This is a comment frequently spoken (or thought) by patients and non-patients alike. You probably assume that it would be obvious if you had a food allergy.
Or you may not have had symptoms until more recently, and you’ve been eating the same kinds of foods all of your life. So how can you possibly have an allergy to one of those foods now?
People make many assumptions about food allergies and intolerances. One of the most common assumptions is that you’ll always have symptoms, or that your symptoms will always be the same. Neither is true. Symptoms can change significantly over time, and they can come and go. Symptoms can also begin to show up at any time in life. This is just as true for celiac disease (a form of gluten intolerance) as it is for most other food allergies and intolerances.
Food allergies and intolerances may go unnoticed for years or even decades. But eventually they tend to catch up with you. Your overall health may be such that you can keep an allergy at bay for a long time. But it is a stress on your body, and your body can only handle so many factors that negatively affect you. Your immune response to the food tends to wear you down over time, finally manifesting itself as a symptom that will be readily apparent to the allergy sufferer.
Allergies and intolerances often only become apparent after a major life episode such as an illness, surgery, or an extremely stressful life event. This is a common theme in patients. They were fine until…. After that, things were never the same. The event didn’t create the allergy, but it finally helped to bring it out.
One of the fascinating things about allergies is the multitude of symptoms that they can produce. These range from asthma and arthritis to eczema and digestive problems to chronic fatigue and autoimmune disorders. There are literally hundreds of different symptoms that can be triggered by an allergy or intolerance to a food. Therefore it’s impossible for a healthcare provider or anyone else for that matter to diagnose a food allergy or intolerance based on symptoms alone.
You won’t find allergies or intolerances if you don’t look for them. And most healthcare providers aren’t thinking about them as the cause of common chronic health problems. Even your allergist isn’t thinking this way. Allergists focus primarily on asthma, hives, anaphylaxis and environmental allergies. They are no more likely to find gluten intolerance than they are to find most food allergies and intolerances that trigger chronic health problems. So you’ll have to look for an expert in this area.
Don’t give up looking for the cause of your problem. You may be surprised to learn that the solution is as close to you as the food on your plate.
MOST COMMON FOOD ALLERGENS
Milk - Wheat - Soy - Eggs - Peanuts & Tree nuts - Fish & Shellfish
Article Courtesy: Dr. Stephen Wangen
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