Irritable bowel syndrome is a diagnosis often given to those who suffer with ongoing gastrointestinal troubles. Symptoms may include nausea, bloating, gas, cramping, diarrhea, and vomiting. There may be a number of things triggering these uncomfortable symptoms, but it is wise to rule out food allergies in your search for the source of your gut problems.
Food allergy symptoms often manifest shortly after eating trigger foods. Gastrointestinal symptoms are one manifestation of food allergies, but they may also be accompanied by skin rashes, an itching or tingling in the mouth, runny nose, sneezing, and wheezing.
When food allergies occur, it is because the body has perceived the proteins in some foods as harmful elements. In a perfect world, the body would happily accept the proteins, but instead, it launches an immune response and releases chemicals that lead to mayhem in the body.
Common food triggers include nuts, dairy products, fish, wheat, soy beans, and fruits and vegetables. If you suspect that food allergies are causing your gastrointestinal troubles, consult an allergist. They may perform an allergy test to help you identify offending food allergens. Elimination diets are another way to ascertain and manage the source of the allergy. This can be tricky if the foods that seem to trigger your reaction are found in common food items. Wheat, for example, is not only in the foods you might suspect (bread, pasta, cereal, etc.) but can also lurk in a number of less obvious foods including ice cream, condiments, deli meats, french fries, and soy sauce.
While avoiding trigger foods can be a great way to eliminate the attendant symptoms, there are food allergy treatment options as well through sublingual immunotherapy for food allergies. Used for decades as an alternative to allergy shots for pollen allergies, sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) has also been shown to be effective for food allergies. It is administered through oral allergy drops that work to desensitize the body to trigger foods. In essence, SLIT “teaches” the immune system to stop reacting to these foods. Consult your allergy doctor or family physician for more information.