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Hi. I’m Dr. Emily Parke with your Health Minute, and today I’d like to talk about food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances.

Food Allergies

Food allergies are the body’s immediate immune system response to something. This is the IGE part of the immune system, immunoglobulin E. These are usually immediate reactions, so when you eat something, for example, you might get a symptom right away like stomach pain. You might get heartburn right away. You might get abdominal bloating right away or diarrhea, have to run to the bathroom right away. Those are usually things that are mediated by the immediate immune system’s response. Not 100% of the time, and I’ll get to that. There’s something other things like histamine intolerance, as for example, that can cause immediate symptoms after food consumption as well.

Food Sensitivities

But, 65% or more of all food sensitivities are not allergy. They are a different part of the immune system. So, this could be IgG, IgA, the lymphocyte system, some other part of the immune system that’s creating your response to the food. This is important because it can also take up to three days for the body’s immune system to create a response after it’s seen the food. Actually in some cases, three to four days. And so, this is what makes it really difficult to figure out what food sensitivities are because if you’re having a symptom of something today, it’s very difficult to figure out was it something you ate earlier that day, the day before, the day before that, that’s very hard to figure out.

Food Intolerances

Then there are food intolerances, and intolerances are things like lactose intolerance for example. So, lactose intolerance is not the immune system responding. What it is, is it is a digestive enzyme deficiency. You don’t have enough of the lactase enzyme to breakdown lactose, thus it causes very commonly abdominal bloating, gas, cramping, and diarrhea because of lack of enzyme to breakdown that lactose that you just consumed.

So, those are the main categories of food responses. So, we’re talking about food allergies, food sensitivities, and food intolerances, and I also mentioned in there, things like histamine intolerances. There are also other ways that the body can respond to foods, that we’ll get into in future Health Minutes. For example, like the body’s response to oxalates, is another one that can cause symptoms.

This is Dr. Emily Parke with your Health Minute for today.



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