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Symptoms of Food Sensitivities

Multiple symptoms are typical of food intolerances and should be watched for. In her book, Depression and Natural Medicine, Rita Elkins talks about golfer Billy Casper, who complained for years of weight gain, stomach aliments, sinus congestion, backaches, headaches and bad temper. Apparently, after some investigation and testing, he was found to be sensitive to beet sugar, lamb, apples, pork, eggs, citrus fruit, wheat and any fruits or vegetables fertilized with nitrates or sprayed with chemicals. Billy Casper changed his lifestyle and diet, and as a result, his health and moods significantly improved. The most common symptoms of a food allergy in adults are depression, headaches and fatigue. Mood changes can range from mild forms of anxiety to feeling seriously depressed. Manic outbursts of uncontrollable anger are also possible. The relationship between food allergies and even schizophrenia has been proposed.

Two types of reactions can occur if you eat something you are sensitive to. One, there can be an immediate reaction characterized by symptoms that quickly occur and are easy to recognize. If you eat shrimp and break out in hives or develop an unusual headache, you know the shrimp is probably responsible. Its the second type of reaction to a food that is more difficult to identify because it may not occur for a day or two. If you eat a large meal and various foods on Sunday, you may feel overly fatigued, lethargic and depressed on Tuesday. In such a case, connecting your symptoms to a meal you ate two days ago is unlikely.

Several medical journals in the 1980s published articles proposing that delayed food allergies cause nearly all cases of migraine headaches. In addition, reports in the Journal of Arthritis and Rheumatism disclosed that many cases of rheumatoid and osteoarthritis cleared up when certain offending foods were removed from the diet. In fact, when some test groups fasted, their arthritic symptoms all but disappeared. What this suggests is that a major malfunction causes food particles to trigger a series of biochemical events, causing them to act as inflammatory agents and affecting joints, creating what appears to be arthritis. For this reason, perhaps calling this phenomenon a food allergy is not totally accurate because the same kind of immune processes that occur with a typical allergy are not found in these situations.

Foods Commonly Associated with Allergic Reactions

The following foods are commonly associated with allergic reactions:

  • dairy products
  • wheat products
  • yeast
  • corn and corn by-products (corn syrup, sweeteners, oil, etc.)
  • chocolate
  • shellfish
  • eggs
  • nuts
  • berry fruits or fruit peelings
  • food additives and preservatives

Examples of food additives recognized as safe by the FDA:

  • Cysteine
  • Disodium phosphate
  • Magnesium hydrochloride
  • Sodium hexametaphosphate
  • Nitrous oxide
  • Ascorbic acid
  • Inositol
  • Sodium metaphosphate
  • Papain
  • Ascorbyl palmitate
  • Iron, reduced
  • Sodium phosphate
  • Phosphoric acid
  • Benzoic acid
  • Isoleucine
  • Histidine
  • Sodium potassium tartrate
  • Potassium acidtartrate
  • Butylated hydroxy anisole
  • Leucine
  • Sodium pyrophosphate
  • Potassium bicarbonate
  • Butylated hydroxy toluene
  • Linoleic acid
  • Sodium pyrophosphate, tetra
  • Methylparaben
  • Manganese glycerophosphate
  • Acacia (gum arabic)
  • Sodium acetate
  • Potassium bisulfite
  • Manganese hypophosphite
  • Agar-agar
  • Sodium acid pyrophosphate
  • Potassium metabisulfite
  • Manganese sulfate
  • Ammonium alginate
  • Sodium aluminum phosphate
  • Potassium sorbate
  • Manganous oxide
  • Calcium alginate
  • Sodium bicarbonate
  • Propionic acid
  • Mannitol
  • Carob bean gum
  • Sodium carbonate
  • Propyl gal

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