Food allergies and food sensitivities are hard. I will never say otherwise. You may get a rhythm down and get used to managing symptoms, but to really dig through what is going on in your body so you can decrease your overall reactivity…that's hard.
Biggest reason? Most likely because the solution is rarely a black and white answer. In fact, the more time passes, the more people like you and me have symptoms. There are more folks with food allergies and sensitivities now than in previous decades. I could throw a few references in here for that one…but I can see it in my own life and practice.
Why are more people suffering with food allergies and sensitivities now? I will always go back to inflammation and its causes…like stress. If we just stopped there we have enough evidence for an increase in allergies and sensitivities! This world is stressful!
But there are also a growing number of triggers and cross-reactions being identified. Things like latex cross-reactivity, profilin cross-reactivity, and lipid-transfer protein allergies.
Let's take a peek at those potential triggers because I had only ever heard of latex allergies! I share because the more you know about the possible causes of your symptoms, the more you can start to piece together the puzzle. There is not one answer for everyone because you are unique in every single way - your genetics, your life experience, how you manage stress. But, like Schoolhouse Rock! reminded me every Saturday morning - Knowledge is Power!
Latex allergies became an issue in the 1980s. Prior to then there were only a handful of reports of reactions to latex, but those reactions were in industries other than medicine (where we think of latex gloves as being common and a primary trigger). The discussion about why it really picked up steam in the 80's is all over the place, but suffice it to say this is a true allergy. Individuals with latex allergy commonly have anaphylactic reactions.
As the research has continued over the years, ten different proteins were identified as triggering latex allergies. Like many other cross-reactivity reactions, those trigger proteins are similar to proteins found in foods…and your body mistakes the food for the latex.
Some of the foods known to cross-react with latex include avocado, kiwi, chestnut and banana. In practice, I have seen many latex-allergic individuals also react to pineapple with a burning sensation in their mouth, but pineapple is not recognized as one of the big foods of concern. Apples, celery, melons, potatoes and tomatoes are also likely to cause cross-reactions.
A friend of mine actually clued me into this potential allergy. I had never heard of profilins! They are another group of common proteins. This scenario may sound a little familiar - the first sensitization is to pollen and then the food (or latex) reactions follow. Sounds a lot like Pollen-Food Allergy Syndrome and Oral-Allergy Syndrome, doesn't it?!
The foods more commonly associated with profilin-type cross-reactions include watermelon, citrus fruits, pineapple, banana, persimmon, muskmelon, tomato and zucchini. (Zucchini was the one my friend asked me about.)
Lipid transfer protein
Ever met anyone allergic to lettuce? If so, they likely are living with a lipid-transfer protein allergy. Interestingly, this allergy has most commonly been described in the Mediterranean region. (Actually, profilin allergy is more common there, too!) But that doesn't mean it can't happen in other areas and other cultural groups! Yet again, these are proteins found in most plants which do just what their name suggests - they allow movement of lipids in the tissues of plants.
This is another pollen-sensitization syndrome (mostly mugwort and grass pollen) and peaches seem to be the biggest food trigger. Other common food cross-reactions include hazelnuts and walnuts, peanuts, beer, asparagus, grapes, cabbage, dates, celery, tomato, eggplant, lettuce and pineapple.
Does it even matter? Can you change any of this?
Keep in mind all of these different allergies are just that - allergies. Allergies are a common trigger for food sensitivities because they prime the immune system and increase inflammation exponentially. There comes a point with the immune system where it simply reacts to everything because of the constant bombardment of different allergens.
For any of these allergies, the goal is absolutely to eliminate the triggers so the individual with the allergy does not have to deal with an anaphylactic reaction. That is step one.
But the next steps can frequently feel pretty foggy and nebulous. Next steps should always focus on decreasing inflammation. Sounds easy. It's not. But here is one idea to get you started…
Sixty-second Self-care Tip…
If the only change you make is reading the labels of things you eat and drink and putting down everything that lists "high-fructose corn syrup" as an ingredient, you will notice a difference.
The difference may be an increase in post-nasal drip or feeling more hungry or cranky or going to the bathroom to pee more often. These are signs of detox and decreasing inflammation. Be patient with your body and the process. If you can make it for nine days, research says things should get easier…!
Looking for some additional ideas of how to take care of YOU as you're figuring out those food sensitivities? Request my free resource, 7 Steps to Minimize Histamine Intolerance. And then if you have any questions, feel free to email me at email@example.com!