Lesson 1: Types of Food Reactions

Types of food reactions

About food allergies and sensitivities

Food allergies and sensitivities are concerns more parents must deal with every passing year. In fact, studies show that by 2050, incidences of allergies in children will have risen by 70%.

What’s going on? Why are we seeing more and more incidences of allergies in our children? Well, there have been a lot of theories trying to explain this phenomenon, but they all boil down to one thing: modern diets and lifestyles.

Not all reactions are true allergies

Reactions caused by the foods we eat is a complex subject. There are three main types of reactions you will likely come across, they are true food allergies, food sensitivities and food intolerances.

IgE mediated food reactions are true food allergies involving the release of histamine. Food allergies range from mild to life-threatening. Reactions such as nausea, coughing, trouble breathing, chest pain, itchy tongue or lips, hives, vomiting, or stomach cramps occur rapidly.

Food sensitivity

Food sensitivities involve the immune system but are not true food allergies. They are mediated by the IgG antibody and are delayed, so reactions occur hours or even days after the offending food has been ingested, making identification tricky.

Food sensitivities are accumulative so your child may be OK with consuming a small amount of the food but have problems when too much of it is consumed. Symptoms also vary widely from child to child.

Food Intolerance

Food intolerances, while often confused with food allergies and sensitivities, are unique. They do not involve the immune system and are usually due to the lack of certain digestive enzymes. Taking a broad-spectrum food enzyme may prove helpful.