IS FOOD ALLERGIES OR SENSTIVITIES AT THE ROOT OF YOUR ECZEMA?

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Have you ever wondered why all the topical creams and ointments haven’t worked on your skin? It may be because you are treating a symptom of an internal imbalance. The red inflamed itchy skin could be an external reflection of an internal issue – food allergies or sensitivities.

A true food allergies is associated with an immediate reaction to a food. Symptoms, such as, reactions of swelling, itchy throat and redness causing immediate diarrhea, abdominal cramping, itchy throat or mouth can result and even cause a serious medical emergency, such as, respiratory distress.

Not as potentially serious but bothersome nonetheless, food sensitivities can cause a multitude of symptoms including fatigue, joint pain, digestive disturbances, chronic ear infections and red irritated skin. Food sensitivities are characterized by a more gradual insidious inflammation and reaction to a food that can occur up to 3 days after the initial exposure to that food which makes it hard to determine the offending food. Could the inflammation flaring up your eczema be caused by a food sensitivity? How can you tell the difference? First you much understand the difference between a food allergy and a food sensitivity.

Food Allergies

A true food allergy involves an immediate reaction from food which signals the body to produce histamine. The body sees the food as a foreign and harmful substance. It makes specific antibodies, called IgE antibodies which, ‘fight off’ the allergens.

Symptoms caused by an allergic reaction to food can range from skin reactions: which include itching and rashes or hives, swelling, digestive symptoms, vomiting, stomach ache, diarrhea.  Respiratory symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, asthma, congested or runny nose. In some cases this can trigger a reaction that requires prompt and urgent medical attention know as anaphylaxis which can include difficulty breathing, swallowing and is considered a medical emergency.

Food Allergy Key Points

  • Food allergy involves the body’s immune system and is a reaction to a specific food or foods
  • Symptoms can be mild or severe and can involve the skin, gut, breathing or the whole body circulation
  • IgE food allergies can be testing using a skin test or blood test
  • Reactions are often to trace amounts so complete exclusion is essential
  • Excluding the food can result keep the person free from any symptoms

Food Sensitivities/Intolerance

A food intolerance, on the other hand, results in a delayed IgG reaction that, unlike a food allergy where symptoms occur rapidly, can take one to three days to occur. Therefore, it is sometimes difficult to determine what food or foods may be causing your symptoms. It might require working with a professional to determine what foods are the cause with a blood test. Most traditional food allergy testing involves testing IgE Antibodies to foods but rarely test IgG Antibodies associated with food sensitives. This slow and insidious reactions day after day create inflammation that can affect your body by promoting skin irritation, redness and dryness as in the case with eczema or a multitude of other symptoms.

Food intolerances are not associated with life threatening medical emergencies but the chronic inflammation cause by food sensitivities can create a significant impact on your life that may affect how you look and feel.

Food Sensitivity Key Points

  • Reactions are delayed and symptoms and can occur hours to days after exposure
  • A variety of physical symptoms can be the result of food sensitivities including but not limited to: migraines, bloating, diarrhea, fatigue, asthma, skin rashes, joint pain and mood changes
  • Reactions can occur after ingesting small amounts of a culprit food but are usually triggered by larger amounts.
  • Common foods associated with food sensitives are: Dairy, Eggs, Gluten (Protein in Wheat, Rye, Oats and Barley), Sugar, Soy, Shellfish, Foods High in Salicylate, Food Dyes, Preservatives, Pesticides and GMO’s (Genetically Modified Foods)

Food sensitivities, are highly correlated with the chronic insidious inflammation more associated with skin conditions, such as, eczema. Many times you go to the doctor and your blood test is normal for food allergies. However, if you didn’t test IgG antibodies from foods you have missed a huge portion of the immune system that may be reacting to the foods in your diet. When no topical lotion, ointment or serum works for our skin, it is time to think food sensitivities. It may be the cause of your chronic condition.

 

References:

https://www.allergyuk.org/food-intolerance/allergy-or-intolerance

http://www.healthline.com/health/allergies/food-allergy-sensitivity-difference#FoodSensitivities2

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