In a bowl with the enemy

Have you ever had rashes on your skin after eating? Do you sometimes experience diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, or breathing difficulties? These are just a few of the many symptoms of a food allergy.
In a bowl with the enemy

Allergy or intolerance?

We often tend to lump food allergy and intolerance together, even though they are two different things. The most important difference is that an allergy is a hypersensitivity, i.e. an immune reaction, which involves the production of antibodies, and an intolerance is a disturbance in the digestion and absorption of a food, which can even lead to serious complaints. The most common form of intolerance is lactose sensitivity, when the body is unable to break down milk sugar due to a lack of enzymes, so it remains unchanged in the intestine and is fermented by the bacteria there. An allergic reaction often occurs immediately, but depending on the underlying cause and history, it can occur hours later. The signs of intolerance are usually noticed only later, even days later. It also depends on the quality and quantity of the triggering factor. Because of this, we often don't even know what is causing the symptoms.


Allergy symptoms and triggers

The vast majority of food allergies are caused by large molecules (e.g. proteins). The most common allergy-causing foods are: eggs, fish, crustaceans, oily seeds (such as walnuts, peanuts, and walnuts), soy, strawberries, milk protein, raspberries, wheat, soybeans.

Since the allergic reaction involves the production of various biologically active substances (antibodies, histamine, etc.), the observed reaction can be diverse. Hives, numbness of the mouth, itching of the mouth may occur; face; swelling of the tongue and throat, breathing difficulties, flatulence, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fainting, eczema. In the most serious case, the so-called anaphylactic shock can also develop, which, if not treated in time, can even be fatal.

What we often hear about:

  • gluten sensitivity (gluten sensitivity, celiac disease): a provoked autoimmune disease that develops in genetically predisposed individuals as a result of gluten, the protein of cereals. It causes varying degrees of damage to the villi of the small intestine and consequent malabsorption. In its classic form, it starts in early childhood, when we start mixed feeding. It has several forms, which is why it often only becomes apparent in adulthood or remains unrecognized. More recently, it has become known that gluten sensitivity also has a form called food intolerance, which does not involve hair loss, but causes complaints immediately after eating the cereal. This is non-coeliac celiac disease. The good news is that with a proper diet, the patient becomes symptom-free in both forms, and in most cases, the hair loss in the classic form also disappears.
  • lactose sensitivity : in this case, due to the lack of the lactase enzyme or its malfunctioning, the body cannot process milk sugar. In our country, people approx. 30% of them are lactase deficient, which does not necessarily mean that they cannot consume lactose. The symptoms largely depend on the amount ingested. It should be mentioned that lactase is a very sensitive enzyme, so a temporary deficiency develops as a result of various damaging factors. Lactose sensitivity can develop in the case of various infections, which is temporary and the body reproduces the enzyme in a few weeks. The most typical symptoms of lactose intolerance are abdominal bloating, increased gas production and emptying, diarrhea, abdominal cramps.
  • histamine intolerance : histamine is produced by our body. There are certain foods that increase the release of histamine. These include chocolate, oily seeds, shellfish, egg whites, alcohol, oily fish, bananas, pineapples, strawberries, tomatoes, etc. There are individuals who are highly sensitive to histamine, in whom the breakdown of the substance is not perfect. They may experience various symptoms: hives, headache, itching, vomiting, abdominal pain.

It's worth taking inconveniences seriously!

Many people tend not to take their problems seriously. It's worth taking care of yourself, because there can be a problem behind even a small inconvenience that needs to be known and possibly treated. A thorough discussion and possibly some tests can improve your quality of life. Take care of yourself too!