CH06 Food Allergy & Intolerances
Food allergy is an abnormal response to a certain food by the antibody IgE. They are a response of your immune system
8 most common food allergens
How does an allergy trigger?
- Abdominal pain
- Shortness of Breath
It is a severe and potentially life-threatening reaction to a trigger such as an allergy.
Along with other allergy symptoms, anaphylaxis leads to-
- Fast heartbeat
- Breathing difficulty &
- Loss of consciousness etc.
Anaphylaxis requires immediate medical treatment, including a prompt injection of epinephrine. Risk of anaphylaxis increases with the existing condition of allergies, asthma and prior episode of anaphylactic episode.
Tips to manage food allergy
- Read the ingredient list on food labels carefully. Look for words such as - ‘allergen information’, ‘contains’ and ‘traces of’
- Avoid cross contamination by utilising different utensils during cooking and preparation
- Look out for the derivatives of allergens.
- While eating out, ask specifically if the allergen is added or utilised in the kitchen. Inform the authorities and request for a different utensil to be used for cooking.
- Look out for substitutes to substantiate the properties and nutritive benefit of the allergens.
Food intolerances are digestive system disturbances caused by a food that may irritate your digestive system of foods that you are unable to digest or breakdown.
1. LACTOSE INTOLERANCE
What is Lactose?
Lactose is milk sugar which is digested by an enzyme called beta glucosidase lactase. Lactose intolerance is developed when the activity of this enzyme decreases, which results in poor tolerance of milk and milk products.
- Flatulence etc.
Did You Know?
Some conditions such as diarrhoea and use of antibiotics may also render a person lactose intolerance temporarily.
How would you know if you have lactose intolerance?
The common test to diagnose lactose intolerance is lactose breath hydrogen test. The second most common test is a blood test where, failure to raise blood glucose above a certain level may suggests lactose maldigestion.
Tips to manage lactose intolerance
- Consume dairy foods with meals rather than in between
- Curd and buttermilk may be consumed without discomfort
- Consume lactose free milk, ice cream and cheese if available
- Carefully read the label on the food products before consumption. Look out for words such as 'milk powder', 'lactose' and 'lactose monohydrate'.
2. GLUTEN INTOLERANCE
What is gluten? It is a complex protein present in the outer layer of some grains, especially wheat. Some of the foods that contain gluten are whole wheat, barley, rye, oats etc.
Gluten intolerance is developed as a reaction to the gluten proteins present in wheat, oats, rye or barley.
- Abdominal Pain
- Headache, etc.
How would you know if you have glutose intolerance?
A medical professional would ask you to remove gluten related foods from daily diet to test the symptoms, and if the symptoms are not similar to wheat allergy and celiac disease, they may clinically diagnose to rule them out.
Tips to manage Gluten Intolerance
- Avoid food products such as bread, biscuits, cookies, pasta etc., made from wheat, oats, rye or barley.
- Include foods that are made from rice, corn, soya bean, millets etc.
- Fruits & vegetables can be consumed without worry.
- Read labels of packaged foods and look out for words that say ‘May contain traces of wheat’, ‘Whole wheat’ etc. Look for allergen information before purchase or consumption.
- Srilakshmi, B. (2002). Dietetics (Revised. New age international publication).
- Food Allergy- American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
- Food Allergy- NHS
- Food Intolerance- NHS
- Food Allergy- American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology