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Find Out If You Have Any Allergies

Sensitivity testing

Food Allergies

Many people think of allergies exclusively in terms of airborne allergies such as pollen, dust, and molds.  However, immune reactions can results from the different types of food sensitivities you may possess.  The most common foods causing allergic reactions are milk, eggs, peanuts, soy, wheat, shellfish, fish, and tree nuts.  Currently there is no cure for food allergies, except eliminating the problematic foods from the diet; this allows the immune system to calm down and the inflammatory response to decrease with time.

Food allergies are divided into two major categories: immediate and delayed.  When immediate food reaction occurs, sufferers experience symptoms within hours of having ingested the food.  Symptom onset is rapid and may include tingling of extremities, wheezing, coughing, tightening of the throat, nausea, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea.  Sometimes in cases where nuts, shellfish, fish, and peanuts have been eaten anaphylaxis can occur.  

Immediate food reaction is a fixed food allergy.  The food to which you are allergic will almost always provoke an immune reaction when ingested.  In immediate reactions the body over produces what is called Immunoglobulin E antibodies, (IgE).

Symptoms of a delayed food allergy can take up to 72 hours to appear.  This type of immune response is mediated by Immunoglobulin G antibodies, (IgG), which is the largest circulating antibody in our immune system and can cross the placenta from mother to child.  Often nursing mothers will find the foods they eat can directly affect their baby, increasing the baby's risk of colicky, gas, or skin rashes.  IgG antibodies are the most common form of immunologic mediated food responses.  It can be difficult to identify the offending food since we eat so many foods that go through different processes and have many ingredients.  Unidentified food sensitivities can contribute to many chronic health conditions: including Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn's Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Headaches, Autism, ADD/ADHD, Eczema, Acne, Chronic Ear Infections, Malabsorption, Insomnia, Brain Fog, Fatigue, and Weight Gain. 

All of the food panels are drawn in office by Dr. Hartman and results typically take about 3 weeks.  State of the art ELISA testing is performed to identify the offending foods and create a healthy diet of non-reactive foods.  We believe as important as it is to eliminate offending foods, we must replace those foods with good choices.  Your results will include an extensive "shopping list" providing recommendations of safe foods based on your laboratory results.  This serves as a great starting point and helps focus your attention on the vast assortment of foods you can have, and not just those you must avoid.  Many times the foods we eat frequently and think are good for us are contributing to our health problems, keeping us sick.  Elimination of the offending foods can improve many health problems and lead to a better quality of life. 

Treat Allergies Naturally 

Allergy symptoms are basically due to inflammation, so addressing core health issues, like diet, will improve them.  Researchers in Finland found that the type of fats consumed in the diet was related to the tendency to develop allergic symtoms.  The results were published in the journal Allergy (2001; 56: 425-428).  Other research, appearing in the journal Thorax (2007; 62: 677-683) found a relationship between the occurrence of asthma and allergies, and diet.  A Mediterranean type of diet, high in fresh produce, is associated with less potential for an allergic response.  Produce is high in flavonoids.  Flavonoids are plant antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor activity.  The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry (2006; 54(14): 5203-7) noted a flavonid was found to reduce inflammatory substances resulting from an allergic reaction.  

In general, take a professional grade omega-3 fatty acid is beneficial.  Please consult with physician for proper and most effective dosing. Research that appeared in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (December, 2003; 112(6): 1178-84) found that pregnant women who consumed omega-3 fatty acids were less likely to have babies with allergies than women who did not take the supplement.  

Even exercise plays a rold.  A study published in Allergy (Vol. 61, No. 11, November 2006: 1310-15) looked at exercise and activity levels in 1,700 German children over a period of 12 years.  At the start of the study, 6% of the children were completely sedentary.  At the end of the 12 years, the sedentary children were 50% more likley to develop hay fever.

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