There are several forms of food allergies. One is a true food allergy that develops, usually in childhood, and does not go away. These allergies are usually to only one or two foods. The reactions can range from skin rashes to anaphylactic shock.
There are some people who are allergic to many foods, and the list seems to grow every year. Most of the time, these allergies developed during adolescence or adulthood. The problem here is a little different, it is usually leaky gut syndrome, a condition in which the intestinal walls lose their intelligence, allowing whole food particles to leak through the intestinal lining and into the blood stream. The body makes antibodies to attack these foreign invaders, and ingestion of these foods then causes an allergic response. The answer is not to stay away from a growing number of offending foods, but to work on restoring the health of the gastrointestinal tract so that these foods can be tolerated, and so that more allergies don’t develop. This is done by eliminating the offending foods, fixing the gut and then reintroducing them, being careful to not over-consume. Some people find, for example with gluten containing foods, that they can tolerate small portions, but cannot tolerate eating wheat 13 times per day, for example.
Food allergies due to leaky gut do not show up in standard blood tests and skin prick tests conducted in an allergists office. These can only be evaluated based on trial and error. In other words, if the food causes a problem, it is a problem and needs to be dealt with in the manner described above.
Some foods, like dairy, cause adverse reactions in almost everyone who consumes them. The reason is that humans were never designed to consume milk from a cow.
Other foods tend to cause an allergic reaction due to the fact that many foods are genetically altered. Soy, for example, is the most frequently genetically engineered food in the U.S. Prior to the introduction of GE soy in the marketplace, soy was not on the top 10 list of allergic foods. However, since its introduction, soy has increasingly been reported as an allergen. Many people who have thought they were allergic to soy actually were allergic to GE soy, and when they consumed organic soy foods did not have the same reaction.
Food allergies or sensitivities manifest themselves in a number of ways. Dark circles under the eyes are a sign of allergy. Behavior problems, gas and bloating, sleep disorders, depression and cognitive disorders are just some of the ways in which a food allergy can be identified.
There seems to be a trend among some practitioners to identify food allergies and then construct complicated diets around those allergies, which is not an effective treatment. The underlying cause must be addressed, which is to heal the gut and then return the person to normal eating.
I am often asked what to do if someone has an allergy to one of the foods in Juice Plus capsules. First, make sure it is a true allergy. Then evaluate the response the person has when consuming the food. Many people who are allergic to foods can tolerate the capsules because they bypass the interaction with the saliva. But be careful there is a difference between someone who tends to develop a skin rash when they eat a food vs. someone who tends to go into anaphylactic shock. Respect someone’ hesitation if they are reluctant to try the capsules.