Food Allergies & Food Intolerance

Food Allergies & Food Intolerance

Food Allergies & Food Intolerance
Food allergies occur when the body attacks a food it mistakes as harmful, causing symptoms such as nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, shortness of breath or hives. With food intolerance, the digestive system alone rejects the food, finding it difficult to digest properly. Foods such as peanuts, shellfish, eggs, soy or wheat are the most common type of food allergens.

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    Your doctor may start by asking you questions about your soy allergy reactions to determine whether or not you're allergic. The doctor will also likely perform one or two allergy tests. In a skin test, the doctor applies some soy to your skin and then watches to determine whether or not you develop a rash. A blood test measures levels of certain antibodies in your blood. Based on the test results, the doctor will determine the right treatment for your condition.

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    Fructose intolerance limits your body's ability to use sugar to create energy. As a result, you can suffer from low blood sugar and experience feelings of irritability and sweating. You may also have vomiting or diarrhea. Without treatment, people with fructose intolerance can risk liver damage, coma, and death.

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    A Pediatrics, answered on behalf of

    Most peanut allergies are first suspected after a person eats peanuts and has an allergic reaction. After treating the immediate symptoms, your doctor may draw blood and look for blood evidence of a peanut allergy. If the blood test is negative, you should see an allergist to find out what caused your reaction.

    If you just happen to do a blood test for food allergies and see a peanut allergy without having symptoms previously, more testing needs to done. Your doctor will likely send you to an allergist for a skin prick test. The skin prick test gives the best information. 

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    Wheat allergies cause the body to react negatively toward wheat protein. When an individual eats wheat products the immune system creates antibodies that attack those wheat proteins. Those antibodies cause an allergic reaction in the body that can range from slight to severe. The symptoms of an allergic reaction can affect the mouth, throat, digestive system, and eyes, causing rashes, irritation, and swelling.

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    It's not really known what makes some people's immune systems respond negatively to soy, so it can't really be prevented. Also, if you have a soy allergy, you can't make the allergy go away. However, you can prevent symptoms caused by allergic reactions. The best way to do this is by avoiding soy products. Let people know that you're allergic to soy so they won't accidentally serve you soy, and carefully inspect food labels. If you know you have a severe soy allergy, carry medications such as antihistamines or epinephrine injectors to prevent life-threatening situations.

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    A Allergy & Immunology, answered on behalf of
    The following are foods you should not eat (contain soy) if you have a soy allergy:

    • Cocoa mixes that contain soy
    • Ovaltine
    • Powdered drink mixes with soy
    • Nondairy creamers
    • High protein powder mixes with soy
    Milk and dairy:
    • Tofu
    • Cheese with soy
    • Soy-based milks, plain or flavored
    • Soy infant formulas
    • Soy yogurt
    Meats and other proteins:
    • Baby food meats or combination dinners with soy
    • Breaded or self-basting meats, fish, and poultry with soy
    • Cold cuts or frankfurters with soy
    • Imitation bacon bits
    • Prepared dinners with soy
    • Vegetarian burgers and sausages
    • Tofu
    • Soy protein isolate
    • Canned or frozen fruits processed with soy
    • Any breaded, canned or frozen vegetables with soy
    • Potatoes, instant, with soy
    • Soy beans, edamame
    Breads, cereals and pasta:
    • Bread and rolls with soy
    • Cold or hot cereals with soy
    • Crackers made with soy
    • Pancake and waffle mixes made with soy
    • Pasta, macaroni, noodles and spaghetti prepared with soy
    • Soy flour, meal, grits, or fiber
    • Zwieback
    • Soups made or prepared using soy (Examples: Campbell's cream of celery and cream of chicken contain soy protein isolates)
    • Butter or margarine with soy
    • Gravy mixes with soy
    • Imitation sour cream
    • Non-dairy creamers or powdered coffee cream with soy protein
    • Oils with soy (may be ok in some people)
    • Peanut butter with soy
    • Salad dressings with soy
    • Vegetable shortenings with soy
    Desserts and sweets:
    • Cakes or cookies with soy
    • Candy (even chocolate) with soy
    • Ice cream with soy
    • Pretzels and chips with soy
    • Pudding mixes containing soy
    • Tofutti
    • Bac-os bacon-flavored chips with soy
    • McCormick salad toppings with textured soy flour, soy nuts, or hydrolyzed vegetable protein
    • Soy sauce (may be okay)
    • shoyu, tamari, soya
    • Spaghetti sauces with soy
    • Steak sauce with soy
    • Stir-fry sauce with soy
    • Worcestershire sauce containing soy
    • Miso
    • Tempeh
    • Natto
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    Your doctor may want to perform a non-invasive breath test to diagnose fructose malabsorption, but it does not identify fructose intolerance effectively. Nor can a breath test identify the kind of fructose intolerance that is inherited. To identify hereditary fructose intolerance, your doctor will perform a liver biopsy, a fructose tolerance test, or a DNA test.

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    There are a variety of tests and procedures a doctor can use to diagnose wheat allergies. Doctors may have you make a food diary detailing what you eat and how you react to it, or they may do a skin test to see how you react to various allergens. Sometimes doctors at a hospital will watch and monitor you while you try various foods and see how your body reacts. Your doctor may also just ask you to stop eating foods that seem to be giving you trouble and see if that solves the problem, or do a blood test to look for the proper antibodies.
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    A , Family Medicine, answered
    How is fructose intolerance diagnosed?
    Though there is a test, an elimination diet is the best way to diagnose fructose intolerance. In this video, integrative medicine expert Aviva Romm, MD, discusses which main culprits to eliminate, and the fructose-heavy foods to be most aware of.
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    Be sure to discuss a variety of topics with your doctor, including symptoms, family history of allergies and any medications you are taking. Your doctor may ask if certain foods seem to trigger symptoms, how much was eaten, and how quickly after a meal those symptoms appear. Since appointments are often short, write down any questions you may have for the doctor so that you can leave with all the information you need. Do not hesitate to ask questions of the doctor, particularly if you are confused or do not understand something. Be aware that your doctor may recommend more testing, including blood tests or skin-prick allergen tests.