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food allergies

Food Allergies/Sensitivities

Food Intolerance/Food Allergy


What are food intolerances and allergies?

Millions of Americans suffer from the symptoms of food intolerance or allergies and don't know it. Common foods eaten by most people can produce a variety of physical and mental disorders. Much has been learned about treating food intolerances/allergies, once they've been discovered. With great patience and good detective work, many people are able to discover the offending food items. In other cases, you may want to confer with a physician regarding this problem.

A wide range of symptoms from headaches to heartburn, from arthritis to anxiety, rashes to restlessness, stuffed nose to suicidal feelings, from constipation to colitis, can result from the foods and drinks we like best or eat most often. These symptoms most likely indicate a food intolerance.

Reactions can also be sudden and serious, producing symptoms such as severe breathing impairment, skin rashes, or even shock. People who react in this way to certain foods usually know from experience they have a problem with true food allergies.

More often, however, unsuspected food intolerances produce a variety of milder, annoying symptoms which linger and recur. Such symptoms as sinus congestion, headaches, chronic fatigue, skin rashes, asthma, and colitis are fairly common physical reactions. Mental and emotional problems are common as well. This is because the brain and nervous system are part of the physical body, susceptible to physical, as well as psychological influences. Depression, anxiety, irritability, and hyperactivity in adults or children are often caused by chronic food intolerances.

How can you tell if you have a food intolerance or allergy?

The most accurate (and probably the most difficult) method of detection involves removal of all foods which commonly create problems. Then slowly and individually, re-introduce a different food every fourth or fifth day and watch for the return of symptoms.

You can start by reading or talking to people who know more about the subject. Dr. Mandell's Five-Day Allergy Relief System, by M. Mandell, is an example of one book about food allergies which is practical, informative, and easy to read. Other books include

Food Allergies, by N. Orenstein and S. Bingham

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