intolerant as this was something she was learning about in her kinesiology class.  Glad to have something to go on, I proudly renounced dairy from my food choices.  I have since come to learn a lot more about food sensitivities and intolerances.  Read on.
 
There are two different kinds of food sensitivities – food allergy and food intolerance. Often times, they are confused because they are both reactions to foods that we eat and some of the symptoms can be very similar. However, it’s worth taking a moment to distinguish their differences.
 
Food Allergy and Food Sensitivities
It is an immune system response – the body thinks that the food you ingested (most likely a protein in the food) is a harmful substance and it creates antibodies to defend against it. Symptoms depend on where the antibodies and histamine are released, and they can include rash or hives, nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, itchy skin, shortness of breath, chest pain, swelling of the airway and even anaphylaxis. 
 
Our intestines are designed to be impermeable to large protein molecules that our body may mistake as “invaders” and launch an “attack” – resulting in allergic reactions. Our diet, lifestyle and medications often times compromise the permeability of our digestive tract, creating what is known as the “leaky gut” syndrome. When the intestine becomes permeable to larger protein molecules, these molecules can get into our bloodstream and trigger an immune response.
 
Food allergies/sensitivities can be triggered by even a very small amount of food and occurs every time the food is consumed. If you suffer from food allergy, you are most likely advised to avoid the trigger food altogether. However, if you work with a qualified professional, you may be able to resolve the root cause of the allergic reaction (e.g. leaky gut), allow time for the antibodies to clear up (usually 2 – 4 weeks), and then you may be able to ingest a small amount of the food every 3 to 4 days without triggering allergic reactions. 
 
Peanuts, tree nuts (such as walnuts, pecans and almonds), shellfish, milk, eggs, soy products, and wheat are the most common triggers for food allergies. People who are allergic to aspirin can also be allergic to foods that contain salicylates – such as many fruits, vegetables, nuts, coffee, juices, beer, and wine.
 
Food Intolerance
It is a digestive system response – the digestive system is unable to properly digest some substance in the food, or the food irritates the digestive tract. Most symptoms of food intolerance are confined to the GI tract, including nausea, stomach pain, gas, cramps, bloating, vomiting, heartburn, and diarrhea, with the exception of headache and irritability or nervousness.
 
In most cases, food intolerance is caused by the lack of certain enzymes and the body becomes unable to digest certain substances in the food. 
 
Food intolerance, in most cases, is dose related. For example, some people who are lactose intolerant can use milk in their coffee, eat a moderate amount of yogurt (in which some of the lactose is pre-digested by the probiotics) or hard aged cheese (which has a lower amount of lactose).
 
The most common food intolerance is lactose intolerance, in which the person is unable to digest dairy products due to the inability to produce the enzyme lactase. However, food intolerance can also be caused by chemicals such as food colorings and additives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) or sulfites.
 
If you think you might have a food sensitivity or intolerance, I can guide you through an elimination diet, or implement gut healing protocols.  Also, Food Sensitivity Screening is available at my office via Electro Dermal Screening.  Book your session now and eliminate those tummy troubles.  
 
Deanna Trask RHN
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
519-270-1889
 
Reference: 
 
http://www.webmd.com/allergies/foods-allergy-intolerance