Food Allergy Awareness and a Common Hidden Culprit

Food Allergy AwarenessHenry C. Sobo, M.D. is a close friend and frequent contributor on this blog with specialties including, but not limited to food allergy awareness. Dr. Sobo practices Integrative Medicine in Stanford, CT. For more information, see or call the office at 203-348-8805.
You may have food allergies and not even know it! Food allergy awareness is surprising sparse. That’s because the typical symptoms that people identify as related to allergies – watery, itchy eyes, sinus congestion, or a rash – are just the tip of the iceberg. Because there are many more effects that are not as commonly recognized as related to allergies, many people don’t get the help that they need.

Food Allergy Awareness and Delayed Symptoms

A very important point about food allergies and food allergy awareness is that the food allergy symptom onset may be delayed, making the allergy even more difficult for a doctor to detect. Let’s take the case of migraine headaches which may be triggered by food sensitivities. The person who suffers from them has never noticed that the headache occurs after any particular type of food is ingested. That’s because the onset of the headache may not necessarily start shortly after the food is ingested. The headache may not even occur on the same day, but may arise the day after.

Other symptoms frequently addressed before food allergy awareness.

Other symptoms which may be related to food allergies include anxiety, irritability, asthma, joint pain, and irritable bowel. Many times a variety of medical specialists may be consulted looking for a diagnosis related to that body part where the person has symptoms.
One person may see a neurologist for recurring headaches, while another sees a gastroenterologist for abdominal cramping and diarrhea. Another person is a repeat visitor to the dermatologist’s office because of recurring rashes. These people have very different symptoms which have the same cause – food sensitivities.
Consider yet another scenario which causes something of a medical mystery. A person feeling very fatigued is tested by their doctor for ailments typically known to cause fatigue – anemia or thyroid problems, for example. The doctor doesn’t find anything wrong and sometimes concludes “it’s all in the patient’s head”. What might never be considered is that food sensitivities themselves may manifest in some people as generalized fatigue, and when they have muscular and joint pains they may suffer from fibromyalgia – chronic fatigue syndrome.
I have had the distinct pleasure of seeing symptoms – some of which have been troublesome for years – relieved with food allergy awareness and the true underlying cause was discovered and treated. For instance, some patients who describe themselves as having a “sensitive stomach” suffering from abdominal discomfort for years, find themselves relieved of these symptoms through ongoing food allergy awareness where the offending food sensitivities are identified and avoided. Others who see themselves as “headache prone” and assume that stress is responsible, find relief when they know what foods to avoid.
A simple in-office testing procedure can be done to properly identify these food sensitivities. It is also important to understand that a program of desensitization can relieve the person of their symptoms so that it is possible to eventually reintroduce the food into the diet without adverse effects.
From the office of Drew Berman, contributed by Dr. Henry Sobo.

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