Food Allergy and Intolerance

Many different names are used to describe adverse reactions to foods, including food hypersensitivity, food intolerance, food allergy and many other medical and non-medical terms.  Food allergies were a rarity just 40 or 50 years ago, but today an estimated one out of every 13 children has a food allergy — and the incidence is increasing. According to UK data, hospitalizations for food allergy increased by 500 percent from 1990 to 2006 [1].



There are likely genetic and environmental factors triggering the rise in food allergies; genetic modification, food additives, and abnormal gut flora are some potential culprits.

Leading GMO expert Jeffrey Smith explained:

Levels of one known soy allergen, trypsin inhibitor, were up to seven times higher in cooked GM soy compared to cooked non-GM soy. Another study discovered a unique, unexpected protein in GM soy, likely to trigger allergies. In addition, of eight human subjects who had a skin-prick (allergy-type) reaction to GM soy, one did not also react to non-GM soy, suggesting that GM soy is uniquely dangerous”.

Abnormalities in your immune system—such as allergies and autoimmune diseases—are a common outcome of GAPS, as about 85 percent of your immune system is located in your gut (more on gut health). When your gut flora is abnormal, your gut lining begins to deteriorate, since it is actively maintained by your gut flora.

According to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, who discovered GAPS:

“It becomes like a sieve, and foods don’t get the chance to be digested properly before they are absorbed. They’re absorbed in this maldigested or partially broken down form. When the immune system and the bloodstream finds them and looks at them, it doesn’t recognize them as food. It says, ‘You’re not food. I don’t recognize you,’ and it reacts to them. It creates immune complexes, which attack these partially digested proteins. As a result, we’ll get all sorts of symptoms in your body.”

Food allergy is a reaction caused by the immune system’s reaction to a food, causing distressing and often severe symptoms.

Symptoms caused by an allergic reaction to food can range from skin reactions, which include itching and rashes (urticaria); swelling (angioedema); gut symptoms, vomiting, tummy pain, diarrhoea; respiratory symptoms such as blocked or runny nose, coughing and wheezing. These symptoms usually develop rapidly. The most severe cases (anaphylaxis) can be life threatening, requiring immediate medical attention. Reactions can often occur to trace amounts of foods so complete exclusion is essential. Some people can tolerate a well-cooked version of the food but will react to the food in its part-cooked or raw state. E.g. egg in a cake is often tolerated but the same person will react to boiled and scrambled eggs, and mayonnaise.

Research has found that junk food increases a child’s risk of asthma and allergies. Food preservatives are also known to trigger asthma attacks in some people, particularly sulfites, which are found in foods like shrimp, dried fruits and wine [2] They include:

  • Sodium bisulfite
  • Potassium bisulfite
  • Sodium metabisulfite
  • Potassium metabisulfite
  • Sodium sulfite
  • Food allergy involves the body’s immune system and is a reaction to a specific food or foods

Food intolerance is not so clear cut and the cause can take some time to diagnose. Although not life threatening, it can and often does, make the sufferer feel extremely unwell and can have a major impact on working and social life. Ongoing symptoms can also affect the person psychologically as they feel they will never get better.

Food intolerance reactions do not involve IgE antibodies or the immune system. Reactions are usually delayed, occurring several hours and sometimes up to several days after eating the offending food. The symptoms caused by these reactions are usually gut symptoms, such as bloating, diarrhoea, constipation and IBS, skin problems such as eczema and joint pain, moodiness or foggy brain.

Food intolerance can be caused by different factors, such as lifestyles with erratic food intake and poor nutritional intake or high intakes of refined foods, poor intakes of dietary fibre. Chemicals in foods such as caffeine, salicylates, monosodium glutamate (read more Why is MSG so harmful) and naturally occurring chemicals like histamine, can also cause food intolerance reactions.

Food allergies and intolerances are also known to trigger migraines in some people or they may result in psoriasis, or cause eczema to flare up. Gluten and food sensitivities are among the most common causes of thyroid dysfunction because they cause inflammation. Gluten causes autoimmune responses in many people and can be responsible for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, a common autoimmune thyroid condition. Approximately 30 percent of the people with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis have an autoimmune reaction to gluten, and it usually goes unrecognised. Another food that is bad for your thyroid is soy [3]. Soy is high in isoflavones (or goitrogens), which are damaging to your thyroid gland. Thousands of studies now link soy foods to malnutrition, digestive stress, immune system weakness, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders, infertility, and a host of other problems — in addition to damaging your thyroid [4].

While the most common allergenic foods are peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, wheat, milk and eggs, food intolerances are most commonly due to lactose, gluten, preservatives and additives and tyramine (common in cured meats, aged cheeses and smoked fish).

Essential Tips If You Suffer From Food Allergies / Intolerances

 Eating a wholesome diet based on unprocessed, ideally organic and/or locally grown foods, including fermented foods will form the foundation upon which your immune system can function in an optimal manner.

    • Start with Detox and Elimination Diet
    • Minimize your intake of sugars and grains: “Healing and sealing” your gut has been shown to help alleviate allergy symptoms, and the key to this is eliminating inflammatory foods like grains and processed foods, and introduce healthier ones that will support a proper balance of bacteria in your gut.
    • Increase your intake of animal-based omega-3 fats: The fats DHA and EPA found in krill oil are potent anti-inflammatories. A German study published in the journal Allergy found people who have diets rich in omega-3 fats suffer from fewer allergy symptoms.
    • Reduce your intake of omega-6 fats: If you eat processed foods daily, the balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fats will become distorted, which can cause the type of inflammation that leads to allergies.
    • Fermented vegetables and/or probiotics: If you have severe food allergies, the GAPS Introduction Diet, which uses fermented foods and other natural strategies to restore balance to your gut flora, may help heal your food allergy completely. A healthy gut may help to improve allergies of all kinds.
    • Avoid pasteurized milk products, which are notorious for increasing phlegm and making allergy worse.

Avoidance Is Key if You’re Living With a Food Allergy

If you are suffering from Food Allergy and Intolerance you might want to visit this show


Find more information about food intolerances and how to live with them HERE

To your health, ~ Vilma

Dr. Vilma Brunhuber, CHHC is a health coach for Woman’s Health & Thyroid Wellness. She is most passionate about helping others discover the gift of holistic health, showing others how to create healthy lifestyle. She suffered with thyroid disease for many years which lead her look into alternatives how to feel better because medication was helping only partially with thyroid condition.

Vilma offers a limited number of free coaching sessions per month in person, over the phone or via Skype. Book a FREE no obligation session with me and see how I can help and support you to achieve all your Health & Lifestyle goals!


[1] Thorax 2007

[2] WebMD

[3] “The Evidence against soy”, 2008

[4] Guardian Unlimited, 2006



Information in this document is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease.  This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice or medical care of a qualified health care professional and you should seek the advice of your health care professional before undertaking any dietary or lifestyle changes.  Please understand that you assume all risks from use, non use and misuse of this information.  The material in this document is for educational purposes only.