Food Allergy Talk.com

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Frequently Asked Questions


  • What Is Gluten?

    • Gluten is the generic name for certain types of proteins contained in the common cereal grains wheat, barley, rye, and other derivatives.  Gluten is also a tenacious elastic protein substance especially of wheat flour that gives cohesiveness to dough.  It is also becoming increasingly known for it's ability to cause a "toxic immune response" in many genetically predisposed individuals.  Oats are not recommended because of potential unacceptable levels of contamination.

  • What is Gliadin?

    • It is a thought to be toxic, and is a protein subfraction of gluten.  It is the component in gluten grains that are closely linked to the chronic intestinal disorder known as celiac disease, along with a daunting list of other non-celiac medical conditions and symptoms.  And the only way to get around this disorder, is to eliminate gluten from the diet.

  • What are some other diseases linked to celiac disease?

    • Dermatitis herpetiformis, Thyroid Disease, Systemic lupus erythematosus, Insulin-dependent diabetics, Liver disease, Collagen vascular disease, Rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjogren's syndrome.  The connection between celiac and these diseases could be genetic. Consult your physician for appropriate tests.

  • Is Food Allergies, the same as Food Intolerances?

    • NO, food allergies are different from food intolerances.  In food intolerances, there is an adverse reaction to a food for reasons that do not involve the immune system. With lactose intolerance, for instance, a person lacks an enzyme necessary to digest milk sugar. As a result, when they consume dairy products they develop symptoms like bloating and diarrhea.  For food intolerances, there is a pill available to be able to help the body digest most food intolerances.  On the other hand, there is no cure for food allergies, and the only way to prevent a reaction is to strictly avoid the foods that prompt them.

  • Can my kid/Teen outgrow food allergies?

    • Typically, while kids are most at risk for food allergies, many outgrow them. However, allergies to peanut, tree nuts, fish and shellfish are generally life-long. And fish and shellfish allergies tend to develop in adulthood.

    • However, currently, from my own observations it appears like many are developing food allergies and intolerances later in life, unlike before. I would attribute this to our rapidly changing diets and the foods we consume. This includes the sugars (inflammatory), chemicals, pesticides, and increased consumption of processed foods.

  • What is Celiac Disease?

    • Celiac Disease is a lifelong digestive disorder found in individuals who are genetically susceptible.  Damage to the small intestine is caused by immunologically toxic reaction to the ingestion of gluten.  This does not allow foods to be properly absorbed.  Even small amounts of gluten in foods may affect those with Celiac Disease and cause health problems.  Damage can occur to the small bowel even in the absence of symptoms

  • If I don't know what something is on the ingredients label, should I just eat it anyway?

    • NO!  It isn't worth triggering your Immune system and the damage to the small intestine that occurs every time gluten is consumed, regardless of the amount eaten, or whether symptoms are present.

  • Are Wheat Free products Gluten Free?

    • NO!  Wheat Free Products could still contain rye, barley, or other ingredients that are not GF. They can remove the gluten from wheat with new technology, but this doesn’t mean there is no longer wheat. Always read your ingredient labels!

  • If I use the same toaster for GF (Gluten Free) bread, and regular bread, can they get Contaminated?

    • YES!  GF Bread CAN get contaminated, just by using the same toaster that has been used with  GF bread, and Non-GF bread.

    • This also applies to utensils, and any other cooking supplies or containers

  • If I’m allergic to cashews, am I allergic to all nuts?

    • Well, it would depend if you were allergic to cashews...because peanuts, can mean just a peanut, not all nuts.  If u have an anaphylactic reaction (where your throat closes up and you can't breath, swelling, heart failure, or your body starts to shut down, and can lead to death) to peanuts, then you should avoid all types of nuts, in the interest of safety.  I also recommend you reading the paragraph titled Types Of Nuts on the Peanuts & soy page of this web site.

    • Although you may be allergic to a specific nut, it is suggested to stay away from all nuts due primarily to a high risk of cross-contamination

  • Are food allergies genetic?

    • YES, it has been established by scientific research that there is a genetic component that is tied to allergies.  A series of genetic mutations can make all this allergic reaction be triggered more easily.  Genetic abnormalities, therefore, passed on from a generation to another, give particular individuals a predisposition to suffer from allergy.  In these individuals, the immune system has some innate faults, and if the relevant allergen or allergens (the substance or body triggering the allergic reaction) enter the body in sufficient quantity, the allergic process is started.

  • What is the most common food allergy in the average american?

    • The Most common food allergy in the average American is Peanuts.  Here is the "Top Eight" allergenic foods:

1.  Peanuts and peanut products

2.  Soy and soy products

3.  Egg and egg products

4.  Milk and milk products

5.  Tree nuts and tree nut products, the most allergenic of which are

-Almond

-Brazil nut

-Cashew

-Filbert (hazelnut)

-Macadamia

-Pecan

-Pine nut

-Pistachio

-Walnut

6.  Fish and fish products (not all species have the same allergic potential)

7.  Shellfish: crustaceans (shrimp, prawn, lobster, crab, crayfish or crawfish)

8.  Wheat and wheat products


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