There is a difference between food allergy, food sensitivity and food intolerance.
A food allergy is a reaction produced by the body’s immune system when it encounters a normally harmless substance. This adverse reaction to food involves the immune system. The further breaks down into two kinds of reaction: food allergy or food sensitivity. Food intolerance does not involve the immune system.
Food allergy could be dangerous as it could cause the anaphylactic shock caused by release of enormous amount of histamine and other chemical mediators. Common foods that could cause dangerous allergic reaction are nuts and shellfish.
Food allergies usually affect airways, digestion system or skin. After being in contact with the allergen the reaction will occur usually during first two hour.
Food sensitivity is completely different. Any organ can be affected by food sensitivity and the reaction is delayd up to several days, that’s why it is so hard to learn who your enemy is. The orthodox treatment often provides only temporary relieve.
Food intolerance often causes digestion problems but the immune system is not involved. Food intolerance depends upon the amount of eaten food, the more you ate the worse could be the unpleasant reaction. If you have an allergy, then even one molecular of the allergen could cause severe health problems.
There is currently no cure for food allergies or intolerances. The only way to prevent a reaction is to avoid the food you are allergic to. The good news is that most children will grow out of their allergy to eggs, milk, wheat and soya – generally by about the age of five. With age the gut will mature and the response in the immune system’s to that food will change.
This is common that one person has allergy to several different foods. This is called “atopic” and refers to a tendency to develop allergies. Being atopic can mean you react to a number of unrelated allergens, for example eggs and cats. Other people can react to different foods that contain either the same allergen or an allergen with a very similar structure, which means they can cause similar allergic reactions. This is known as allergic cross-reactivity. This means that if someone is allergic to peanuts, they might react to other foods in the legume family such as soya, peas, lentils, lupin and beans.
For allergy sufferers in Essex and Suffolk
Salicylates allergy tests in East Anglia – Suffolk, Essex.
The tests for salicylates allergy can be done for babies, children and adults living in East Anglia.
Symptoms like rash, redness of the skin, coughing, digestion problems, swollen hands or feet, to mention just few, are all symptoms of salicylic allergy. Living in East Anglia your allergy could be sorted.
Why suffer with an allergy if it can be treated?
If you live in Essex or Suffolk or somewhere else in East Anglia and you think that you have allergy to aspirin or salicylates – it can be tested. Allergy to salicylates is a pathological pseudo-allergic condition characterized by intolerance to salicylic acid derivatives, which are part of drugs, cosmetics and food.
Salicylites can be found in ordinary food such as
Fruits – all fruits except bananas, limes & pears
Vegetables – nearly all vegetables except cabbage, celery, lettuce and potatoes
Some oils – like coconut and olive oil
Beverages – fruit juices, teas, coffee, flavoured soft drinks
Processed and canned meats, fish
Some herbs & spices, some nuts.
There are much more salicylates in unripe fruit.
Synthetic salicylates are used in personal care products – toothpaste, shampoo, medications (e.g. aspirin), and cleaning products.
Allergy to salicylates show itself in different forms- , they vary depending on the nature of the allergic reaction – it could be skin problems (rash, urticaria), swelling of the mucous membranes of the eyes and nose, asthmatic attacks, abdominal pain and swelling of the extremities. Diagnosis is made on the basis of studying the patient’s history or by having an allergy test.
There is nothing new about an allergy to salicylates, as they have been used in medicine from the beginning of the 20th century.
The exact number of sufferers is unknown..
The exact cause of intolerance to salicylic acid and its derivatives is unknown, there are a number of assumptions and hypotheses on this subject. The complexity of the issue is caused by the fact that this pathological condition is not an allergy in the classical sense, since there is no component of the abnormal immune response of the body. By type, this is a pseudo-allergic reaction, based on the direct effect of salicylates on target cells. The main theories attempting to explain the occurrence of a condition are as follows:
• Hereditary predisposition. In some families there may be a number of people with salicylates allergy
• Combination with other allergies. If somebody has for example asthma – there is a greater risk of suffering from a salicylates allergy. The explanation for this, the researchers see in the membrane additional destabilization of already activated mast cells.
• Increased dosage of drugs like aspirin. Supporters of the hypothesis argue that most of the episodes of this pseudo-allergy are caused by this mechanism.
Pathogenesis – the pathogenesis of allergy to salicylates has been studied in full. Most of these substances are non-selective inhibitors which have anti-inflammatory and antipyretic effects. Sometimes they can directly affect the membranes of mast cells destabilizing them. This leads to the release of biologically active substances (histamine, serotonin, and others), as is the case with the first type of allergic reaction. The secretion of immunoglobulin E, usually stimulating mast cells, does not occur, therefore, intolerance to salicylates is a pseudo-allergy.
Histamine and related compounds have the ability to dilate blood vessels, affect muscles and stimulate the mucous glands. Depending on the tissues involved the clinical picture of the pathological condition will occur. For example –if there is stimulation of bronchial mast cells, there will be a brochospasm with the release of an abundant amount of mucus (as in asthma). In the case of skin affected – urticaria, skin redness, itching will occur. Sometimes there is an activation of tissue basophils in many organs of the body and the release of a huge amount of histamine, which threatens the development of anaphylactic shock.
Allergy to salicylates occurs in several forms./ Sometimes these forms could overlap. Urticaria may be complicated by allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis. /
• Bronchial type. Under the influence of pseudoallergen, the airways narrow and they are further obstructed by viscous and thick mucus. With existing bronchial asthma, this may complicate the course of the underlying disease and stimulate the development of an attack.
• Skin type. Occurs when the salicylates touch the skin or (as part of medicinal and cosmetic preparations). Characterized by the development of redness and itching, the area and location of the lesion is different in different patients. Sometimes urticaria and skin oedema may occur.
• Pollinous type. On the foreground is swelling of the mucous membranes – the nasal cavity and conjunctiva of the eyes. Perhaps the addition of headache, shortness of breath. Mostly develops when taking salicylates inside.
• Abdominal type. Characterized by abdominal pain after taking drugs and products with acetylsalicylic acid and its analogues. The pathogenesis is a spastic contraction of the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract, impaired secretion of gastric juice and reduced protection against the walls of the stomach.
• Oedematous type. This occurs after oral administration of salicylates or their contact with the skin. It is characterized by oedema of the subcutaneous tissue of the face, neck, hands and feet.
Severe complication of allergy to salicylates – anaphylactic shock – can occur at any time, regardless of the type of pathological condition. The main role in this is played by the amount of consumed substances of the salicylic acid: at high dosages, the reaction proceeds harder, and the probability of shock is higher. This is the main difference between this condition and classical allergy, in which severe consequences can arise from negligible amount of the allergen.
Symptoms of allergy to salicylates
Depends on which system of organs has suffered more. Statistically, there are more signs of a bronchial problems – difficulty breathing, cough, expiratory dyspnea (difficulty breathing out). Symptoms occur soon after the use of medicines or food with salicylates and persist for 1-3 days, provided that there is no new allergen intake in the body. Persons with asthma may develop an attack; its severity depends on the dose of salicylic acid.
Manifestations of the skin form of pseudo-allergy are redness, itching, rash, and other manifestations of urticaria. Damage may occur in areas of direct contact with an irritating substance (when applied externally) or in other areas of the skin. Symptoms usually persist for 2-5 hours, then disappear. The pollinous type is characterized by the appearance of nasal congestion, sneezing, pain in the eyes, headache. The duration of the painful condition ranges from 5-10 hours to 2-4 days.
Abdominal forms are manifested by pain in the epigastric region a few hours after taking drugs or eating food with salicylates. Their intensity is different, the character is mostly aching or burning. Sometimes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and other dyspeptic disorders are possible. This condition persists for several hours. The oedematous type is characterized by a marked swelling of the face, neck, eyelids, and distal extremities soon after taking salicylic acid. Disappearance of oedema can take several days.
The earliest and most severe complication of allergy to salicylates is the development of anaphylactic shock, accompanied by a sharp drop in blood pressure, fainting. The patient requires urgent medical care. Other consequences of pseudo-allergy can be bronchial asthma, secondary infection of the conjunctiva of the eyes, nasal cavity, scratching on the skin. The abdominal form can trigger the development of gastritis, peptide gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer, described cases of enteritis. However, such complications are quite rare, after restriction of contact with the allergen.
Allergy to salicylates is ideally identified by consultant allergist-immunologist, diagnostics includes taking the patient’s history, examination, a number of laboratory and instrumental studies depending on the form of the pathological condition.
In Ipswich in East Anglia I could test you and identify if you have salicylate allergy or not . The test is not invasive, it is not a blood test. It is a kinesiology muscle test. The sample / little cylinder/ with saliscylate will be put in contact with your arm and the muscle strength will be tested before and after the application.
Treatment of Salicylate Allergy
Treatment can be
symptomatic and prophylactic. The main condition for prophylactic treatment is the elimination of salicylic acid compounds in the body. Symptomatic treatment is aimed at reducing the level of histamine in the tissues and its activity, which allows to reduce the manifestations of pathology. Treatment includes:
• Special diet. The reduction in the diet of the proportion of products containing salicylates. Salicylic acid and its derivatives are found predominantly in plant foods – fruits, nuts, some vegetables and spices.
• Careful selection of skin preparations. A number of cosmetic and external medicines contain salicylates. Therefore, when choosing a cream or ointment, you should carefully read its ingredients..
• Antihistamine therapy and other drugs could be prescribed by your GP.
Prognosis and prevention
Allergy to salicylates has a good prognosis; if pathology is detected and salicylic acid is excluded, the symptoms will disappear. Failure to follow the diet and the specialist’s instructions may exacerbate the pathological condition, the increased frequency of which may cause deterioration and the appearance of more severe forms of the disease up to anaphylactic shock.
I work in East Anglia, Essex, Suffolk, Colchester. Ipswich, sometimes I could make a home visit, but usually I would ask you to come to my clinic in Ipswich.