The Body's Response
The most important concept in the field of food allergy is food itself does not cause an allergy or intolerance. The food itself is harmless- it can not cause a reaction or a disease. It is the body's response to that food which is causing the symptoms. Even when food is poisonous, it is only because our bodies do not have the necessary "tools" needed to break down and detoxify that substance. Somewhere, some species does have the capabilities of ingesting that item without any adverse food reactions.
Therefore, a food allergy is not caused by the food itself. It is our body's ability, or inability, to process that food which determines the onset of symptoms. So a food allergy can be defined as an immune system response which has been triggered because your body does not have the capabilities of metabolizing that particular item. Even though you have a food sensitivity to it, in a group of 1000 people, the other 999 may show no symptoms at all.
What Conditions Are Present To Determine
Who May Be Prone To An Allergy
Currently, not enough research has been done to come up with any conclusive answers
to this question. Some possibilities though to date suggests the following:
- The "Leaky Gut" theory- all food, through the process of digestion is transported to the small intestines. Because of the thinning of the intestinal wall, some food particles may leak out of the intestine and into the blood stream. The conditions for a possible reaction have now been set up.
- Exercise- Research has still been unable to determine why some people are prone to an allergic reaction after ingesting certain foods followed by exercise. Possibilities being studied are because the faster the food is being digested or the increase in the body's temperature.
- Change In Hormone Levels- It has been noted that a change in estrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels seem to affect the allergic response.
- Stress- Many allergy sufferers state that during highly stressful situations, their allergies seem to flare up. Again this hypothesis seems to point to the release of more hormones into the body's immune system.
- Frequency Of Exposure- It has been observed the more often something is eaten, the greater the chances of showing a sensitivity to it. It has been noted that if a mother breast feeds and routinely ingests the same item(s), the baby has a tendency to show increased sensitivity to that item because of repeated exposure through the breast milk.
At present, all of these possibilities being suggested are just hypothesis. No extended studies have ever been followed to try to determine what causes allergies being so prevalent in some people and non-existent in others.
Return to "Allergy Vs. Intolerance"
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