Food Allergy, Intolerance, and Sensitivity: Are the foods you eat making you ill?

What is Lactase?

Lactaid Pills: A Solution To Lactose Intolerance?
However, others say that the pill has been a great help and allowed them to eat what they want. This professional association's Web site includes an extensive library of information about allergic disease, including a section of resources for people with food allergies. If you're making bread, you want gluten in the dough, so that the walls of the little air pockets formed by yeast expand but don't burst open during baking. The lining of the ileum also contains nodules called Peyer's patches — collections of immune cells that pick up signs of pathogens in the digestive system and relay that information through the blood and lymph to immune cells throughout the body. PubMed simply published this paper on their website, as they do with a lot of most English language? She takes Lactaid three times a day. Should we avoid taking supplements with capsules of gelatin?

What is Lactose?

Beyond MSG: Could Hidden Sources of Glutamate Be Harming Your Health?

If you are having dinner at the home of a friend or acquaintance, let the host know that there are certain foods you can't consume. Most cooks would rather have that information before planning the menu than discover it when they are about to serve a prized dish that a guest can't eat.

And don't hesitate to arrive with your own gluten-free crackers or cheese alternative. Most hosts will be grateful they didn't have to hunt those products down themselves. Finally, if you have an attack in public or away from home, waste no time in tending to it, whether that means extricating yourself from an intense conversation to head for the bathroom or getting out the epinephrine and calling Before you hit the road, hit a couple of Web sites.

Whether you're traveling abroad or taking a "staycation" to visit sites in your neck of the woods, the Travelers' Health link on the CDC home page, www. Just click your destination — foreign or domestic — on the interactive world map. If you're taking a cruise, you might want to click the link to the Vessel Sanitation Program to see how your ship fared on its last inspection.

If you're planning to bring your food with you, the "Keep Food Safe" link at www. And if you have a food allergy, click the "Managing Food Allergies" link under "Education" at www. Unlike food poisoning, which can affect anyone, and food intolerances and allergies, which affect certain otherwise healthy people, food triggers can cause chronic conditions to flare up.

Mounting evidence indicates that particular foods can elicit migraine headaches, heartburn, and even episodes of hyperactivity. For some migraine sufferers, alcohol or a particular food may prompt an attack.

The list of migraine triggers is long, and implicates foods containing a variety of chemicals, including vasoactive amines histamine, tyramine, and phenylethylamine and caffeine as well as common food additives, particularly sulfites, nitrites, and monosodium glutamate MSG ; see "Migraine menu. A hot flash is a feeling of intense warmth and sweating. They can also occur in either sex as a symptom of certain cancers, infections, alcoholism, or thyroid disease.

Researchers do not know exactly what causes hot flashes. Current theories suggest hot flashes result from a menopause-related drop in the body's level of estrogen. Declining estrogen levels affect the hypothalamus, an area of the brain that regulates body temperature.

In a hot flash, the hypothalamus seems to sense that the body is too hot even when it is not, and tells the body to release the excess heat. One way the body does this is to expand, or dilate, blood vessels, particularly those near the skin of the head, face, neck, and chest. Once the blood vessels return to normal size, you feel cool again.

Menopause-related hot flashes can't be prevented except by taking supplemental estrogen. But in some people, hot flashes can be reduced by avoiding certain food triggers, including red wine, chocolate, and aged cheeses, all of which contain a chemical that affects the brain's temperature control center.

Monosodium glutamate MSG can also prompt hot flashes by another mechanism. Caffeine and alcohol can cause hot flashes in some people and make them worse in others. Since the early s, health professionals have speculated about a link between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD and food additives, particularly artificial colors, synthetic flavors, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and salicylates.

The Feingold diet propounded by San Francisco physician Ben Feingold in and other diets from which these additives have been eliminated have been tested in more than 30 clinical trials.

In March , an FDA panel weighed all the scientific evidence and voted that the available evidence was not strong enough to warrant removing food from the market. However, the FDA acknowledged that, although no biological mechanism has been identified to support the hypothesis that dyes and preservatives are inherently toxic to the nervous system, the additives aren't necessarily off the hook. The panel allowed the possibility that food dyes may trigger hyperactivity or disrupt concentration in people with ADHD or even in susceptible people who are generally healthy.

In short, there may be a segment of the population who are intolerant of certain food additives. The FDA recommended additional well-designed randomized controlled clinical studies testing the effects of individual food additives on behavior in children. The panel also suggested laboratory investigations of the interaction of specific dyes with dopamine receptors, which play a major role in behavior disorders.

If you think that eating foods with artificial colors or other additives is making you restless or disrupting your concentration, you might consider conducting an unofficial study of one.

Start a food diary, noting what you eat and how you feel each day. If, after a month, you discover any associations, you can try eliminating those foods for a few weeks and noting whether you feel calmer and more focused. The following additives have been postulated as triggers for hyperactivity disorders, although the FDA hasn't found enough evidence to remove them from the market:.

Gout is a condition in which uric acid accumulates in joints, causing inflammation. People with gout almost always have high blood levels of uric acid, one of the body's normal waste products. Most uric acid is removed from the body by the kidneys, so people with kidney disease typically have high levels of it. A unique property of uric acid is that it cannot always dissolve well in the blood and tissues.

When the blood levels are even slightly high, uric acid can be deposited as solid crystals in the joints causing arthritis , kidneys causing kidney stones , and other tissues. Sudden sharp pain in a joint, usually the big toe but sometimes the wrist, hand, knee, ankle, or foot, often occurring at night.

Persistent discomfort even after the initial pain subsides, with tenderness lasting days or weeks. Gender, genetics, body weight, and other factors go into establishing a person's level of uric acid. Diet also plays a role. Research suggests that a diet high in meat, seafood, and alcohol increases the risk of a new diagnosis of gout. In addition, dairy products, fresh vegetables, and coffee may be protective, lowering the risk of gout.

However, these studies looked at people who had not had gout before. They did not assess the effect of diet on people who already had gout. In general, foods high in purines, a building block of protein that is broken down into uric acid, are most likely to bring on gout attacks. Fortunately, most of the foods with the highest purine content are not ones that people eat often.

These include sweetbreads thymus and pancreas , liver, kidneys, brains, game meats, and anchovies. Fructose is another matter. Not only is it the one carbohydrate that increases uric acid levels, but it is also ubiquitous in the food supply, both in sweets and in processed "savory" foods like salad dressings and spaghetti sauce.

And observational studies in both men and women have indicated that the risk of gout increases in tandem with the consumption of fructose-sweetened beverages. It turns out that following a diet devoid of purines probably won't alleviate gout, once it is established. However, if you are beset by gout, you might want to limit your intake of red meat, seafood, and alcohol. There are better ways to help lower uric acid and decrease the risk of further gout attacks, including the drugs allopurinol Aloprim, Zyloprim and febuxostat Uloric.

Every time you swallow, the muscular valve between the esophagus and the stomach relaxes so food can enter your stomach. This valve is known as the lower esophageal sphincter LES. When your stomach is full, a tiny amount of food can sneak back into the esophagus when you swallow — that's normal.

But in people with gastroesophageal reflux disease also known as acid reflux or GERD , substantial amounts of stomach acid and digestive juices get into the esophagus. The stomach has a tough lining that resists acid, but the esophagus doesn't. Its sensitive tissues are injured by acid, and, if the acid makes it all the way to the mouth, other structures can be damaged. Heartburn, an intense burning sensation in the center of the chest, often occurring after a meal or when bending over.

Some substances can make the LES relax when it shouldn't, and others can irritate the esophagus, exacerbating the problem. Some of the chief food culprits in GERD are described below. In addition to expunging those foods from your diet, it also helps to avoid large meals and to try to be up and moving around for at least 30 minutes after eating.

Don't lie down until at least two hours after you eat. Although several other factors — including sleeping position, exercise, posture, and weight — play a role in controlling GERD, staying away from known food triggers is also important.

You've no doubt noticed that the instructions for taking most prescription or over-the-counter drugs tell you whether or not to take them with food in general or with specific foods. When food and drugs are in the digestive system at the same time, food can affect the rate at which a medication is absorbed or eliminated in several ways. Most of the time it doesn't matter whether you take your pills before, after, or during a meal.

But in a number of cases, whether you are eating or fasting can influence the effectiveness of medication and the side effects it produces. Eating stimulates the release of stomach acid, and the acid bath can affect the way the drug works.

The previous meal may also contain nutrients that combine with the drug to hinder or speed its absorption. For some drugs, particularly penicillin Penicillin VK, Penicillin G , and its kin, ampicillin Principen, Totacillin, Omnipen and dicloxacillin, the acid bath has the expected effect — it eats away the medication before it has a chance to do its job.

These medications should be taken more than an hour before eating or at least two hours afterward. Antacids or supplements containing calcium or iron can blunt the effects of the antibiotics tetracycline Sumycin, Achromycin V, Actisite, Robitet and ciprofloxacin Cipro, Proquin. Neither should be taken within several hours of ingesting such supplements or antacids. Some bisphosphonates, such as alendronate Fosamax , ibandronate Boniva , risedronate Actonel — the osteoporosis drugs — aren't properly absorbed if taken with any food or beverage except plain water.

People who take them have to do so after an overnight fast and must not eat breakfast until at least 30 minutes after taking the drug. For some drugs, gastric acid creates the kind of environment that is conducive to absorption.

For example, ketoconazole Feoris, Nizoral , an antifungal medication, is more effective when taken with any food, while the absorption of another antifungal, griseofulvin Fulvicin, Grifulvin , is aided by fat in particular.

For some drugs like ibuprofen Advil , stomach acid merely slows the rate at which the drug is absorbed, preserving its effectiveness while reducing its side effects. Foods can also contain compounds that enhance or weaken drugs. Green leafy vegetables can rob the blood thinner warfarin Coumadin of its anti-clotting power by furnishing vitamin K, which promotes coagulation.

If you are taking warfarin to prevent stroke or pulmonary embolism, you have a good excuse not to eat your spinach. Drinking alcohol doesn't mix with drugs any better than it does with driving. It's well known that washing down a sleeping pill with a nightcap can lead to a much deeper sleep than intended, resulting in coma and even death.

And drinking with certain other drugs — particularly several antimicrobials, including certain cephalosporins, ketoconazole Nizoral , metronidazole Flagyl , and sulfonylureas, a class of diabetes drugs — can lead to a monumental hangover complete with nausea, vomiting, flushing, and palpitations.

Certain foods can affect a drug's activity by influencing enzymes in the cytochrome p CYP system. Drug compounds are normally broken down into smaller molecules by one or more CYP enzymes in the small intestine and liver. However, a few chemicals in foods can inhibit specific CYP enzymes, resulting in certain drugs remaining active much longer than intended. When the wrong food-drug combination comes together, it's like taking a drug overdose. Grapefruit juice is a notorious inhibitor of CYP3A4.

If you were taking lovastatin to reduce your cholesterol, and decided to wash it down with a glass of grapefruit juice, the effects of the drug would last almost twice as long as intended.

The pharmacologic properties of grapefruit juice are thought to be due to flavonoids — the compounds that are thought to be responsible for many of the health benefits of fruits and vegetables.

Although grapefruit juice is now notorious as an enhancer of certain drugs, reports have indicated that other fruits have similar effects, including pomelos and blood oranges. Lab studies suggest that black mulberry juice, wild grape juice, pomegranate juice, and black raspberry juice also interfere with CYP3A4, but there is no evidence that they produce drug-overdose effects in humans.

If you love grapefruit juice and are taking one of the drugs listed in Table 5, talk to your physician about prescribing a similar drug that isn't metabolized by CYP3A4. Foods can also have the opposite effect on CYP enzymes. John's wort, an herbal remedy taken as a mood elevator, can induce the production of excess CYP3A4, resulting in quicker metabolism of certain drugs, including the blood thinner warfarin Coumadin , the bronchodilator theophylline, and oral contraceptives.

As a result, the medications can be broken down before they fulfill their intended purpose. Like many people, you could be uncertain whether your gastrointestinal symptoms reflect an allergy which requires eliminating all traces of the food from your diet or an intolerance which can be managed with less drastic measures.

On the flip side, other studies have demonstrated that undetected food allergies may play a role in several medical conditions. Allergic reactions are overblown responses mounted by the body's immune system against a harmless substance — in this case, a food. Food allergies are most prevalent in childhood.

For example, milk allergy usually occurs before the infant's first birthday. Many children will outgrow allergies to milk, eggs, soy, and wheat by the time they go to school.

However, peanut, tree nut, fish, and shellfish allergies are more persistent, often lasting throughout life. If you escaped a food allergy in childhood, you're not necessarily off the hook; you can develop allergies at any point in your life. Fish and shellfish allergies are more likely than others to begin in adulthood, and women are more likely than men to develop them.

The first time you eat a food, it is processed through your digestive system into its component proteins. The immune system examines the proteins and, if it decides that they pose no threat to you, it gives them the equivalent of a passport to your body. This process is known as oral tolerance. Children who outgrow their food allergies do so by developing oral tolerance over time.

A food you're allergic to gets rougher treatment. The immune system doesn't recognize one of its proteins as friendly; instead, it misidentifies the protein as harmful and initiates a reaction against it. Proteins that trigger an allergic reaction are called allergens. Key to the allergic process are the helper T cells. These white blood cells circulate in the bloodstream and alert other immune system players that the body may be under attack from invading molecules.

In allergic diseases, the helper T cells respond to substances that are not actually harmful, such as milk or peanut protein. In response, they produce substances and recruit other cells — mast cells and eosinophils — that become involved in an allergic reaction. The helper T cells also stimulate another type of white blood cell, the B cell, to mature into a plasma cell and produce IgE — the type of antibody, or immunoglobulin, responsible for the majority of allergic reactions.

IgE antibodies leave the plasma cells to dock onto receptors on mast cells. Mast cells are specialized cells found in great numbers at points of entry into the body, such as the linings of the airways, the eyes, the gut, and the dermis one of the layers of the skin. When an allergen such as a milk protein is snagged by the IgE docked on a mast cell, it serves as a key in a lock, releasing histamine and other compounds, which within minutes trigger sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes and skin, or wheezing.

Mast cells also produce other chemicals that cause tissue damage see Figure 6. When an allergic reaction spirals out of control, it can set in motion a life-threatening body-wide reaction called anaphylaxis or allergic shock. As histamines are released throughout the body, the airways constrict. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may occur, and blood pressure drops precipitously, leading to loss of consciousness and even coma. Allergies typically develop for two reasons. First, you may be genetically predisposed to be allergic.

Second, factors in your environment, especially when you are young, may make you more susceptible. Most allergies are caused by some combination of these genetic and environmental influences. In rare cases, allergies may be triggered by bacteria or viruses.

Someone with a hereditary predisposition to allergies is said to be "atopic," or allergy-prone, and more likely to suffer from allergic disorders known as atopic diseases. Atopic dermatitis, one of the most common, typically first appears in very young children with the signature itchy, red rash of eczema.

Mutations in the gene for filaggrin — a protein that plays a key role in maintaining the skin barrier — have been associated with both atopic dermatitis and peanut allergy. According to estimates, up to a third of children with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis develop food allergies. People who are atopic are typically afflicted with one or more types of allergy throughout their lives.

Genes alone are usually not enough to cause a food allergy. A number of population studies have examined the links between food allergies and environmental factors during the first few months of life. Although none has established a conclusive case for any one factor, they have suggested some intriguing explanations.

Since the early s, different kinds of evidence from around the world have supported the notion that the fewer microbes you encounter early in life, the greater your chance of developing allergies.

This theory, commonly referred to as "the hygiene hypothesis," is a proposed explanation for the development of all types of allergies. Proponents of the hygiene hypothesis point to evidence that exposure to microbes helps "train" the developing immune system by stimulating the T cells that dampen an allergic reaction. Although few studies have focused on food allergy, many have looked at atopic dermatitis and asthma and found the following:.

Close contact with other children in infancy protects against allergy. If you have siblings, your place in the birth order matters. Children who have one or more older brothers or sisters are less likely to develop allergies than siblings born earlier. Scientists think this is simply because as infants, the younger siblings had more brothers and sisters to transmit microbes to them.

Similarly, children in day care, who are exposed to germs as they come in contact with many other children, seem less likely to develop asthma. Living in the less developed world lessens the chance of developing allergies. The prevalence of allergies is increasing in Western industrialized nations but not in less developed areas of the world. Researchers suspect that modern sewage systems, the widespread use of antibiotics, and cleaner buildings are in part culpable.

Such innovations, which are unarguably responsible for lowering the rate of infectious diseases, may have also reduced the number of microbes children encounter. Their contemporaries in less developed countries, similar to children living in the United States in the 19th and early 20th centuries, have a higher rate of infectious diseases, but a lower rate of allergies. Being around animals is protective.

Researchers who studied young children living on farms concluded that they are less likely to develop allergies than those raised in urban settings. Their data suggested that endotoxin, a component of bacteria associated with cows, pigs, and horses, stimulated the children's protective immune response during infancy.

Other studies have determined that having a dog, cat, or other furry creature in the house during early childhood also lowers the risk of allergy, perhaps because of the microbes those pets carry. Because your mast cells have to be loaded with IgE antibodies for an allergic reaction to occur, your immune system must have already encountered the allergen or a molecule that closely resembles it for a reaction to occur. The process by which these earlier encounters set the stage for the allergic reaction is known as sensitization.

Researchers have determined that becoming sensitized to a food doesn't necessarily require having eaten it before; it's possible to have absorbed the proteins through your skin or respiratory system. One study conducted in the United Kingdom found that the incidence of peanut allergy was significantly higher in children whose diaper rash and eczema had been treated with a skin cream containing peanut oil.

Since the incidence of food allergy is higher in children with eczema, it is possible that they are also more likely to become sensitized to allergens that enter through breaks in their skin. And many studies have demonstrated that an exposure to pollen can sensitize some people to certain fruits and vegetables see "Oral allergy syndrome".

The first and most important step in any diagnosis is compiling an accurate account of your allergy attacks. Doctors call this account your history. Allergy testing is effective only when you and your allergist have some idea of what you are testing for.

A detailed description of your symptoms and the situations that trigger them is invaluable in whittling down the possibilities. Be prepared to describe not just your current situation and what you assume are the likely allergens, but also what happened in your childhood and whether family members have allergies. Jot down your allergy history before your appointment with your allergist, lest you inadvertently leave out something that may be important.

After you and your allergist agree on a likely list of suspects, it's time to move on to allergy testing — usually to confirm a suspicion rather than to discover something completely new, although this possibility shouldn't be ruled out. Skin prick testing is usually the initial diagnostic method of confirming food allergens. It is safe, easy, and inexpensive, and the results are apparent within minutes. Skin tests do require a little advance preparation. Because the major substance causing the skin reaction is histamine, it's important to not take any short-acting antihistamines like diphenhydramine Benadryl for at least 72 hours or longer-acting medications such as loratadine Claritin and cetirizine Zyrtec for one week before the test.

A few other drugs also should be avoided because they block histamine and can make the testing useless.

Examples include tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline Elavil, Endep and nortriptyline Pamelor, Aventyl and anti-nausea drugs such as prochlorperazine Compazine, Compro. The test involves puncturing the skin on the back or on the inside of the forearm and introducing a small amount of allergen into the superficial layer of the skin, where mast cells coated with IgE are located.

If the allergen locks into the IgE, the mast cells will be triggered to release histamine. Within 15 minutes an itchy, swollen, red dime-sized spot will develop. The reaction resolves within an hour. Although it isn't as reliable as a skin prick test, a blood test can be an alternative for people with eczema or other skin problems that would make it difficult to determine the results of a skin prick test.

A small blood sample is drawn and sent to a laboratory where it is tested for levels of IgE antibodies to the suspected food. It takes about a week to receive the results.

The amount of antibody is used as an indication of allergy, but it can be deceptive. The interpretation of positive blood or skin tests is not so straightforward.

Positive tests indicate that IgE is present but do not, in isolation, prove that a reaction will occur upon ingestion of the food. In fact, people who outgrow a food allergy usually continue to have a positive test result to the food for many years, even though they may no longer have a reaction to the food.

To further complicate matters, some proteins in foods are cross-reactive with similar allergenic proteins in other foods or in nonfoods such as pollen. This cross-reactivity can lead, for example, to a positive skin test for soy in a person with peanut allergy or a positive test to wheat in a person with grass pollen allergy, even though the person has not had symptoms of an allergy to those cross-reacting foods.

The gold standard for diagnosing food allergy is a double-blind placebo-controlled food challenge. In this test, capsules containing either a placebo or the suspected food protein are numbered and administered to the patient in a random sequence.

Neither the doctor nor the patient knows which substances are in which capsules. If a reaction occurs, the physician can check the code and identify the food and the dose responsible.

Because the double-blind challenge can be expensive and time-consuming, more allergists rely on a simpler version. For this type of challenge, you eat small amounts of a suspected food until you begin to have an allergic reaction. If you are able to eat a normal serving without consequences, an allergy to that food is ruled out.

Food challenges should always be conducted by experienced clinicians in medical facilities with the resources to treat life-threatening anaphylaxis. The tests usually require two to four hours to complete. People with food allergies live in fear of unwittingly ingesting even trace amounts of the allergen when eating away from home. Researchers have studied several ways to increase the amount of the allergenic food an allergic person can safely eat. The following have shown some promise.

Heating or baking milk or egg. Cooking at sustained high temperatures can change an allergen enough to enable an allergic person to tolerate the food. There are reports of people with milk or egg allergies who were able to eat baked goods containing those ingredients. However, these experiments should be undertaken only with medical guidance! This approach, which is also conducted under medical supervision, involves starting with a very small dose of food protein and increasing the amount over several months until a maintenance dose is reached.

It has been moderately successful in increasing tolerance in patients with milk, egg, and peanut allergies. This technique involves squeezing a few drops of a liquid concentrate of the food protein under the tongue, holding it in your mouth for several minutes, then washing it out. The dose is increased several times until a maintenance dose is reached. In one study, 22 patients who were allergic to hazelnuts increased the average amount of hazelnuts they could tolerate from 2.

Antibodies to IgE have shown promise in clinical trials. In a study reported in , 16 weeks of treatment with omalizumab Xolair , a drug approved for asthma, was used in conjunction with oral immunotherapy.

Nine of 11 children with milk allergies were able to tolerate a cup of milk a day after 16 weeks of treatment. In , another anti-IgE drug allowed adolescents and adults to tolerate a greater amount of peanut after treatment. Food Allergy Herbal Formula FAHF-2 has reversed peanut allergy in animal studies and proven safe in early clinical trials designed to determine toxicity.

The original formulation, which required taking 36 capsules a day in early studies, has been purified to produce a smaller dose that appears to be equally potent, and clinical trials will resume using the concentrated product, named B-FAHF There is no cure for food allergy and no simple way to manage it.

The only approach is to keep all traces of the allergenic food out of your diet. That said, adopting and following a few practices can quickly become an almost automatic routine. The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of requires food manufacturers to flag potential allergens with plain English. You no longer have to memorize the names of all the additives that may contain milk protein or all the byproducts of wheat. Instead, the label will include statements like "Contains milk or milk products" or "Manufactured in a facility in which nuts were processed.

Manufacturers frequently change ingredients and may have slipped in an allergen. Take care when cooking. If everyone in the household isn't following an allergen-free diet, the goal is to avoid cross-contamination. It's a good idea to have two sets of cooking and eating utensils — one exclusively for the allergic person — so that a knife used to cut a peanut butter sandwich isn't inadvertently pressed into service buttering the toast of someone who's allergic to peanuts.

If that isn't possible, dishes and utensils should be thoroughly washed in hot, soapy water between uses. It's wise to let the manager or the chef know about your food allergy before you order. People with food allergies often carry a chef card — a printed note specifying all the ingredients you are allergic to as well as a request that all dishes, utensils, and preparation surfaces be free from traces of that food. You can customize a template of such a card on the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network Web site, www.

Formulate an action plan. Make a list of steps to take should you unwittingly ingest the food you are allergic to, and carry a printed copy of the plan with you. Wear a medical ID bracelet. Make sure it lists relevant information about your food allergy.

Carry two doses of epinephrine. This medication, commonly known as an EpiPen or TwinJet, can be injected into your thigh should you feel an attack coming on. While it's true that most persistent food allergies — peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish — are carried from childhood, adults can be waylaid by an allergic reaction to foods they've enjoyed all their lives.

They may feel a strange tingling or burning around the mouth, find hives springing up, or even have a full-blown anaphylactic reaction. Moreover, you can count on allergies that spring up in adulthood to stay with you forever. It's beginning to look as though adult-onset food allergies are a little different from those that develop in infancy. Most cases seem to rely on other factors to trigger them, including cross-reactivity to allergens from plants or animals, or even exercise, which arouses the immune system.

An allergic person's hyperactive immune system will sometimes mistake another protein for the one causing the allergy. One of the most common conditions caused by cross-reactivity is oral allergy syndrome OAS , in which eating certain raw fruits or vegetables sets off an attack of itching or swelling of the face, lips, mouth, tongue, and throat.

OAS is caused by-cross reactivity between airborne pollen proteins from trees, grasses, or other plants and proteins in fruits or vegetables that bear a molecular similarity to the pollen proteins.

In people who are already allergic to pollen, the body's immune system mistakes the protein in the produce for that of the plant and unleashes the reaction normally produced by pollen. However, in this case, the site of the reaction is different, centering around the mouth, rather than the nose and sinuses. The problem is common among people with seasonal allergies, and while it may be more severe during hay fever season, it isn't confined to that part of the calendar.

It can strike whenever the fruit or vegetable is eaten. This does work if the dose of sulphur is small. Otherwise I suffer from glutamate overload and become shaky, laboured breathing, diarrhoea and sometimes vomitting, altered taste and vision and have to sleep for a day.

Sports drinks high in magnesium seem to help to flush the toxin out of my system so I can function. Still it takes nearly a week to fully recover. I hope this information helps you. Can I heal my gut from this sensitivity? It is a genetic problem that does not allow a person to process synthetic folic acid or B There is a special form to take.

I and others in my family…also with a history of spina bifida have all been diagnosed, and are on the right folic acid and B This could be the answer to soooo many unexplained health issues! I also found the connection somewhere along the line probably another article online that taking Folic Acid supplements could counteract the effects of eating glutumate. For years, I always had Folic Acid with me and would take it after a restaurant meal particularly fast food.

I seemed to have almost no headaches. I recently found out that people with ulcerative colitis develop a Folic Acid deficiency. I have also had reactions to store-bought icing, although I cannot pin down the ingredients. Not sure where to get this info…. I searched for possibilities of Betaine HCl w pepsin taking grams per day causing high glutamate.

I have been using this for about a month consistently and now my glutamate symptoms are through the roof! Is Betaine HCL considered glycine?? Thanks for any help. After a year of trying to work out what was causing my symptoms rapid heart beat, arythmia and nights unable to sleep at all!

I had no idea until recently that these were both linked to free glutamic acid but when I found out it all made sense!! Does anyone have a remedy for the short-term symptoms relating to this? I naturally now avoid foods with these additives but sometimes they unknowingly make their way into a meal. I have this eat same problem and would love to hear any tips to overcome this condition of overstimulation when exercising.

NAC n-acetyl cysteine can help, and magnesium can too. NAC is an anti-oxidant and has many other benefits as well. Magnesium supplements are not safe for everyone. This misery a I described went on for a couple mo this before I finally figured out the cause.

Even too much of a high magnesium food chocolate can do this to me. This is not a common response to magnesium supplementation, but I have met two other people who have the same response.

I know of only one other person this happens to. I have fibromyalgia and everyone wants me to take magnesium. Practitioners all look at me strangely when I tell them about how magnesium causes terrible leg pains and keeps me awake all night. Does anyone know why? Or how to overcome it? Can magnesium really just be bad for a few people?

Yep magnesium can cause restless legs, cramps etc I had it when using magnesium chloride transdermally. Anything citric or oxide is a no-no. Glycinate can cause insomnia, malate and threonate I believe are the two best alternatives. I solved the problem of leg cramps caused by magnesium by eating a couple spoons of molasses each day. It is high in potassium.

Well…pushing down potassium may not be the mechanism for me. High potassium foods, potassium supplements do the same thing to me that magnesium does, muscle cramps, low blood pressure, etc.

Inadequate vitamin D absorption leads to Calcium deficiency. Calcium deficiency can lead to magnesium overload. I believe my body preferentially absorbs magnesium over calcium. Both times I had well above the normal range of magnesium in my rbcs. Interesting links between glutamate MSG foods and calcium. I was taking it for several weeks and noticing that my heart rate would be dangerously high at times.

It took me a disconcertingly long time for me to figure out it was the NAC! After about a week of not taking it the heart rate improved considerably. Also, many of tbe same foods also contain tyramines. Is there a way for someone to tell if they rea t to tryamine or glutimate? Do tryramines damage brain tbe way glutimate does? I have Lamictal to help me with my depression that last for at least 10 years as far as I know.

I read articles where the lamitrogine is related to inhabit the glutamate receptor. Does the glutamate diet do the oppoisite by exciting this receptor? I learned recently that glutamates were causing me to have restless leg syndrome. Also had an extreme reaction to whey protein where i was so wired that i did not sleep for 4 days. I stopped eating foods with high free glutamates and the RLS mostly disappeared. And insomnia continues to be a problem for me even after removing the glutamates.

After reading all the comments I will remove gelatin capsules and digestive enzymes to see if maybe they are a problem. Maybe the glutamate they contribute are not enough to cause RLS but still enough to disrupt my sleep.

Does anyone know, if you heal the Leaky gut will the glutamate sensitivity disappear. Although my diet includes many foods that I enjoy, I really miss all of the foods that have a more intense flavor. I have found that my legs become restless when I need more iron. Researchers at Johns Hopkins have noted the even RLS patients with normal blood levels of iron benefit from supplementation with iron. For this reason, they theorise that some people with RLS can have normal blood levels of iron while they are deficient of iron in their brains.

Hi Ann and Valerie. I was interested to read your posts. I have lived with restless leg syndrome for a number of years and only now finding out about the link with restless leg and glutamate sensitivity. A number of things ive noticed over the years bring on symtoms which I have naturally eliminated from my diet including protein supplements, creatine supplements, maltodextrin supplement, alcohol, coffee and also intense exercise.

Is there a way of testing if you have a sensitivity to glutamate that you are aware of? Hi, did u check your kidney function, endocrine status thyroid , or iron levels? I refer you to NHS choices link, for more detail.

May I add, from a personal experience; if u r around menopause age, that could be a notorious reason, and a reason for many more symotoms, especially when camouflaged while hot flashes are yet not fully proclaimed. I was having migraines continuously and it was recommended to go grain free. I did and the migraines went away. Should I start watching out for Glutamate now too? I had 15 years of chronic migraine that included vomitting and diarrhoea that lasted days to weeks.

I could not work and spent 18 months in bed before I started taking betablocker meds. I discovered hereditary conditions included spina bifida folate deficiency in utero and sulphur intolerance. I have cut out all foods high in sulphur, high free glutamate foods are also on the high sulphur food list. If I accidently eat preservatives or a free glutamate food I begin to get very sleepy and my mood is flattened.

I immediately take folic acid to counter this reaction. I am totally well now, working, and my poor health a distant memory. But I must eat a low sulphur diet, no preservatives or anything with numbers attached. I have the same reactions, high glutamate foods make me tired and sad, just out of interest, how did you find out that folic acid counters this reaction?

Which type of folic acid do you take and how much? I might not tolerate high sulphur foods also, I found this article about the connection between sulphur intolerance and mercury intoxication. Hi Anne My biological father, when I found him fifty years after my birth, listened to my symptoms and told me the whole family have a sulphur intolerance. He worked in the wine industry and advised me to stop drinking wine with preservative. So I now eat preservative free. Folate is needed in the development of nerve endings, glutamate and sulphur are excitotoxin to the brain, folate helps to counter some of this chemical reaction.

The other side of my family suffer from Spina bifida and migraine. I have a double -whammy intolerance. By connecting the family history and the science it became possible to note that folate lack of folate causes Spina bifida had a role to play in my health. NB Some new anti-epileptic drugs work on the glutamate receptors in the brain also, and may work for migraine.

First please studies that free glutamate ingested with food have fast spikes. Because you dont ingest free gluamate alone but with foods and this affecst absorbtion like in glucose. Second bounded glutamate is very fast unbounded by digestion. Remember no one eat glutamate acid alone however, comes without the natural components of food that help the body regulate glutamic levels.

Free glutamate lays physiological and nutritional roles and initiates digestion in the stomach as well as anticipates subsequent processes in the small intestine and the liver. For seasoning I use Himalayan salt, and herbs, nothing else. I cook as healthy a possible, I just recently saw that my daughter is disliking meat now.

She will have very very little almost nothing, wondering why? She is non verbal, but started with few words since on CD and herbal Therapy. How do we know what is free glutamate and what is bound? And how do walnuts have a high free glutamate index? Nothing is processed in them. You would think that would be the bound glutamate.

You will most likely see that they are. Is there any research on the safety of injecting MSG? Is the sensitivity point much lower?

My daughter has not received these vaccines yet only partially vaccinated. I am 43 years old and since I was 13 have been dealing with a seizure disorder. My wife and I were at a Chinese buffet. That night I had terrible seizures. This was about 3 years ago. Since then, I generally try to avoid those known foods with glutamate.

When I do have a seizure approximately 1 every three months and always at night , I can always link it to something I ate the night before. I came across this article after having had another seizure last night. Not realizing it had so much glutamate, I had quite a bit of blue cheese last night. Also, my son has been struggling with symptoms of ADHD for several years.

He has been diagnosed and has been on medication for several years now. Recently, he has seen by another physician and he has doubts that ADHD is the correct diagnosis. This is a very interesting thought and warrants follow up. Maybe the majority of his problems can be linked to a food sensitivity.

My 11 year old with ADHD who has been on meds for a year, saw a functional medicine dietician and has been glutamate free for over a month now. He is so different it is almost a miracle — calm, focusing, fun to be around.

We are yet to reduce the meds…and to re challenge his diet — but am very hopeful. My daughter is getting better, but still missing that raw juicing, vegetable, fruits and nuts, which I learned it now and make sense to me…. Do the seizures happen during tbe night?

I get tbe same thing but have been blaming on tyramines rather than glutimates- foiods that have them overlap considerably. Our first realization was the eczema it caused, but elimination of foods results in less excitability and better cotton and focus. In the past 3 years we trip on another sensitivity every 6 months or so-including red dye, chlorine and just recently glutamate.

We find it based on symptoms then research to find the trigger based on what he most recently ate. I believe many children are being diagnosed with adhd — but really just have food sensitivites.

Praying as a society we stop poisoning ourselves just to use medicines that cause worse issues. As someone who adopted the real food diet this year and bone broth I was excited to be healing a very leaky gut. However to my dismay, my symptoms worsened and I hit a health low. I finally realized that my joint pain and hives were directly caused by the bone broth and possibly glutamine-containing amino acid supplements prescribed by my functional practitioner.

Any suggestions are welcome. My gut is by far not healed, but got rid of the hives using MSM. The itching was so bad that not even antihistamines only available on prescription several times a day could get rid of it, I then started supplementing with MSM and after 4 months it was gone. I also tried supplementing with glutamic acid also in order to heal the gut, but had to stop taking it, as it worsened my mood.

I also just read a couple of days ago, that zinc helps heal a leaky gut and a leaky brain , so I will try this too now. I am also looking into fecal transplant. I cant restore a healthy microbiome because i cant eat any of tbe aged foods that provide beneficial bacteria. Between that and not being able to eat any dairy i have no lacobacilli in large intestine.

I do not have evidence of leaky gut but do have gratly elevated secretory IgA suggesting my immune system is overactive about something. Aged foods give me neurological symptoms and have to avoid greatly. Dont know how the dairy intolerance — fresh or aged — factors in. Works wonders also for your mood!

Is glutamate and L-glutamine the same thing? Are you using these words intergangeably perhaps? I hope they are not…. I stumbled upon the msg issue by accident. My grandson, who is non-verbal and autistic, was recently seen by a naturopath and had a full biochemical assessment done which, in part, showed low levels of glutathione. He was given a cream prescription to increase the level, but we were told this is a slow process and could take up to a year. No satisfied with this answer I went to the internet in search of a quicker way to raise his glutathione levels.

I ordered this, and before using my grandson as a guinea pig I tried it myself first. The first day I felt a very small amount of some generalized anxiety, the next day a little more and by the third day I was nearly crawling in my skin. My stomach was in a knot, my limbs, particularly my arms and calves were tingling and felt weak, and I just felt toxic. I had no idea what exactly was causing this but I knew it was something about the whey, so once again I went to the internet in search of an answer and I saw that on many of the body building forums which is most of the folks who use whey products people were talking about feeling anxiety when using whey.

But in my searches I kept seeing glutamate referenced, so I did more searches on glutamate and anxiety and I hit the jackpot! I could barely believe what I was reading about this substance! Thank god I did not give any of this poison to my grandson. And of course, now, the question is, how is glumatate affecting him on a daily basis and what role might glutamate play in his autism. What I know of certain, is that I experienced a horrific overload of glutamate and the physical symptoms were real, painful, and disturbing.

I cannot understand why the FDA allows this neurotoxin in nearly every single packaged food there is. Besides avoiding free glutamate, using glutamate blocking supplements, such as magnesium, B6, taurine, etc. This article is fantastic: It is very important to get the modern, hybrid wheat out of your diet. No beer with what malt in it although German beer should be safe as they will not uses Roundup dried wheat to make malt.

Is there any wheat but not whole wheat! If i get stuff imported from another country like pastafrom italy would this help? My daughter is better!! We do Herbs detox, colon detox with Enemas, I can tell you after just one enema, my daughter calms down immediately!!

It is a slow process, to get our kids back, Many kids started to talk, my daughter just started to say few words, and that is a positive thing to me, Please don not get any injection of Vitamin B, the worst is B Wish you all the best! Hi Mira, I just read your comment regarding the article on glutamate and your daughter. At the end of your comment you mentioned vitamin B12 being the worst.

Have you thought about testing her genes, as in 23AndMe? Just wanted to pass this on. She has a test that can test for where the methylation is breaking down. So, could vaccines have toxins that affect methylation further? What about supplements that have their capsule made of gelatin? Should we avoid taking supplements with capsules of gelatin?

I appreciate that you share your experience. I thought there might be another reason for me feeling better without them. I am new to this so I have so much to learn and understand yet! And then it is so good to hear from others what they do. Do they help with your digestion? Do you see a great improvement in symptoms and do you have any adverse reactions? I used to take this for digestion issues but no longer need it. You need to be specific as well and specify what thewe contaminants a day by-products are.

All of the latest and most reputable research indicates both multiple environmental causes MSG could certainly be one and a possible link to the dysbiosis and disruption of the normal bacterial population we all carry that outnumbers our own cells by X.

Finally, you need to edit your work more carefully: All this said, please keep up the good fight because our food truly is our best medicine. Thank you for all the excellent posts and comments. I want to learn more specifically about digestive enzymes possibly being a source of free glutamate? As was mentioned in one of the earlier posts.

Is this really the case? Can someone please confirm with a citation or two with more information? I would be very grateful! Hello, I was using half a cup of bone stock a day — cooked for 12 — 24 hours — when I developed a reaction to glutamate — for me this was an intense burning in my arms and legs. I had to stop all food sources of free glutamate but also had to ditch the fermented foods and digestive enzymes to get the pain to go away.

It did eventually but even after 6 months I am not able to touch any of t he offending foods, this has made life particularly difficult with regards the digestive enzymes, I now have to puree all food. My daughter suggested I check this website to seek help and learn more about glutamates. My husband has Lewy Body Dementia.

Mainstream medicine offers some help, with limits and no promises. Did you ever tried Coffee enemas? Do you take daily probiotic?

We have both been vegan for 3 years now and have noticed a significant improvement in our health and mood. I heard Katie interviewed by Holistic Nutrition labs and she was great. Look for her Ted talk as well. My question is, does free glutamate actually cause disorders like autism, ADD and Parkinsons or does it just exacerbate the symptoms because people with these issues are more susceptible?

My thoughts are there may be various factors that result in sensitivity to free glutamate like: For more info see unblindmymind. There is much science missing here and it is complex. Free glutamate need not cross the BBB to induce neuroinflammation in the brain, although crossing the BBB is one way for this response.

Neurotransmission signals and other chemicals like insulin are induced by glutamate binding to glutamate receptors and these signal freely cross to the brain. The same is true of casein protein or any protein subjected to processes that break the peptide bond.

As a follower but not to the nth degree of traditional foods, and as someone trying to heal diagnosed SIBO and reflux, I have turned to bone broth, gelatin, and probiotic foods for help, based on conventional wisdom.

How does one know which way to turn? I also have severe food allergies to nuts, peanuts and sesame, implying that there is a gut permeability issue. Without thousands of dollars of lab tests, any advice for the confused?

Also thank you so much for your work, and your dedication to helping those who struggle. I just watched your TEDx video and found your page. I had a recent experience with a change in diet. I have been avoiding free glutumate for over 30 years due to it causing bad headache and a hangover effect for 24 hours after consuming. Before then, I avoided wheat and never drank milk. My gastroenterologist prescribed the probiotic, VSL 3 and I am back to avoiding wheat and am cutting back on the dairy, but now I think I need to eliminate the milk all together due to the casein connection with glutumate.

As a person who gets migraines and has Fibromyalgia, I definitely have a sensitivity to glutamate. And I have studied this subject tirelessly. MSG is the biggest offender, but most of the products the author listed also bother me except not really broccoli nor homemade broths.

I would also add chocolate as one of my main triggers most people with migraines should avoid chocolate too. I would also add that most IBS is caused by glutamates. As soon as I avoided it as much as possible , my IBS completely went away! Although I do think the condition of the gut and brain barrier play a huge role in individual sensitivity, I think enzymes play a role too. Not just digestive enzymes, but possibly metabolic enzymes. And so each person will have a varying degree of sensitivity based on their personal profile of genetics and deficiencies and damage to these systems.

Here is an article about this study: Because, as an earlier post pointed out, glutamate, like all other amino acids, is balanced in real foods by other inhibitory substances. The role of MSG and other man-made versions of glutamate are a big problem for our health, and if the FDA would at least take a stand against it being added to everything, we would be taking a huge step toward improving the health of our country.

Could they be suffering from a glutamate deficiency, or have I got his backwards? Daniel, when you are as sick as these people are, you have already studiously ruled out the most common cause of illness. Then you start going down the path of the lesser known causes. There is no need to make light of their situation. Some people such as myself get very not to say extremely sick ingesting these foods glutamate is a neurotransmitter.

I would never avoid these foods just out of precaution, if I did not experience any bad reactions. So I understand that it seems quite extreme or exaggerated, cause it includes just about anything! I suspect I have a glutamate sensitivity, but my symptoms are not the same as most described online. I get a reduction in the pressure of blood flow to the periphery it seems, so the weight of my feet is enough to push the blood out and make my soles white.

Or, sitting on my hands pushes all the blood out and it comes back slowly over ten seconds or so. Does anyone else have this type of symptom? I also react to caffeine… Amy does that fit with a glutamate issue? Are you familiar with Idiopathic Hypersomnia? GABA is a key player in this condition. I wonder how the glutamate GABA balance affects this condition. Until one day I ended up in the ER for anaphylactic shock after trying gelatin as a supplement.

Thankfully I found forums where it seemed like an extensive number of people who do not have ADHD or autism have been dealing with the same thing and struggling to find a solution. I can consume homemade fish and lamb stock if cooked at a low level for a shorter amount of time.

Some people seem to have similar reactions to supplement fillers such as cellulose and silicon dioxide so I avoid additives as well. Other than that I have no idea. Thank you for this article. Hi Ellisabethe, I would love to know more of your resources and the forums you mentioned.

I am just realizing a connection between glutamate and my health issues and am amazed how much better I feel after just a few days of intervention. But, there seems to be so few choices for me to eat. I never eat out, and I eat pretty clean. I was on 24 hour fast, not intentional but by chance. I experienced extreme thirst, which is a known side effect of MSG. I experienced a very horrible case sleeping that night, and my body was full of sweat.

I screamed several times and jumped out of bed. I recall experiencing nightmares or night terrors as a kid, and I assume that was diet. I never experience nightmares, not after the incident and not for years before it.

I was drenched in sweat. Another thing I ate there was a lot of clams. They were big and chewy and gritty with what seemed like dirt. Great post, thanks Amy. While milk is the biggest source of lactose, fermented dairy like cheese has a much lower concentration. Not only should all dairy be cut out on a lactose intolerance diet, but also any foods that contain milk derivatives.

In particular, Lactaid pills are becoming increasingly popular. Lactaid pills are, in reality, a kind of medicine for lactose intolerance. In essence, they are lactose intolerance pills. Seeing that many people love dairy foods, demand is high for a solution. Additionally, other people worry about getting enough calcium from their diet without dairy. The idea is that if you take these Lactaid pills alongside lactose-containing food, you can avoid the symptoms of lactose intolerance.

Therefore—the manufacturers claim—the lactose intolerant have the freedom to eat the foods they want, whenever they want. However, should we rely on a pill to eat the food we want? And could there be any side effects of Lactaid pills? Lactaid pills contain the lactase enzyme, and owing to their active ingredient—work by breaking down the lactose in food.

Lactaid pills work by supplying the body with the lactase enzyme, which breaks down lactose allowing it to be digested. Thankfully there are a couple of resources we can use to get a better idea, though.

There are a few studies on the use of supplemental lactase, which provide the following peer-reviewed findings:. Based on a total of 59 user reviews on Web MD, Lactaid Pills received the following rating out of 5 As we can see, the ratings for satisfaction and effectiveness are not especially reassuring.

Looking through the comments, many users experience side effects such as sickness. However, others say that the pill has been a great help and allowed them to eat what they want. On the other hand, Lactaid pills gain a much higher score on Amazon with a rating of 4.

While some of these reviews are almost perfect, others say that the product still made them very sick. Lactaid pills demonstrate positive benefits in the available studies.

However, they receive mixed comments from user reviews. On the negative side, these benefits apply to all users. As with most supplements and medications, unfortunately, Lactaid pills can and do have side effects. Having read through many reviews; stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting are some of the most commonly reported side effects. Whether these side effects are due to the actual Lactaid pill itself is unclear. Also, Web MD provides a more general side effect warning.

While it appears Lactaid pills can have side effects, they are mild in most cases. Providing you decide not to use Lactaid, are there any realistic alternatives for milk and dairy products as a whole?

Or to use as a substitute in the kitchen? Despite how prevalent the idea of dairy being essential for calcium is, there are many non-dairy sources of the mineral. In the first place, coconut milk looks identical to normal milk. Coconut cream is similar to the milk, with the only difference being a thicker, creamier consistency. If you are confused about the difference between the two, the main point of differentiation is that coconut cream lacks the water.

The cream is thick and like a paste and much tastier, in my opinion! While many milk substitutes such as soy are full of cheap additives, the quality of almond milk varies wildly. As can be seen, many substitutes for dairy are available. With this in mind; if you are lactose intolerant and wish to keep eating dairy, Lactaid pills might be worth a try. Last Updated on August 9th, I especially like the non-dairy alternative. Coconut is abundant in Malaysia and other tropical countries.

Dairy products also have casein that may cause celiac disease. A better choice is organic raw unpasteurized ghee. I think staying away from dairy is probably necessary for many — but not all.

Also sometimes fermented dairy is a lot better tolerated than milk. How does the ghee you made at home taste? I have been struggling with lactose intolerance for 16 years. But I hated being dependent on them. I started LCHF about a month ago. I was nervous about giving up lactose-free milk and using cream. But to my amazement, no problems!