Food Allergy Survival Guide

Who has food allergies

Some causes of food sensitivities tend to run in families this predisposition to allergies is known as atopy and sufferers are described as atopic . If asthma, eczema, hay fever (seasonal rhinitis), or hives (urticaria) run in your family, you are more likely to develop a food allergy, although it is not inevitable. If you have one child with an allergy, get other children in the family checked out too. At present the only cure for an allergy is to avoid the food you are allergic to, but doctors are investigating ways of preventing allergies in the next generation using, for example, probiotics (the friendly bacteria that live in a healthy gut) during pregnancy. Other developments for the future include immunotherapy using allergy vaccines . Forms of immunotherapy exist for pollen-induced hay fever and bee stings and some non-food allergies but as yet there are no proven, tested desensitization techniques available.

Tastings What is lactose intolerance

Digest milk slows down, then completely disappears. In western cultures children continue to drink milk after weaned, so their bodies keep producing lactase. There are also genetic differences in adult lactase production among different peoples. In people whose bodies don't produce enough lactase, drinking milk causes digestive problems. They have lactose intolerance. In fermented milk and processed milk products, the fermenting bacteria use up the lactose as their food people with lactose intolerance have no digestive problems with these low or no-lactose dairy foods. They can also drink acidophilus milk to reduce digestive difficulties. Acidophilus is a bacteria (Lactobacillus acidophilus) that processors add to the milk that can digest lactose. This bacteria stays inactive in cold milk, but wakes up when you get them in your warm body. It doesn't change the flavor of the milk. The live culture in yogurt also digest lactose. Now enzymes are available that people with lactose...

Fish and Shellfish Allergies

Seafood is a common source of food allergies. About 250,000 Americans experience allergic reactions to fish and shellfish each year. If you suspect that you have any food allergies, see an allergist for a careful evaluation. This generally includes a medical history, physical examination, and skin or blood testing. If you are found to have a fish or shellfish allergy, the best advice is to avoid fish or shellfish altogether. That may be harder than it sounds. You may not be aware that seafood is an ingredient in a dish that you are eating. Be sure to check the labels of any product you buy. In addition, make sure that persons close to you are aware of the potential for this kind of allergic reaction. Many people with a food allergy wear medical alert bracelets. Another important safety note is that shellfish are a common trigger of allergic reactions in some people (see sidebar Fish and Shellfish Allergies, page 317).

Yeast Food Intolerances and Thyroid Problem

FOOD INTOLERANCES I believe that food allergies (more properly called individual food intolerances) to substances other than yeast can be a major roadblock to weight loss. Without knowing it you may have added to your meal plan a food to which you are allergic. Wheat and wheat products are frequently culprits. Other common problem foods include milk, cheese, eggs and soy. Eating a food to which you're allergic may cause symptoms such as gastrointestinal or respiratory problems, joint pain and skin eruptions. From the point of view of someone trying to slim down, the most damaging aspect of eating a food to which you're allergic is its tendency tc cause cravings, which, if indulged, can lead to unstable blood sugar. Your real challenge will be to discover that you have a food intolerance in the first place and then to determine which food is the culprit. Please read Chapter 26 carefully. If you have any one of these three diet-related disorders-yeast, food intolerances or thyroid...

Food intolerances

Often self-diagnosed, food intolerance is a more general and diffuse term. It is used by the medical profession when a person's history and tests show that a particular food or several foods are causing problems but the immune system is not involved or is unlikely to be the major factor that is producing symptoms. Food intolerances tend to have multiple causes and multiple symptoms. They can be temporary or fluctuate because tolerance levels vary and typically occur after eating a suspect food over a longer period of time and in larger amounts than the trace needed to trigger an allergic response. They do not cause severe anaphylactic reactions. Intolerances are more difficult to diagnose but should by no means be regarded as a modern myth. Doctors diagnose food intolerance by taking a medical, family, and food history and combining it with selective elimination of various possible causes to arrive at the most likely suspect. If you have symptoms that disappear when you eliminate a...

Milk allergy

This problem is frequent in babies but most grow out of it by the age of five years. If you are cooking for children with a milk allergy, you need to be aware of the following In severe cases of milk allergy, an anaphylactic reaction can develop within seconds and follow from a minute quantity of milk. All dairy products and traces of products must be avoided. Skin contact and, more rarely, inhaling milk proteins may also cause a reaction.

Lactose intolerance

The condition is much more common than milk allergy and causes milder symptoms and discomfort. It sometimes follows on from a stomach bug, especially in young children, but this type is usually transient. Here are some points to keep in mind when cooking for people with lactose intolerance The amount of lactose needed to cause the symptoms may vary with age. Babies are more sensitive adults with lactose intolerance can sometimes take small quantities of milk without incurring any symptoms.

Reactions and symptoms

Many allergic reactions occur within a few minutes of exposure to the food in question. Reactions include itchy rashes that look a bit like nettle rash and swelling of lips, tongue, face, and throat, which can be dangerous if they block the airway. Abdominal cramps, nausea, and vomiting may occur. The most serious reactions, known as anaphylaxis, are much rarer and are most frequently found in peanut and nut allergy sufferers. They have symptoms that are widespread within the body and occur frighteningly fast.

Diagnosis and testing

ANAPHYLAXIS Anaphylaxis is an extreme allergic reaction that is potentially life-threatening. Food triggers differ in adults and children but include peanuts, tree nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, cashews, and Brazils), sesame, fish, shellfish, dairy products, and eggs. other causes include wasp or bee stings, natural latex (rubber), penicillin, or any other drug or injection. initial signs of anaphylaxis usually start within seconds of contact with the allergen and may include Anaphylaxis is always an emergency so if you or someone else is having an attack, dial 999 for emergency help or get someone else to do it for you. if you have anaphylactic reactions, you will always need to be on the lookout for whatever triggers them and carry pre-loaded epinephrine (adrenaline) injection kits. These are used at the first sign of an attack. Even if you then recover, you still need to go to hospital in an ambulance. Further specific tests to reach final diagnosis of food allergy and to identify...

Gourmet Nutrition offers you a second chance a chance to change the rules

Some individuals believe that this high rate of digestive disease is due to stress. Others think it's due to an increase in food allergies. We think it's an interaction of the two. Although full blown food allergy is severe, less severe allergies (which are difficult to diagnose) are finally getting some attention and many people now have an explanation for their regular gas, abdominal distention, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, constipation, or other GI abnormalities.

Many people have gluten sensitivity or celiac disease and dont know it

I hear things like, I think I'm allergic to dairy because the cheese on my pizza makes me bloat. Oh, really What makes you think it's the cheese Because more people have heard of lactose intolerance than gluten intolerance, they figure that must be what's making them feel icky.

Protein A Plenty Choosing The Right Protein PowdERS

5) Rice protein extracts are a great hypoallergenic alternative to milk and soy proteins. Therefore for those who have food allergies or insensitivities to other protein sources, rice protein is very well tolerated. Also, rice protein is one of the only viable supplement options for vegetarians. While the protein in rice isn't considered complete, some rice protein powders on the market have been fortified with the limiting amino acid, and such powders can be good choices both for vegetarians and those with intolerances to the other powders mentioned above.

Manufacturers are asked to use plain language

Standardized labelling that is clear, prominent, and unambiguous would be a great start. At the moment, inconsistencies and different terms across food brands and countries are confusing. Studies in America have shown that in some cases fewer than 10 per cent of children with milk allergies were able to correctly identify products containing milk. This is a risky state of affairs.

An Individual Approach

Happily, the most common sources of food intolerance are generally found in foods I recommend you either avoid entirely or approach very cautiously. The foods to which people most commonly prove intolerant are grains, such as corn, wheat, rye and oats soy, milk, cheese, brewer's and baker's yeast and eggs. The only three you might be eating during the Atkins weight loss phases are eggs, cheese and soy in the form of tofu and other products.

Alas the Foods You Love

Perhaps the first and most basic principle of a food intolerance is this The foods you eat the most often and love the best will frequently be part of your problem. Many Asians are allergic to rice, many Italians to wheat and many Mexicans to corn. This is yet another reason why many carbohydrate addicts experience the elimination or reduction of nagging physical ills, from headaches to diarrhea, when they start to do Atkins. Complicating the matter of food intolerances is that a sizable proportion of us become addicted to the very foods to which we are intolerant. You will often see the term allergy addiction used in papers by specialists in environmental medicine. It works like this The foods that make us ill also make us feel better for a short time after we eat them. This is surely a classic addiction pattern The sugar addict, the drug addict, the alcoholic all feel better when they get their fix. But before long, they all feel worse.

What Causes Food In tolerances

No one knows for sure, but I believe many food intolerances are related to the weakening of the immune system, which may be a secondary result of such problems as yeast overgrowth. When this weakness becomes chronic, you may develop an allergy. Allergies, in turn, challenge the immune system, which can in turn suppress the metabolism, slowing down weight loss. It is rare to find a person with a yeast overgrowth who doesn't also have some food intolerances, and the reverse is also true. The symptom list for food intolerance mimics the items found on both the Blood-Sugar Symptom Test (see pages 150-151) and in Yeast Symptoms (see page 332). In general, if there are symptoms from those lists that won't go away in spite of diligently adhering to a controlled carbohydrate eating plan, you have good reason to look for food intolerances. Food intolerances are implicated in scores of other health disorders. One impressive medical study was done in 1983 by five physicians at the Hospital for...

How to Deal With the Problem

What if you were to find you are intolerant of broccoli or legumes In my experience, most people can reintroduce such foods-especially if they've also started a program of intelligent coddling. We all need coddling. Life is a handful, and you and I are a day older than we were yesterday. I can assure you that food intolerances, like yeast conditions, stress the metabolism and often arise because many other things have stressed the body in the first place. By doing Atkins, you are taking the first and most critical step toward minimizing that which stresses your body. Having stable blood sugar-perhaps for the first time in years-is going to give your metabolism a much needed shot in the arm. Dealing with a food intolerance, if you have one, will be another great advance. But I'd also like you to coddle yourself by searching out your other stressors and seeing if you can't work out a strategy for minimizing them.

Four major food problems

Among the many allergies and food intolerances only a handful cause problems for considerable numbers of people. These are gluten wheat, dairy, tree nuts and peanuts, and eggs and these are the focus of my recipe variations. Every recipe has a version for each of these four A-list allergens with some recipes naturally free of all of them. My B list of allergies and sensitivities would include, soya, fish, and seafood, but these remain in some recipes, albeit with cautions, as many of these foods are staples for A-list sufferers. A balanced diet includes a wide variety of foods - carbohydrate, fat, protein, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibre. Anyone with serious or multiple food allergies or intolerances needs to be sure they are not missing out on essential nutrients.


Once a medical curiosity, food allergy has increased dramatically over the past 30 years, even being referred to as an epidemic. When I make a diagnosis of food allergy, I have become increasingly aware that this has implications notjust for the patient attending my clinic but also for their extended family and friends, both present and future. With so much of our lives revolving around food, the impact of needing to avoid just a single food can be huge. Invitations to dinner parties and social gatherings become a source of embarrassment and anxiety rather than enjoyment. A simple trip to the supermarket can become a lengthy series of food label examinations and a family trip abroad, if even considered, a delicate military operation. 14 What are food allergies

O Notesglossaries

- This cookbook is titled A Taste of Vitality because the focus of the book is on foods which provide the body fuel for creating and maintaining an active life style. By focusing on strong foods, your body is provided with the needed protein, carbohydrates, fats, nutrients, vitamins, mineral, phytochemicals, isoflavones, essential fatty acids, and anti-oxidants it needs to be energetic (especially energy-enhancing vitamins and mineral such as magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B6). Pure water is also important. Weak foods and foods to which a person is allergic can drain energy. Weak foods are discussed below. The most common food allergies are citrus, wheat, corn, milk, soy, dairy products, yeast, and eggs.

Simple Sugars

Table sugar, the sugar that we spoon onto our cereal and add to the cookies we bake, also called sucrose, is the most familiar simple sugar. A ring-shaped molecule of sucrose actually consists of a molecule of fructose chemically linked to a molecule of another simple sugar called glucose. Sugars such as fructose and glucose are known as monosaccharides, because of their single (mono) ring structure, whereas two-ringed sugars such as sucrose are known as disaccharides. Another disaccharide, lactose, the sugar that gives milk its slightly sweet taste, consists of glucose linked to yet another simple sugar called galactose. The inability to digest lactose to its constituent sugars is the cause of lactose intolerance, a condition common to adults of Asian, Mediterranean, and African ancestry.

Egg Whites

With the high prevalence of lactose intolerance in the world, many people can't consume an abundance of dairy. Even those with the ability to digest lactose should be cautious. Highly processed cheeses have lower nutritive value and lead to maldigestion. For this reason cheese is often one of the first foods we remove from a client's diet at the first sign of gastrointestinal stress. So pay close attention to your response to it.

Be open minded

Food intolerance is a great excuse to explore and experiment with new cuisines. It will be the silver lining to the cloud if your food sensitivity leads you to new culinary discoveries and dishes that become favourites. On pages 32-35 you can delve into a world of food to explore.

Travel tips

Most national airlines, given notice, will offer gluten-free meals, non-lactose meals, and vegan meals, which are free of any animal products so are essentially meat, dairy, and egg free. You could also request a fresh fruit platter. However, any slipup on a long haul flight could leave you hungry so bring some safe food of your own as well. If you have a severe food allergy, take no risks and eat only food that you have prepared yourself.

Unscrambling Dairy

Whether you live to eat or eat to live, you start your life being passionate about milk, your mother's milk. For most people in America this passion for dairy products continues into adulthood. No matter how basic or complex the cooking habits of a household, the refrigerator is likely to contain a dairy product or two. Cottage cheese, yogurt, cheese, milk, if nothing else, there is a carton of ice cream in the freezer. Most of the Asian and African traditional cuisines, however, eliminate dairy products from the menu soon after babies are ready for solid food. In fact, many members of these cultures have a lactose intolerance. Two exceptions are the extensive use of yogurt in Northern Indian cooking and dairy products in many Middle-Eastern cuisines. As you travel east towards Southeast Asia, China and Japan, dairy products become the exception.

If Addictions Recur

If addictions do reappear-in the form of food obsessions and cravings-you're probably indulging too much in the foods that got you into trouble to begin with. The vicious cycle of hyperinsulinism and resultant low blood-sugar levels, combined with the possibility of specific food allergies or intolerances, can create an addictive situation. When you go back to bread, fruit or fermented foods, you may suddenly discover that you must have these foods, that no day or meal feels right without them. Observe yourself carefully. You are engaged in a real battle for self-control as your defenses crumble. You'll notice that the need that develops is genuinely physical. It isn't simply that you know pasta tastes good, and you'd like to have it. No, your body absolutely roars with anxiety and passion for that pasta. You are under its spell. When this happens, you'll know.

Safety Issues

For some people, proteins in cow's milk may trigger allergic reactions. Whey proteins (beta-lactoglobulin and beta-lact-albumin) and casein are the primary proteins that trigger allergic reactions. Symptoms of a milk allergy may include nasal congestion, hives, itching, swelling, wheezing, shortness of breath, nausea, upset It is easy to confuse a milk allergy with another common health concern related to dairy foods lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance (see page 347) also can lead to nausea, vomiting, cramping, and diarrhea. However, if you have lactose intolerance, you usually can eat small amounts of dairy food without problems. In contrast, a tiny amount of a food to which you are allergic can trigger a reaction. If you suspect that you have any food allergies, see your physician. You may then be referred to an allergist for a careful evaluation. This generally includes a medical history, physical examination, and skin or blood testing. If the diagnosis is a milk allergy, it...

Soy and Rice Milk

Nondairy beverages made from soybeans and rice are available for persons who have milk allergies, are lactose-intolerant, or prefer not to eat animal products. Both soy milk and rice milk are similar in look and taste to milk and can be used for many of the same purposes, such as pouring on cereal or making smoothies and other dairy-based beverages.

Nondairy Desserts

These ice cream substitutes contain no milk or lactose, so they provide an alternative for persons who have milk allergies or who are lactose-intolerant. They also contain no cholesterol. But some types, especially the items made from tofu, can have just as many calories as ice cream. Sherbet or sorbet Sherbet's main ingredients are frozen, sweetened fruit juice and water, but it also can contain milk and egg whites. Therefore, sherbet is not a safe alternative to ice cream for persons with milk or egg allergies. Sorbets and ices may be better choices, because they are supposed to be prepared without these ingredients. Their names are not regulated, so always check the label before purchasing. Both contain a liquid base (usually fruit juice), sweetener, and water, but sorbets are less creamy

Laham ajeen

Lactofil Sweden A cultured milk concentrated by removing whey equal to half its volume. It is then enriched with cream to give 5 butterfat and homogenized. lactoglobulin One of the proteins in milk lacto-ovo-vegetarian A person who will not eat poultry, animal flesh or fish, but will eat eggs and milk products lactose The main sugar in milk. It is a disaccharide composed of a glucose and a galactose unit. Less sweet than sucrose. Also called milk sugar lactose intolerance An inability to absorb and metabolize the galactose component of lactose hence the cause of many bowel complaints due to fermentation in the lower gut. Common in persons of Chinese origin. lacto-vegetarian A person who will not eat animal flesh, fish, poultry or eggs but will eat milk and milk products Lactuca sativa Botanical name Lettuce lada Sweden Casserole lada cabai Indonesia Black pepper lada hijau Malaysia Green chilli lada hitam Malaysia Peppercorn lada merah Malaysia Green chilli lade China Spicy


Helpline 01322 619 898 info A national medical charity dealing with allergy, chemical sensitivity, and food intolerance. Anaphylaxis Campaign Tel 01252 546100 Helpline 01252 542029 Offers support and information and campaigns for people with life-threatening allergic reactions. The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN)