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Healthy Moms Dictionary- Multiple Food Protein Intolerance

Posted Dec 04 2008 11:40pm
What is Multiple Food Protein Intolerance?

Some people get food protein intolerance and food allergies confused. This article is meant to end the confusion and explain the differences between the two and what you can do if you or your child has multiple food intolerance.

Food intolerance or food sensitivity is a slow negative reaction to a food (unlike the fast allergy reaction) that is often not directly related to the immune system. It can take up to 48 hours or more for a food intolerance reaction to occur. When a person is in regular contact with a problem food or chemical the symptoms can appear to be a chronic condition rather than a reaction to food. Multiple food intolerance is often caused by the absence of specific chemicals or enzymes needed to digest a food substance, such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats and additives. The immune system does not react to the food but to the toxic byproducts of undigested food. Normal allergy testing (eg skin pricks) therefore would produce negative results.

Multiple food intolerance is most common in children, because they consume a higher dose per weight of food chemicals than adults. But, food intolerance is also very common in women of child-bearing age, due to hormonal influences. Senior citizens can be vulnerable as well. Aging livers and kidneys have a harder time excreting chemicals from the body. People who have been exposed pharmaceutical drugs, toxic chemicals or illness are also more likely to develop food intolerance.

Food intolerance reactions are dose-related. Some people are more sensitive than others and will react to smaller doses while others are less sensitive and will only react to larger doses of the problem food or chemical. Unfortunately there is no method of testing for food intolerance. If you believe that you or a family member has multiple food intolerance the best way to determine which foods you are sensitive to is by following an elimination diet.

Children with multiple food intolerance usually have symptoms of colic, gastroesphageal reflux and esophagitis or atopic dermatitis (eczema). Symptoms of food intolerance vary greatly, and can be mistaken for the symptoms of a food allergy. These symptoms include achienes (Fibromyalgia), gas, intermittent diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, skin rashes, migraine headaches, and an unproductive cough.

A deficiency in digestive enzymes can also cause some types of food intolerances. Lactose intolerance is a result of the body not producing enough lactate used to break down the lactose in milk. Gluten intolerance results in damage to villi in the small intestine, which makes it difficult for the body to absorb water and nutrients from foods. Another type of food intolerance is an intolerance to food chemicals such as salicylates or salicylate sensitivity. Salicylates are chemicals that occur naturally in many plants, including fruits vegetables, and herbs. Salicylates in plants act as a natural immune hormone and preservative, protecting the plants against diseases, insects, fungi, and harmful bacteria. Salicylates are also created synthetically and can be found in many medicines, perfumes and preservatives. Salicylate sensitivity causes many symptoms. The most common symptoms of salicylate sensitivity are: hives, stomach pain, head aches and mouth ulcers.

What is the difference between food allergies and multiple food intolerance? Food allergies are an immunological reaction to food proteins. They are most likely to affect babies and young children because their immune systems are not as fully developed. According to experts food allergies are very rare. They affect only 1% of adults, 3% of children under five, and up to 8% of babies. Food allergy reactions happen quickly, usually within a half an hour. A food allergy reaction can occur from the tiniest amount of an allergen. Food allergies can be tested for and the most common method being skin prick tests or blood tests.

If you or someone you know has chronic rashes, stomach aches, diarrhea, or vomiting it may be a food sensitivity or intolerance. Allergy testing will not determine the causes of the reactions. The only way to find out if you are sensitive to a food or food chemical is to follow an elimination diet. After the adverse reactions clear up you can begin to reintroduce the foods one at a time. This may help to determine which foods you are sensitive to. Talk to your doctor to receive proper diagnosis.


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