Monday, February 1, 2010

Food Allergies

For about four percent of the US population food allergies are a daily battle but fortunately more products are available everyday. Milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat account for approximately 90% of all food allergies. Food allergies are not curable and require strict avoidance of the allergen.

Dining out can often be difficult for those with food allergies but more and more restaurants are offering options for those with allergies. If you have a food allergy, take control of your dining out occasions by checking with the restaurant before going there. Ask to talk with the chef and clearly outline your specific allergies. Determine what you can eat and how they will ensure that your food will be safe. When you arrive at the restaurant again talk with the chef or manager and review what you need - Never assume they will remember everything you talked about by phone.

While the number of people who have food allergies is small those who are bothered by food intolerances is much larger. Food intolerances are digestive system responses rather than an immune system response. They occur when something in a food irritates your digestive system or when you are unable to properly digest or break it down. The most common food intolerance is Lactose Intolerance. Those with intolerances can often consume small amounts of the food, especially when consumed as part of a meal.

If you are struggling with food reactions be sure to talk with your physician about next steps but you can learn more by checking the following websites.