The incidence of food hypersensitivity increases in our population. Unwanted reactions to food intake are observed in both young children and adults.
We distinguish two types of food hypersensitivity
The first group are those in which the immune response is the basis
- food allergy IgE dependent,
- food allergy IgE independent.
The second group is food intolerance. These are disorders resulting from the deficiency of enzymes responsible for digestion, i.e. the breakdown of food molecules. They are not associated with the activation of the immune system. Among them, the most popular are lactose intolerance (milk sugar), fructose (sugar found in fruits), histamine (a biogenic amine found inter alia in such products as strawberries, nuts, yellow cheese).
In common use, the terms allergy and food intolerance are increasingly used interchangeably. Incorrectly formulated food intolerance is used to determine delayed food hypersensitivity, i.e., independent IgE. As a result, there are many misunderstandings both during diagnosis and the establishment of a nutritional plan.
To determine whether you are dealing with intolerance or allergies, it is not enough to observe the symptoms after eating the products. Often, the symptoms are very similar and clearly do not indicate which type of hypersensitivity we are dealing with.
In response to ingested food, the immune system is involved. Antibodies that bind to the food molecule are produced. An antigen-antibody complex is formed.
The elimination diet requires the exclusion from consumption of all allergy products.
In the case of dependent IgE allergies, the so-called fast, the diet should be used very restrictively and most often throughout life.
However, when dealing with IgE allergy – independent, delayed, it often happens that the body tolerates the consumption of small doses of allergen. We can also count on the fact that after a long period of elimination, the body will tolerate allergenic products. In this case elimination should be combined with restoring the intestinal tightness.
In the case of food intolerance, lack of enzymes may be congenital (lactose intolerance diagnosed in children) or acquired during life, e.g. due to intestinal microflora disorders induced by antibiotic treatment.
Elimination diet in the case of lactose intolerance includes the exclusion of milk, it is often the case that fermented dairy products are well tolerated.
It is also possible to administer enzymes that intersperse the product in intolerance (eg in the case of histamine intolerance, administration of the DAO enzyme).
In the case of food intolerance, we assess the activity and production of enzymes responsible for the distribution of raw materials. Diagnosis of intolerance has nothing to do with the tests performed with blood serum, which are designed to determine the antigens (foods) to which the body reacts with the production of antibodies.