Food Allergies: Treatments and Natural Remedies
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Food allergies have been on the rise in recent years, with some estimates suggesting that one out of every three children under 18 will develop an allergy to at least one food by adulthood. There are a variety of natural remedies for those suffering from food allergies and intolerances; here’s what they entail.
There is currently no treatment for food allergies, despite the danger of severe allergic responses and even death. Allergen avoidance or treatment of food allergy symptoms are the only ways to manage the illness.
However, natural food allergy therapies and supplements may help stimulate the immune system and improve the gut flora, reducing the development of food allergies and their symptoms.
Difference Between Food Allergies and Intolerance?
A 25% of the population is expected to have an unpleasant response to food (of which food allergy is only one kind) at some point in their lives, particularly during infancy and early childhood.
Food allergies are an immune system reaction to unpleasant food. When the body detects that a protein in a meal may be hazardous, it activates the immune system, producing histamine to defend itself. Hives, coughing, and wheezing are all allergy symptoms caused by histamine. When the allergen food enters the body again, the body “remembers” this immunologic reaction, and the histamine response is more readily activated. Food allergy is mediated by food-specific IgE antibodies, which are the most well-studied kind.
Food allergies may be challenging to diagnose since nonallergic food responses, such as food intolerances, are sometimes mistaken with allergy symptoms. Likewise, food allergies and intolerances are occasionally confused, although there is a significant distinction between the two.
A food intolerance is the digestive system’s reaction to an unpleasant meal. Unlike a food allergy, which results in an immunological response following exposure to an allergen, food intolerance is a non-immune response. A person with a food allergy, for example, may have digestive problems after drinking cow’s milk because she is unable to digest the sugar lactose. A food allergy would be diagnosed if she experienced an immunologic reaction to the cow’s milk.
Gluten intolerance, A1 casein intolerance, and lactose intolerance are the most prevalent dietary intolerances. Food additives such as coloring, flavoring, preservatives, and sulfites found in dried fruits, canned products, and wine might cause an inflammatory response in some people.
What Is an Allergic Reaction?
Food allergy symptoms usually emerge between a few minutes and two hours after the allergen has been consumed. Allergic responses may include the following:
- a rash or flushed skin
- In the mouth, there is a tingling or itching feeling.
- Tongue, lip, throat, or facial swelling
- cramps in the stomach
- wheeze or coughing
- lightheadedness or dizziness
- breathing problems
- consciousness loss
People with a confirmed allergy who develop symptoms during or after consuming a meal should seek urgent medical attention, and if symptoms worsen, they should visit a local emergency department.
Anaphylaxis is a severe and possibly fatal IgE-mediated food allergy that necessitates the use of self-injectable adrenaline. This might result in restricted airways in the lungs, significant blood pressure drops and shock (known as anaphylactic shock), and asphyxia due to throat enlargement.
When you have an undiagnosed food allergy or sensitivity, your body continually produces inflammatory reactions that may hurt you in a variety of ways. Food sensitivities and allergies are linked to a higher risk of developing:
- persistent discomfort
- nutrition shortages
- Mood problems
- skin problems
- autoimmune conditions
- diseases of the mind
- difficulties with learning
- gaining weight
- difficulties with the kidneys and gallbladder
Allergy Treatments & Remedies for Food Allergies
Because food allergies may be life-threatening and lead to a variety of other health issues, I highly advise you or a loved one to seek out these natural food allergy therapies.
1. Don’t Eat Any of These Foods
The foods listed below cause inflammation in the body, weaken the immune system and cause digestive problems.
Packaged foods – GMOs such as maize, soy, canola, and vegetable oils may be found in packaged, ultra-processed foods, causing food allergies and intolerances. They may also include hidden components that trigger an allergic response; this is why persons with allergies should be educated on how to read labels carefully and avoid meals that cause them to react.
Sugar – Sugar may lead to bacterial overgrowth, immune system weakness, and dietary intolerances. Sugar intake may increase food allergy symptoms and limit your body’s capacity to handle meals normally since it causes inflammation.
Artificial flavorings — Artificial flavorings have the potential to aggravate food sensitivities. Experts believe that colors included in packaged meals may harm youngsters and perhaps adults’ health. Cochineal extract (which is derived from the scales of insects and is used to color food red) has been linked to allergic responses and asthma.
Starbucks, for example, used to use cochineal extract to color its strawberry Frappuccino beverages until they switched to a tomato pigment. Unfortunately, food labels are not required to give the chemical identity of a flavoring or a comprehensive description of all flavors present, which is why you may encounter labels that just say “color added” or “fake color.”
Gluten — Even if they do not have celiac disease or a wheat allergy, a considerable proportion of the general population reports issues caused by wheat and/or gluten intake. Most patients report both gastrointestinal and non-gastrointestinal symptoms that improve when they follow a gluten-free diet, according to research.
According to studies, gluten is implicated as a cause of symptoms by 20 to 45 percent of persons who self-report food hypersensitivity. Because the symptoms of gluten intolerance might make you think you’re allergic to other foods when you aren’t, I suggest avoiding gluten-containing meals.
2. Stay Away From These Allergen Triggers
Although any food may cause an allergic response, the great majority of serious food-induced allergy reactions are caused by a small number of foods. Therefore, if you actually wish to benefit from food allergy treatments, you should be aware that the following foods cause over 90% of food allergies:
Cow’s milk — With a frequency of 2 to 7.5 percent, allergic responses to cow’s milk are prevalent in infancy and youth. It is unusual for a cow’s milk food allergy to persist into adulthood; however, it is typical for people to have non-immunologic responses to cow’s milk and dairy (which would be a food intolerance).
Eggs — According to a recent meta-analysis of food allergy prevalence, egg allergy affects 0.5 to 2.5 percent of young children. The major allergen in eggs has been identified as ovomucoid, a protein found in egg whites.
Wheat — Wheat allergy is an immune response to proteins found in wheat and similar cereals. Wheat allergies are more frequent in youngsters and may result in life-threatening reactions such as anaphylaxis.
Soy – Around 0.4 percent of children have a soy allergy, and half of those children will overcome it by the age of seven.
Peanuts — Peanut allergy affects around 1% of children and 0.6 percent of adults in the United States. Even trace amounts of peanuts may cause an allergic response in highly sensitive persons.
Tree nuts – About 1% of the general population is allergic to tree nuts. Hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, and almonds are the most frequent nuts that cause allergic reactions. Pecans, chestnuts, Brazil nuts, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, pistachio, coconut, Nangai nuts, and acorns are less often connected with allergies.
Shellfish — Shellfish allergy affects 5% to 5% of the population. Crabs, lobsters, crayfish, shrimp, krill, woodlice, and barnacles are among the crustaceans and mollusks that cause shellfish allergy (such as squid, octopus, and cuttlefish). Adults with shellfish allergies are known to be both prevalent and chronic.
Fish — The prevalence of finned fish allergy ranges from 0.2 to 2.29 percent in the general population, but it may reach up to 8% among fish processing employees. Because of cross-reactivity across different fish species, patients with fish allergies should avoid all fish species until they can be shown safe to consume.
3. Consume These Foods: Non-Allergenic Foods
When it comes to food allergy treatments, keep in mind that the following food allergy alternatives are the least likely to trigger an allergic response and will assist in strengthening your immune system, allowing you to overcome food allergies:
Leafy greens — Spinach, kale, collard greens, romaine, arugula, and watercress are high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes. Including leafy greens in your diet may assist in strengthening your immune system and aid in the detoxification process. According to research, eating five or more pieces of fruits and vegetables per day boosts antibody response, which may help alleviate allergy symptoms.
Foods high in probiotics — Probiotic foods may aid in the healing of a damaged gut lining and enhance immunological function. Fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, natto, yogurt, raw cheese, miso, and kombucha may enhance your immune system while reducing your body’s oversensitivity to food triggers, which can contribute to allergy symptoms.
Bone broth – Bone broth produced from beef or chicken stock aids in the healing of the leaky gut by replenishing the intestines with essential amino acids and minerals. Bone broth is one of the best meals for restoring gut health and, as a result, supporting immune system function and a balanced inflammatory response.
Coconut milk — Coconut milk, a liquid found naturally within mature coconuts and kept inside coconut “flesh,” is the greatest substitute for cow’s milk. Coconut milk is lactose-free, lactose-free, lactose-free, lactose-free, lactose-free, lactose-free, lactose-free, lactose-free, lactose-free, lactose-free, lactose-free, lactose-free, lactose-free, lactose-free, lactose-free
Almond butter — A safe and healthful option for those who are allergic to peanuts and peanut butter. Almond butter is essentially pulverized almonds, and almond nutrition has several health advantages. Almonds include satisfying fiber, unique and beneficial phytosterol antioxidants, vitamins like riboflavin, and trace minerals like magnesium, and are low in saturated fatty acids and high in unsaturated fatty acids.
Flaxseeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are all nutritious additions to salads, smoothie bowls, and oatmeal. Seeds, like nuts, are abundant in omega-3 fatty acids, although they are not frequent allergies. Omega-3s, fiber, protein, vitamin B1, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and selenium are all found in flaxseed nutrition.
Gluten-free flours/grains — Coconut flour, almond flour, spelled flour, oat flour, and rice flour are all nutrient-dense wheat-free and gluten-free flours. You may reduce your chances of developing allergy symptoms by sticking to flours and grains that don’t include wheat or gluten. Alternatives like coconut and almond flour also provide lots of fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.
Breast milk – Studies demonstrate that exclusive breastfeeding seems to reduce the early development of asthma and atopic dermatitis in children up to the age of two years. Breast milk helps a baby’s immune system by replenishing immature defenses with immune components and laying the groundwork for the innate and adaptive immune systems, according to research published in Pediatrics Clinics of North America.
4. Experiment with an Elimination Diet
An elimination diet may help you get rid of food allergies by identifying which foods are causing your digestive and allergy symptoms. An elimination diet is a short-term eating plan that excludes items that may be causing allergies or other digestive issues then reintroduces them one at a time to see which foods are well-tolerated and which are not. Because the only genuine way to cure a food allergy is to fully remove the allergen from your diet, an elimination diet can help you figure out which foods to avoid.
In terms of which foods are allowed and which are forbidden, elimination diets vary, but the majority will exclude all common allergies, such as:
- sugar that has been refined or added
- hydrogenated oils
- fruits with a citrus flavor
- all foods that are packaged processed, or quick
Antibodies, the proteins produced by your immune system when it responds unfavorably to food, take three weeks to dissolve; therefore, elimination diets endure three to six weeks. For at least three weeks, avoid these common allergens to allow your body to recover from sensitivity.
The elimination diet is more of a trial-and-error procedure for food allergies treatments, but after 4–6 weeks, you should be able to determine which foods are triggering your allergic symptoms. The steps are as follows:
- For at least three weeks, avoid popular allergen/sensitive foods. Keep a notebook to track how you feel when you avoid specific dietary triggers.
- Fresh veggies, clean protein sources (such grass-fed beef and chicken, wild-caught fish, and tiny quantities of sprouted beans), healthy fats (like avocados and coconut oil), and whole-food carbs and fruit should all be on your plate. Allergy symptoms may be alleviated by eating these anti-inflammatory foods.
- Reintroduce one food category at a time after three weeks, consuming each new item for around one to two weeks. Between the elimination and reintroduction periods, keep track of your symptoms and note any changes.
- If your symptoms persist after reintroducing a suspect meal, you can be sure it’s a trigger by removing it again. When the meal is eliminated, see whether the symptoms clear up again.
According to research, if symptoms vanish with elimination, the culprit is most likely a food allergy. Foods may be reintroduced one at a time to determine the problem. Data from 131 participants were evaluated in a 2015 research published in Pediatric Allergy and Immunology to determine the duration necessary to ameliorate food allergy symptoms. After a four-week elimination diet, 129 patients (98 percent) improved, but just two patients improved after eight weeks. All documented food allergy symptoms showed a statistically significant difference before and after starting the elimination diet.
5. Make Use Of Supplements
Digestive Enzymes – Digestive enzymes help the digestive system break down food particles completely, and they’re an important food allergy treatment. Food allergies may be connected to inadequate protein digestion, which may produce gastrointestinal discomfort.
Probiotics – Beneficial bacteria may assist the immune system in better dealing with meals. According to a 2001 research published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, differences in newborn gut microbiota precede the development of atopy, suggesting a role in commensal intestinal bacteria in allergy prevention. In addition, probiotics may enhance oral tolerance. Take 50 billion organisms every day to increase the beneficial bacteria in your stomach.
MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) – According to research published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, MSM pills may effectively treat food allergies. MSM is an organic sulfur-containing substance that improves immunological function, reduces inflammation, and aids in the restoration of healthy physiological tissue. MSM is an effective food allergy treatment since it also helps with digestion and skin disorders.
Vitamin B5 – Vitamin B5 is a natural food allergy therapy because it promotes adrenal function. It promotes a healthy digestive system and improves immunological function, making your body less prone to respond negatively to trigger foods.
L-glutamine – Studies reveal that l-glutamine may aid in the healing of the leaky gut and improve immunological function. Due to its mechanical potential in inhibiting inflammation, l-glutamine works as a natural food allergy cure since leaky gut, or intestinal permeability, is likely to cause various health issues, including allergies.
6. Experiment With These Essential Oils
Peppermint Oil – Peppermint oil may help to calm the stomach and lessen inflammation caused by food allergies. It may also help with other food allergy symptoms, including itching and headaches. Peppermint oil may be applied to the temples, abdomen, and soles of the feet. Internally, place 1–2 drops on the roof of the mouth or in a glass of water to help with stomach difficulties.
Eucalyptus Oil – Eucalyptus oil is another vital oil for allergies since it opens up the lungs and sinuses, boosting circulation and lowering food allergy symptoms. Citronellal, found in eucalyptus, has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties and acts as an expectorant to assist the body to rid itself of impurities. Diffuse 5–10 drops of eucalyptus oil at home or use 1–2 drops topically to the chest and temples to relieve food allergies.
- There is currently no cure for food allergies; the disease can only be controlled by avoiding allergens or treating the symptoms of food allergies.
- Food allergies are an immune system reaction to unpleasant food. For example, when the body detects that a protein in a meal may be hazardous, it activates the immune system, producing histamine to defend itself.
- Avoid foods that cause inflammation and a compromised immune system, such as processed foods, sugar, artificial colorings, and gluten, to get rid of food allergies. It’s also crucial to avoid common allergens until you figure out which foods are triggering your food allergy symptoms.
- An elimination diet can assist you in determining which foods are allergens and in reducing food allergy symptoms. In addition, you can repair your gut and strengthen your immune system by eating anti-inflammatory foods like leafy greens, bone broth, and fermented foods.
- MSM, probiotics, digestive enzymes, and vitamin B5 are examples of supplements that may help with food allergies. Peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils, which have cooling properties, may also be used as food allergy treatments.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I get rid of food allergies naturally?
A: There is no way to naturally get rid of food allergies. They will always affect you and keep coming back as long as you have them in your body.
What is the most common cure for food allergies?
A: The most commonly recommended treatment for a food allergy is to avoid that specific allergen.
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