Study: Trends in Food Allergy Research by JUNKO SHIMADA (Life Science and Medical Research Unit)
This week is “National Healthy Eating Week” and I wanted to share with all of you some important insights related to food allergy research. A study conducted by Junko Shimada at the Life Science and Medical Research Unit, regarding important trends in food allergies suggests that the incidence of allergic diseases such as food allergy, atopic dermatitis, bronchial asthma and cedar pollenosis continues to increase in developed countries such as the United States. In particular, food allergy, which is often developed during infancy, and can affect a child’s growth or trigger an “allergic march,” or in other words, the progressive development of multiple allergies.
Currently, it is estimated that over 15 million Americans suffer from food allergies and food sensitivity. Data has also shown that 1 in 13 children are affected by at least 1 food allergy in their lifetime. Now you may be wondering what exactly is a food allergy? Food allergy is an exaggerated immune response induced by the misrecognition of orally ingested food as a foreign substance. Some of the most common food allergies include but are not limited to: eggs, milk, wheat, beans, buckwheat, fruit, seafood and meat. The development of food allergy involves both genetic and environmental factors such as pollution, food contamination, and chemical preservatives added to the different food products. Food allergies cause a hypersensitive reaction that damages our various systems, with symptoms that can include diarrhea, abdominal pain, hives and eczema. Severe cases of food allergy can induce anaphylactic shock, which may lead to death. The best way to stay safe and healthy is to become aware of potential existing allergies and food sensitivities by getting tested! If you would like to learn more information regarding this topic or if you’d like to get tested you can call our office at Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center and our team we’ll be happy to help you schedule an appointment.
Filed under Allergies, Arthritis, Digestion, Eczema, epigenetic, fatigue, Food allergy, headaches, IBD, IBS, Leaky gut syndrome, Weight Loss
Eczema causes an itchy and sometimes painful rash, blisters, and dry, rough skin. It is typically a chronic problem with times of improvement followed by worsening. Typical parts of the body are involved (e.g. arms, legs, hands, face) and there is usually a family history of allergy. One of the most common triggers that is often neglected = food allergens.
There’s a selection from the National Eczema Association:
I have been an eczema sufferer since age 17, and I am now 44. The eczema started on the inner elbows of my arms. Then my hands were affected; I would get these very small blisters that intensely itched, and then my fingers would swell and weep. In a Scratch Pad letter, a gentleman suggested going on an elimination diet. This meant eating nothing but chicken, broccoli, and cauliflower for about a week, then adding certain foods back in to the diet to see what was causing the itch. This was a very difficult thing to do! But after three days I noticed the itching on my hands was gone. After thinking the problem was wheat for a while, I finally pinned it down to tomatoes/ tomato sauce, and soda pop/coffee. Pinpointing a food was difficult since my itching usually started the morning after eating an offending agent. A food diary can be helpful. Good luck on your journeys.
Food allergens can be identified via eliminating suspected foods and reintroducing foods to see if there are notable symptoms. Another option of identifying food allergens is food allergy blood test. Blood test can show if food allergens create an immediate or a delayed response. For more information on Food allergy testing, please contact Dr. Lee at 206-3195322 or firstname.lastname@example.org, Seattle Naturopathic Center.
A 28 year-old female came into the clinic with a chief complaint of eczema. The onset of her eczema was 2 months ago. Her eczema was covering more than 50% of her body, including her scalp, face, ears, back, torso, arms and legs. Her eczema was dry, scaly, red, and can be weepy from scratching. She also reported that the itching was affecting her quality of life. She has been seen by several dermatologists and was prescribed with hydrocortisone topically and cortisone internally. The prescriptions did not relieve her symptoms. She has had eczema in the past but nothing to such severity. With a thorough history intake, it was found that started a new job at a bakery 2 months ago. Her diet is a typical American diet, including pizza, pasta, packaged foods, sodas.
The treatment plan was as follow:
- Elimination of wheat and dairy for 1 month.
- To decrease inflammation: fish oil starting with 1g
- Probiotics to normalize gut function
A follow up call was made 10 days after the visit. The patient reported eczema was at least 75% resolved. She reported having to cheat on wheat three times.
One of Naturopathic medicine principles is to “treat the root cause”. By eliminating cause of the eczema, the body is allowed to return to its normal state. The prescription medications did not alleviate her eczema because it was an attempt to cover her symptoms but not getting to the root of it.