Do you suffer from allergic rhinitis, asthma, atopic eczema, anaphylaxis, insect bites, drug allergies, food allergies, environmental irritants, or a combination of these?
Millions of people do:
Unfortunately there is little comfort in numbers when your life is affected – either seasonally, year round or for a few intensely bad days or weeks – by the sheer discomfort or even danger of allergic symptoms.
Symptoms can include
|Bloating||Swelling & Hives|
|Runny Nose||Rashes & Blotches|
There are also many ways to find out whether you’re allergic to something. But unfortunately, doing so is often a frustrating exercise in the lengthy process of elimination. Treatments include allergen avoidance; antihistamines, steroids or oral medications;
Immunotherapy to desensitise the response to allergens and targeted therapy.
You may already be familiar with the traditional examinations, tools and pharmaceuticals used for issues like these, but there are additional options., an Asyra screening is a powerful new way to identify health imbalances – and potentially appropriate remedies that may help with these conditions.
Food Allergies and Intolerances
Food allergy is a rather fast response (minutes) by the body’s immune system to a perceived invader. Signs or symptoms are typically immediate, dramatic and visible: coughing, sneezing, vomiting, migraines, watering eyes, rashes, swelling tissue, hives – or in severe cases an anaphylactic shock which requires emergency intervention. However other symptoms like the gastro-intestinal responses nausea, vomiting and diarrhea can be delayed for hours or even days.
Food intolerance on the other hand is rather slow onset reaction, hours, days or even weeks. It is an inability to process a particular food. It is also thought to be an immune system response. The gastro-intestinal tract in some people is simply unable to produce appropriate enzymes for normal chemical breakdown. The food passes through unprocessed, or lingers in the gut fermenting producing excess ‘gas’. In some cases protein fragments rupture the lining of the intestine allowing foreign particles into the bloodstream.
Symptoms of Food intolerance are much more delayed, less dramatic and lifestyle threatening rather than life threatening. They generally manifest as nutritional deficiencies that develop over time. If left untreated however they can lead to serious illness and tissue damage.
Many people wonder why they discover they have food intolerance as adults. Why, they ask, was I able to digest these foods for all those years? The answer is that there was always a reaction to this food going on in your body and an associated stress.
But as you continue to consume it two or three times a day the body adapts, in its wonderful natural way. Your reactions manifest less, masking the symptoms.
However a bout of illness or a stressful period or a course of anti-biotics can render your body less able to cope. As the immune system weakens, malabsorption symptoms like iron deficiency may begin to show. These are often the most telling indicators of long-term food intolerance.
Another long-term consequence is that you begin to crave those very foods:
More about food allergy
An Allergy triggers an allergic response in a person – often immediately - on exposure to the allergen. Generally, people suffering from an allergy have had a breakdown in their immune system: it “misreads” the allergen as an enemy invader and pulls out all stops to attack it.
What it means is that while an allergic person reacts quite dramatically to the first exposure (coughing, sneezing etc), the reactions to second and subsequent exposures can be greatly amplified, due to the immune system
being primed and ready to spring into full defensive action. This is when the anaphylactic response can occur (see below).
Normally our immune system protects us by producing antibodies in the blood that attack bacteria and viruses invading our bodies. This lets us fight off infections without ever knowing they were there. But in a very few people the immune system produces an abnormal type of antibody in response to things like pollens, or in some cases certain foods.
Many food allergy symptoms are the same as regular allergy symptoms (those in response to pollens, chemicals and animal hair): sneezing, skin rashes, hives, watering eyes, runny nose and sore throat. For food allergies add nausea, spontaneous vomiting and gastro-intestinal symptoms like diarrhoea.
In severe cases there is an anaphylactic response where the sufferer’s tissues become hypersensitive and swell up to two or three times their normal size. A swollen nose is a classic allergic symptom. Histamines have caused the internal tissue cells to retain excess fluids. While a stuffy nose is a nuisance it is not serious.
An anaphylactic response however is when this happens in the tissues of the tongue, mouth and throat. These hypersensitive tissues swell up so rapidly that they obstruct breathing. These allergy sufferers gasp for air and can suffocate and die if not given emergency treatment (eg. by the administration of adrenalin by paramedics, teachers, carers or medical staff.
Fortunately food allergy is rather rare. Less than 1% of people suffer true food allergies. However, because Food allergy is more visible than food intolerance – it is better diagnosed.
You might have seen on a food label that it “may contain traces of nuts”. Nuts - especially peanuts - contain some of the world’s worst offending allergens.
Other foods known to cause allergic reactions are eggs, strawberries, milk protein, wheat, soy and seafood: crustaceans like crab, lobster and prawns; or shellfish – like scallops, oysters and clams. Foods containing additives and colourings are also widely recognised as causes of allergic responses.
More about food intolerance
Food intolerance is an inability to properly digest certain foods. In some cases food passes right through the body before digestion is complete – so is eliminated only partially processed like milk products causing diarrhea. In other cases some foods have components which actually attack the lining of the gut and damage it every time that food is eaten (like Celiacs with gluten). Fortunately most food intolerant people recover fully when the offending food is avoided.
Direct problems such as severe abdominal cramps, bloating, flatulence, diarrhea and hemorrhoids are common. However the indirect problems associated with poor absorption can be much more harmful. When food leaves the body only partially processed many vital nutrients are lost too. People with food intolerance typically catch viruses easily, may have dry skin, hair and nail problems and tire easily.
Some become deficient in iron or calcium and suffer a further series of health issues like anaemia or osteoporosis.
Many food intolerant people are underweight due to their inability to get full nutrient value from foods. Of course with diarrhoea there is the constant risk of dehydration especially among children and elderly people.
Others can be overweight often from an interference with the thyroid gland causing a disruption to normal metabolism.
If you are suffering from food intolerances, environmental allergies, IBS, bloating, lowered metabolism or hormonal disruption, consider taking one of our food intolerance or comprehensive tests to pinpoint some of the underlying causes.