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Food Reactions and Inflammatory Diseases

inflammatory disease food reaction inflammation

Most of us eat and drink without bothering about what happens to the foods in our gastrointestinal tract. You recall your biology teacher telling you how important it was to take balanced diet. So, you make sure every meal should always compose of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins, and water.

When you get sick it never come across to you that certain types of foods you eat in previous days might have caused physical and emotional discomfort you experience. You always think that it could be due to weather changes, unwashed hand or contaminated foods. When you get older and older you experience several types of health conditions including frequent migraine headache, arthritis, colds, bloating, belching, diarrhea, dry and scaly skin, tonsillitis, and gum disease. Yet still, you think it is particularly normal for individuals in their forties to experience such conditions.

Yes, you believe they are signs of aging. So, you no need to worry much. You do not smoke and drink. You feel you are in control of your stress whether it originates from office workload or personal matters. You eat balanced diet, get between six to eight hours of sleeping and you jog two miles almost every morning.

Your doctor tells you the same thing that it is normal for someone over forty to experience physiological disequilibrium. So, every time you visit him for your stomach discomfort you would bring home an antacid. It is true that bloating and belching are gone in a day or two after you take it as directed. After a week or two you experience migraine headache which create physical as well as emotional discomfort. Then you think that it could be due to workload or traveling outstation for hundreds of miles far from home for a few days.

You are a type of person who always sticks to principles on things involve your carrier or personal. You always believe information you hear from someone who is an authority on a particular subject or issue. They include of course your mother’s suggestion throughout your childhood life, your biology teacher’s instruction, information stated in your books, health talks on televisions, and pamphlets you pick on your way out of your doctor’s clinic.

What else do you need to become an informed individual? You notice that your colleagues are busy talking about applying holistic approach to life. You can never be bothered as you have always relied on information from credible sources. Are your biology teacher, doctor, pamphlets you pick at clinic not teaching you what the right foods are or how much should be taken? You have always thought that you know yourself better. You do not smoke and drink and furthermore you jog every morning? Are they not holistic enough?

Well, actually there are certain things your biology teacher had not told you. Your doctor might not well-versed in holistic nutrition. Health talks on television can at times be bias towards modern allopathic approach in dealing with certain health issues. Furthermore, alternative or holistic practitioners interviewed are always lack of knowledge concerning food reactions.

Yes. Food reactions might be an answer for the conditions you have experienced. Neither your doctor nor the pamphlets you picked up from the clinic has ever mentioned anything about it. The pamphlets only highlight to take foods according to food pyramid: take medium portion of grains and lots of vegetables, take moderate proteins and less fat.

What are food reactions and what does it have to do with your so-called ‘aging symptoms’? Food reactions are a part of three major types of food sensitivities in the body when certain foods are taken: (1) direct reactions involving cells in general and do not involve immune system; (2) delayed reactions involving immune system; and (3) immune complex reactions.

Direct reactions, also known as pharmacologic reactions occur when certain foods, drugs, or food additives cause cell reactions. For instance, some foods such as oat straw, Chamomile and Gotu Kola are mild sedatives or have relaxing effects. Cigarette, and foods containing sugar and caffeine are stimulants. Certain fruits such as papaya, mustard, sunflower seeds and pineapple when taken in large amount may cause heart burn.

Direct food reactions are also due to interaction of certain foods such as sausage, salami and aged cheese with cells that produce an inflammatory agent, histamine. Certain foods that contain partial proteins may cause blood vessel constriction and if it occurs in the brain it causes migraine. Aspartame and monosodium glutamate are also known to cause direct reactions. Some types of prolonged direct reactions may eventually involve the immune system.

Delayed food reactions are reactions normally occur in our stomach and intestines due to antigens such as virus, bacteria and yeasts as well as certain molecules from carbohydrates, proteins or fats that are considered as ‘foreign’ to the body. Special antibody known as immunoglobulin A (IgA) will bind with antigens to form a complex. Then, a white blood cell will attack the complex to destroy it. During the process of destroying and eradicating antigens, white blood cells engulf them. At the same time the white blood cells secrete chemical compounds known as superoxides which not only sprayed on the antigens but to healthy body cells nearby which results in inflammation.

Different individual have different immunoglobulin sensitivities towards foreign particles or molecules. This is one of the reasons why certain foods are well tolerated to most individuals but causes delayed food reaction to others. Prolonged delayed food reactions may contaminate the blood with macromolecules due to leaky gut syndrome, by-products of detoxifications due to inefficient detoxifications, and poor elimination functions of elimination organs. At this level your circulating blood is occupied with a large number of free radicals.

Formations of these free radicals are aggravated by several factors including lack of antioxidants taken in the form of foods or supplements to neutralize relatively large proportion of free radicals, sickness, congested or overworked liver due overloaded with toxin and an overlooked factor that is various types of physical and emotional stress.

Immune complex reactions are caused by antigen-antibody complexes which occurs in circulating blood and over time may end up in tissues such as brain, kidneys, joints, and muscle tissues. Delayed food reactions and immune complex reactions are believed to be primary causes of inflammatory diseases. Many empirical evidence and scientific studies have associated migraine, arthritis, bloating, colds, diarrhea, tonsillitis and increased belly fat with inflammation. Today, more and more people know that inflammation is rooted in food reactions.

Food reactions create free radicals which lead to inflammatory diseases just mentioned. So, it is not too late for you to act today. Search articles on foods reactions and its association with inflammatory diseases. Get to know a holistic health or holistic nutrition practitioner today and consult with him about your inflammatory conditions. He might advise you to get some tests to determine as to what the possible cause of the symptoms you are experiencing and may subsequently recommend a course of action.
Published: 2009-01-03
Author: Bahrin Samah, RH (AHG)

About the author or the publisher
S. Bahrain, RH (AHG)is a professional herbalist working as a holistic nutrition consultant. Being a consultant, columnist and writer he always expands his knowledge by reading books and journals on biochemistry, medicine, nutrition, cardiovascular, aging, free radicals, and lipids among others. He is a professional member of The American Herbalists Guild, USA. Visit his blog at HOLISTIC HEALTH AVENUE,

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