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Friday, March 21, 2008

FOOD ALLERGIES – PART I of III

FOOD ALLERGIES – PART I of III

New Concepts with Special Reference to Behavior Problems, Hyperactivity,
Learning Disabilities and Cerebral Allergies

INTRODUCTION

Today I wish to discuss how dietary allergies and sensitivities relate as causative factors in many dis-ease states. It will not deal with allergies and sensitivities to things such as inhalant allergens (animal dander and pollens), toxins (smoke, odors, fumes), and contact-type irritants (poison ivy and oak), although many of these substances may cause symptoms similar to those caused by foods.

TABLE I

TYPES OF SENSITIVITIES

1. Antibody –mediated: immediate-type reaction, mediated through Ig E class of antibodies; reaction occurring usually within one to four hours after challenge; true allergy by definition; conventional allergy test (RAST, cytotoxic) positive; skin tests unreliable; direct challenge test positive.
2. Cell-mediated: delayed-type reaction, mediated through mononuclear lymphoid cells; reaction occurring 24 to 48 hours after challenge; may be called delayed allergy; conventional allergy test negative, except for skin tests which some now believe are useful; direct challenge test positive.
3. Non-antibody, non-cell-mediated; sensitivity not falling in types 1 and 2; can be immediate or delayed; conventional allergy tests negative; direct challenge test positive. Subtypes include:
· Toxic
Example: sensitivity to nightshade solanine toxin.
· Enzyme-lacking
Examples: lactose intolerance; “sloppy” enzyme in Methyl Malonic Aciduria and in a sub-segment of schizophrenic population deficient in serotonin (a brain chemical mediator)
· Metabolic:
Example: sensitivity to sugar and caffeine


Many conventionally trained allergists may take issue with our concepts and approach. There are, however, many New Age avant-garde allergists and nutritionists, such as Doris J. Rapp, M.D. (Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Buffalo) and Dr. Jeffrey Bland (University of Puget Sound in Tacoma) who have had the courage to write of their clinical experience even in the face of criticism from some of their peers. What makes these progressive allergists correct is the fact that their approach has solved many clinical problems not solved by previously held concepts.

What I am discussing today will be based upon the clinical and laboratory experience of the author, and other physicians and allergists.

ALLERGY vs. SENSITIVITY

Before going on, we must first clarify the meaning of the two terms, allergy and sensitivity.

Sensitivity is a general term encompassing reactions which are classified as true immediate-type allergy (cell-meditated), and the non-antibody, non-cell-mediated sensitivities which include the toxic, enzyme-lacking, and metabolic sensitivities. Table I compares these types of sensitivities.

When referring to sensitivity to food such as chocolate, corn or milk, we would best call these “allergies” to chocolate, corn, or milk keeping in mind the allergy might be immediate or delayed.

When referring to symptoms related to foods such as sugar, caffeine, or the lactose sugar in milk, we would best call these sugar and caffeine sensitivities, or lactose intolerance.

HOW ALLERGY AND SENSITIVITY AFFECT VARIOUS DIS-EASE CONDITIONS

To appreciate how allergy and sensitivity may result in various dis-ease states, it would be worthwhile to appreciate what occurs in an allergic sensitivity reaction.

When an allergen (a substance foreign to the body) is introduced into the system, the body responds, by developing antibodies -- special proteins, which combine with allergens to neutralize and eliminate them from the body -- or lymphoid cells, which essentially do the same things. Some antibodies are of the good type, and others are not so good. When these latter bad type antibodies or cells react with foreign antigens, a battle occurs at various sites in the body.

Symptoms and dis-ease conditions vary with the individual, depending upon (1) where the antigen/antibody or antigen/lymphoid cell battle is occurring, that is, depending upon what might be the shock organ for that child or adult, and (2) the degree with which the reaction occurs.

Table II lists the many “Possible Symptoms of Allergy” as these relate to the shock organ and whether the symptoms are acute or chronic. We must keep in mind that acute reactions tend to occur within the first four hours after ingestion of a food or contact with an allergen. Most likely these would tend to represent antibody-mediated true allergy. The chronic symptoms may be true allergy, but they may also represent cell-mediated delayed allergy, which we are now just beginning to understand.

TABLE II

POSSIBLE SYMPTOMS OF ALLERGY AND SENSITIVITY


1. Organ Involvement (Symptoms)
Skin acute: itching, rash, hives, edema, excessive perspiration
chronic: eczema, psoriasis, acne

Gastro/ intestinal tract acute: bellyaches, nausea, vomiting, upset
stomach, bloating, bad breath, gassy stomach, diarrhea,
constispation
chronic: colitis, Crohn’s disease

Kidney and acute: itching and burning on urination, need to rush to
bladder urinate, wetting pants in daytime or in bed.
chronic: possibly nephrotoxic hypertension

Respiratory acute: wheezing, asthma, year-round stuffiness, watery
Tract nose, sneezing, nose-rubbing, increased
production of mucus resulting in increased risk
of upper and lower respiratory infections
chronic: emphysema

Ear acute: ringing in ears, dizziness
chronic: repeated formation of fluid behind eardrums and
chronic middle ear infections

Joints acute: general aches and pains
chronic: arthritis

Muscles acute: aches in the back, neck and other muscles,
“growing pains”, or pain and aches unrelated to
exercise.

Lymphatic acute: swelling of lymph nodes of neck.
System and
Glands chronic: edema of legs.

Face acute: pale, dark eye circle, puffiness below eyes
chronic: acne

Eyes acute: red and itchy eyes
chronic: glaucoma

Head and acute and chronic: head-aches, sinusitis
Sinuses

Systemic acute: low grade fever, hypertension, hypoglycemia
Symptoms

Brain acute: see Cerebral Allergy (Part B)



2. Cerebral Allergy (Symptoms)
· Allergic-Tension-Fatigue Syndrome (Nervous System Symptoms). Hyperactive, wild, unrestrained, delinquency. Talkative (explosive, stuttering, constant). Dyslexia and other reading problems. Inattentive disruptive, impulsive. Short attention span, learning disabilities, difficulty concentrating, poor memory. Restless legs, finger tapping, Clumsiness, incoordination, tremor. Insomnia, nightmares, inability to fall asleep. Nervous, irritable, upset, short-tempered, anger, fear. High strung, excitable, agitated, emotional instability. Moody, tired, weak, weary, exhausted, listless, depressed. Easily moved to tears, easily hurt. Highly sensitive to odor, light, sound, pain and cold.
· Other symptoms
Hallucinations
Manic-depressive states
Childhood autism
Schizophrenia
Convulsions


When the shock organ is the skin, one might experience such symptoms and conditions as itching, rash, hives, acne, eczema, and psoriasis.

When the battle occurs in the lungs, one might experience coughing, wheezing, asthma, increased production of mucus resulting in increased risk of upper and lower respiratory infections. One of the great food culprits causing respiratory symptoms is milk (and milk products) which tend to cause the body to produce mucus. In fact, we take infants off milk when they develop upper respiratory infections because infants have a very small airway and are unable to cough adequately to clear the throat. A small amount of mucus may be the life threatening.

Milk and milk products also produce mucus in the adult. Because the adult has a much larger airway and is able to cough well, this situation does not become a matter of life and death. Instead, the adult experiences a clogged and stuffy nose, sinus problems, and productive cough. All of these contribute to significant morbidity and sickness in the adult.

When the shock organ is the stomach or intestines, the individual might complain of abdominal pain, colic, vomiting, or diarrhea.

When the battle occurs in areas of the kidney and bladder, burning or urination, increased frequency, or bedwetting may result. Other symptoms are listed in Table II.


PART II OF III, TOMORROW

nicola michael (c. Tauraso, M.D.)
Director, Tauraso Medical Clinic
Web site: www.drtauraso.com
Blog site: http://www.drtauraso.com/blog/index.htm
Email: drtauraso@drtauraso.com


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