CENTER ON BEHAVIORAL MEDICINE

BODY-MIND CONNECTION

INGESTED INTOLERANCES and TOXINS

Ingested Intolerances and Toxins:  Background Information

Ingested Intolerances Menu
Types of Adverse Reactions

Type of Adverse Reactions

Type 1 involves production of specific IgE antibodies in response to food allergens causing release of histamines rapidly giving rise to severe local inflammation. A Type 1 food allergic reaction usually has rapid onset often within minutes. Type 1 allergic reactions involve a rash, hives or even difficulty breathing with a need for urgent medical intervention. Berries, shellfish, eggs or peanuts are some of the common foods that may cause these severe allergies. Type 1allergies will usually be associated with raised levels of food specific IgE in blood. 

Type 2 food sensitivities are rarely life threatening, but may be the cause of considerable discomfort in many chronic diseases. Individual patients can react in different ways. Symptoms vary between individuals and may include fatigue, headaches, depression, or bloating and abdominal discomfort. This type of food allergy is associated with IgG antibodies. Patients produce specific IgG antibodies to certain foods. Many people live with food sensitivity symptoms for many years, never suspecting food as a cause. Unfortunately, food sensitivities are often given low priority when a physician is investigating the cause of a disease. A food sensitivity test can benefit individuals with chronic illnesses that have failed to respond to other treatments over the years. Changing eating patterns based on the test may help in alleviating significant symptoms.

What Is Food Sensitivity?

 Food sensitivities affect a many people and can occur at any time of life. The symptoms of food sensitivity are delayed by many hours or even days and for this reason they are often termed "Hidden Food Allergies". For example, the milk or bread eaten on one day could be the cause of joint pain three days later. The delayed reactions make the detection of the food causing the symptoms very difficult without the use of advanced laboratory testing. 

Hidden food sensitivities are a result of an immune response to foods. Sensitivities may have developed because of poor digestion, dysbiosis, Candidiasis, parasites, intestinal infections, a poorly balanced diet, alcohol consumption, or the effects of drugs and medications.

Each individual has their own unique reaction to food. Antibodies against the food may appear in the blood. Production of Antibodies is one of the ways, in which the body's immune system reacts to substances that adversely affect it. Antibodies are also made against bacteria, viruses and fungi. Antibodies are also known as "Immunoglobulins" or "Igs" for short.

There are many types of immunoglobulin e.g. IgA, IgG, IgE, & IgM. Only IgG and IgA seem to be important in food sensitivities. Blood is tested by measuring food specific IgG. If there is an increase in IgG against a certain food, it means that the body is reacting to that food by making antibodies against it! The technique of ELISA is considered the best method for detecting antibody reactions to foods.

Over time, the antibodies may form immune complexes, which may become deposited in joints and other organs and may be responsible for many of the symptoms that are seen in food sensitivity.

The best course of action is to avoid reactive foods for 2 to 6 months and then only eat them occasionally after being re-introduced. 

Medical conditions in which Food Sensitivities may play a role:

Anxiety (acute or chronic)
Attention Deficit Disorder
Bronchitis
Constipation
Diarrhoea
Headaches
Insomnia
Malabsorption
Sleep disturbances    Arthritis
Bed wetting
Celiac disease
Cystic fibrosis
Fibromyalgia
Hyperactivity Disorder
Irritable bowel syndrome
Migraine
Water retention    Asthma
Bloating
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Depression
Gastritis
Inflammatory bowel disease
Itchy skin
problems
Weight control problems

References

1. Lessof, M.H. and Kemeny, D.M., Non-IgE-mediated reactions to food: how much is allergic? Ann Allergy 1987; 59:90-92.

2. Halpern, G.M. and Scott, J.R., Non-IgE antibody mediated mechanisms in food allergy. Ann Allergy 1987; 58:14-27.

3. Pastorella, E.A., Pravettoni, V., Bigi, A., et al. IgE-mediated food allergy. Ann Allergy 1987; 59:82-89.

4. Lee, T.H., The immunopathogenesis and clinical management of food hypersensitivity. Compr. Ther. 1985; 11(6):38-45.

5. Anderson, J.A., Non-immunologically mediated food sensitivity. Nutri. Rev. 1984; 42(3):109-116.

6. Anderson, J.A., Bahna, S., Buckley, J., et al. Adverse reactions to foods. American Academy of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, United States Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health. Publication n. 84-2442.

7. Bock, S.A., The natural history of food sensitivity. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. 1982; 69:173.

8. Brostoff, J., Challacombe, S.J. (eds.) Food Allergy: Clinics in Immunology and Allergy. vol. 2 London, W.B. Saunders, 1982.

9. Lessof, M.H., Wraith, D.G., Merett, T.G., et al. Food allergy and intolerance in 100 patients local and systemic effects. Q.J. Med. 1980; 195:259-271.

10. Paganelli, R., Quinti, I., D'offizi, P., et al. Immune complexes in food allergy: a critical reappraisal. Ann Allergy 1987; 59:157-161.

11. Kniker, W.T., Immunologically mediated reactions to food: state of the art. Ann Allergy 1987; 59:60-70.

12. Salkie, M.L., Role of Clinical Laboratory in Allergy Testing. Clin. Biochem. 1994; 27:343-355.

13. Emanuel, I.A., A comparison of in-vitro allergy diagnostic assays. Ear Nose Throat J. 1990; 69:27-41.

14. Bahna, S.L., Diagnostic tests for food allergy. Clin. Rev. Allergy 1988; 6:259-283.

15. Ownby, D.R., Allergy Testing: In vivo versus in vitro. Pediatr. Clin. N.A. 1988; 35:995-1009.

16. Bjorksten, B. New diagnostic methods in food allergy. Ann Allergy 1987; 59:150-152.

17. Perelmutter, L., and Emanuel, I., Assessment of in vitro IgE testing to diagnose allergic disease. Ann Allergy 1985; 55:762-6.

18. Berry, J.B., and Brighton, W.D. Familial human short term sensitizing (IgG S-TS) antibody. Clin Allergy 1977; 7:401-406.

19. Parish, W.E., Short term anaphylactic IgG antibodies in human sera. Lancet 1970; ii:591-2.

20. Stanworth, D.R., Immunochemical aspects of human IgG4. Clin. Rev. Allergy 1983; 1:183-95.

21. Brighton, W.D., Frequency of occurrence of IgG (S-TS). Clin. Allergy 1980; 10:97-100.

22. Wintroub, B.U., and Soter, N.A., Biology of the mast cell and its role in cutaneous inflammation. Springer Semin. Immunopathol. 1981; 4:55.

23. Perelmutter, L. IgG4: Non-IgE mediated atopic disease. Ann Allergy 1984; 52:648.

24. Sampson, H.A., and Albergo, R., Comparison of result of skin tests, RAST and double blind, placebo controlled food challenges in children with atopic dermatitis. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. 1984; 74:26.

25. Sampson, H.A., Role of immediate food hypersensitivity in the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis. J. Allergy Clin. Immun. 1983; 71:473-80.

26. Bock, S.A., Lee, W.Y., Remigio, L.K., et al. Studies of hypersensitivity reactions to foods in infants and children. J. Allergy Clin. Immun. 1978; 62:327.

27. Bock, S.A., Lee, W.Y., Remigio, L.K., et al. Appraisal of skin tests with food extracts for diagnosis of food hypersensitivity. Clin. Allergy 1978; 8:559.

28. Nakagawa, T., The role of IgG subclass antibodies in the clinical response to immunotherapy in allergic disease. Clin Exp. Allergy 1991; 21:289-96.

29. Measurement of Specific and Nonspecific IgG4 levels as Diagnostic and Prognostic Tests for Clinical Allergy. Position Statement 28, 1996 America Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology.