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FOOD ALLERGIES: How To Save Your Life - Part Three

Updated on January 31, 2011

PETS SOMETIMES CAUSE ALLERGIES

Does your dog make you sneeze and wheeze?
Does your dog make you sneeze and wheeze?

Food Allergies Part Three

I was very fortunate. According to Dr. Alan A. Wanderer of Allergy and Asthma Consultants in Englewood, Colorado. "It's common for patients with chronic urticaria or angioedema to go from one physician to another, in part, because the physicians themselves are frustrated identifying the cause of the problem. If a patient has a perplexing form of urticaria or angioedema, it may be useful for them to seek out an allergy specialist to make sure the more serious, underlying diseases have been ruled out.”
Dr. David L. Goodman, also of Allergy and Asthma Consultants, says, "Urticaria, commonly known as hives, is one of the most common dermatological conditions seen by allergists. Traditional allergies to foods or medications and viral illness are frequent causes of acute urticaria."
New medical guidelines developed by a joint task force of allergists show that as many as 15% to 24% of the U.S. population will experience urticaria or angioedema during their lifetime, which can be symptoms of an allergic reaction, a common viral infection, or a serious illness. The guidelines, “The Diagnosis and Management of Urticaria: A Practice Parameter,” are published as a supplement to the December 2000 issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, the scientific journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

Symptoms
Typical reactions are headaches, indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea, aches and
pains, coughing and wheezing, blocked or runny nose; skin reactions such as itchy rashes, hives, and mouth ulcers. However, these symptoms can derive from other causes so it is difficult to tell whether a symptom is food related. Additionally, reactions sometimes happen hours after eating. If you notice a pattern of feeling ill after eating some foods, see your doctor. You can be tested for reactions to many allergens, including the more common ones, i.e., yeast, mold, wheat, eggs and dairy.
Diagnosis
There is no simple test for angioedema such as those used to diagnose allergies so it can be hard to get an accurate diagnosis. I kept a detailed food diary for a month and noted everything I ate and any accompanying symptoms.
Your doctor may put you on an elimination regime: avoid a suspect food for a few weeks and note symptoms or lack of any. You may take part in a double blind test: eat some of the suspect food without either you or the tester knowing what it is. Skin and blood tests might discover unsuspected allergies.
Foods chemicals most likely to cause reaction
Salicylates, amines and monosodium glutamate (MSG) are the most likely chemicals to cause reactons in people intolerant either from heredity or other reasons. Symptoms can lie dormant for years until triggered by bingeing on certain foods, sudden changes in diet or an infection.
Many healthy foods contain natural preservatives which can be as much of a problem for sensitive people as artificial ones added to food. The tastier the food, the richer it is likely to be in natural chemicals. The more consumed in a daily diet, the more likely it is that reactions will occur.

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