Nutrition and allergies

Poor nutrition can be the cause of allergies

The body can become allergic in a number of ways. Allergies can be caused by a genetic predisposition which means you are born with an allergy to certain substances to start with. An allergy can develop when the body is repeatedly exposed to an allergen such as pollen which in turn weakens its defence mechanism. Allergies can also arise when the body is irritated by a substance that it repeatedly fails to digest. The wrong nutrition can lead to the development of an allergy so finding nutritional advice could be the way to prevent your allergy or help you understand the underlying cause of a current allergic reaction.

Any food can be an allergen but the most common foods to trigger allergic reactions are wheat, milk, eggs, corn, yeast, coffee and chocolate. These foods can affect many of the body’s systems including the gastrointestinal system, nervous system and respiratory system. Food allergies can also trigger reactions on the skin. Nutrition plays an important part in the body’s overall health so it’s important to understand how eating the right diet can prevent allergies from developing.

Nutritional factors that can cause allergies

The right nutrition and correct eating habits should ideally begin within the first year of life. Allergy sensitivities can develop when babies are put onto solid food too early or through a lack of breast feeding. Allergies to gluten can start if the baby is fed corn, wheat or oats too early. Later in life, poor digestion can lead to an allergy. Not chewing food properly, too many fluids during meals and low levels of hydrochloric acid, pancreatic enzymes and bile in the stomach can all lead to an allergy. And certain foods eaten in large quantities can place a person at risk of an allergy developing.

Pasteurised milk is extremely difficult to fully digest and can make you susceptible to other milk allergies from cow’s milk or yoghurt. Excessive amounts of white flour can lead to a wheat allergy and too much beer can be the start of an allergy to barley and alcohol. Basically, eating one type of food excessively and for a prolonged period of time can cause you to become allergic to that food and any associated foods because the body struggles to fully digest it.

Many people fail to realise they have an allergy until it’s too late. Allergies are typically associated to visible external symptoms such as a rash, runny nose or itchy eyes. Food allergies can go unnoticed because they are low-level and can take time to manifest themselves after eating the food. Allergy symptoms from food can include sinusitis, arthritis, hyperactivity, insomnia and asthma. Ensuring the body gets the right nutrition in healthy amounts could prevent the onset of these problems in later life.

Nutritional therapy for allergies

A visit to a trained nutritionist can help you to identify any problems in your current diet and any triggers that may be causing your allergic reaction. The immediate consequences of eating too much of a particular food may not be evident to you, however the wrong nutrition can still be causing you long-lasting damage that may affect you in the future. The right nutritional advice now could save you from the discomfort of allergies in the coming years.

Article submitted by
Daniel Alexander, GoToSee Journalist

Date published
23/08/08


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