For reasons we will discuss below, food allergy, especially the delayed type has been most frequently considered a problem by alternative medicine practitioners. Happily, it is becoming more and more detected by traditional physicians. Food allergies have been implicated as being either directly causal or contributory to the development to an astounding 60 different medical conditions. These conditions include many ordinarily not thought to be related to food allergy including ADD, ADHD, adult ADD, adult ADHD, autism, fibrymyalgia, and hypoglycemia. They can effect virtually every part of the body and range in severity from mild gastrointestinal upset to life threatening illnesses such as celiac disease. The delayed reaction type of food allergies discussed in detail below, are commonly overlooked in medical evaluation because the testing for them has until recently not been reliable. Happily, that has changed, but the typical doctor on the street is yet to learn about it. Common conditions frequently associated with food allergy include:

Adult ADD
Adult ADHD
Chronic fatigue
Chronic sinus problems
Craving of sugar or sweets
Craving of most any food
Depression or anxiety
Irritable bowel syndrome
Intestinal yeast infections
Skin rashes
Yeast infection symptoms
Sadly, these are the some of the very most frustrating conditions to both physician and patient, yet, the food allergy connection is usually overlooked!

How do food allergies develop? Please see the Gastrointestinal pages of our web site and review the development of the “leaky gut” which is a major contributor to food allergies. A second common cause of food allergies happens when foods are introduced into an infant's diet too early in life. Ideally, an infant should be breast fed until 5 or 6 months. Then, the less allergenic foods like fruits and vegetables can begin being added to the diet. The most common food allergy is milk and can begin even from milk-based infant formulas or from a mother drinking milk while nursing. A third possible mode of food allergy development is when the parents are also allergic. If one parent has allergies, the infant has an increased risk of allergies which doubles if both parents are allergic. Of course, the diet of the mother while pregnant can also influence the immune system of the infant and highly allergenic foods such as milk should not be consumed by a nursing mother.

There are two types of allergic reactions to food; “immediate” and “delayed”. Not to be confused with food “intolerance” or “ sensitivity” such as lactose intolerance (milk sugar), these reactions are true immune responses with potentially far-reaching adverse effects in the body. The immediate reactions are those which people usually are aware that they have. Such reactions occur within an hour or two after eating the food. It is easy to make a correlation with how one feels an hour or two after eating the offending food. On the other hand, the delayed reactions may not occur for from a few hours to even a day or two after eating the food. It is common for a person, for example, to drink a glass of milk today and have an asthma attack tomorrow, never dreaming of a connection between the two. It is these delayed reactions that go overlooked in medical offices everywhere. They wreck havoc in people's health and lives for years, sometimes a lifetime, without being identified. When identified and properly treated, food allergies can become history in a person's life giving an outcome of freedom from symptoms that may have plagued him/her for years.

The most accurate diagnostic test for food allergies is what is referred to as an “elimination diet”. In our fast paced day and life style, it is next to impossible to accomplish. Happily, there is now available a simple blood test which will test for dozens of food allergies on one blood sample. This is the test mentioned above that has heretofore been unreliable. Now, we have a few labs that have perfected the test to within acceptable tolerances of accuracy and the results they are providing us are truly fantastic.

You will want to get the direction of a practitioner who is familiar with the diagnosis and treatment of food allergy. If your lab test is positive for food allergies, your practitioner will give you the correct plan to alleviate the symptoms, usually what is called a “rotation diet”. Very importantly , he/she will also want to assess the cause of your food allergies, that is, what started the problem in the first place. The leaky gut, as discussed in the link mentioned above is a consideration of paramount importance in the development of your recovery plan. In addition, you will want to take supplements which are known to be helpful in returning your gut to normal. Some of the more commonly used products include;

Ultra Clear Sustain (Metagenics Company)
Vitamin A
Enzyme supplements
Hydrochloric acid supplements
Friendly flora supplements
Seacure (a hydrolyzed fish protein product)
Your practitioner will know which supplements are best suited for you.

There is a very good online self-assessment for the presence of food allergies available online at . Simple, convenient and inexpensive, it will address your potential for food allergies as well as potential for a number of related conditions. We wholeheartedly encourage you to do this assessment which we consider essential for every patient with the symptoms of food allergy.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Smith is a 35 year veteran chiropractor and board certified clinical nutritionist. He was practicing "alternative medicine" decades before the term was coined.