What are Food Sensitivities?
Food sensitivities are the result of toxic responses to food and are divided into two categories: allergic responses; and food intolerances. It can be challenging to identify food sensitivities because often there is a delayed reaction to reactive food of up to 2 days. Common food sensitivities include dairy, gluten, soy, sugar, shellfish, peanuts and others.
Food Allergies Involve the Immune System
Food allergies are defined as toxic reactions to food or food additives that involve the immune system. The immune system exists throughout your body to protect it from potentially harmful foreign molecules. It is most active in the areas of the body which have direct contact with the outside world such as the skin, lungs, nose and gastrointestinal tract. These areas frequently manifest symptoms of allergic reactions: hives, asthma, congestion and gastrointestinal discomfort.
The majority of potentially harmful molecules enter your body through your intestinal tract through eating and 60% of immune activity occurs in this area. The immune system is made up of a team of different types of cells that work together to protect the body from foreign invaders: B-cells produce antibodies; T-cells conduct surveillance for potentially dangerous molecules and kills disease-causing bacteria; and macrophages are the scavenger cells of your body acting like garbage trucks, cleaning up residue and removing dangerous substances.
A surveillance team of cells determines whether newly introduced molecules (the food we eat) pose a threat. An allergic reaction occurs when your body identifies molecules as potentially harmful and toxic; these are called antigens. The surveillance cells bind to the antigens activating the immune cells to release histamine and other chemicals which then signals the scavenger macrophages to come to the site and destroy them. Suppression of the allergic reaction can occur if this histamine response is reduced. Whole body cryotherapy has been shown to reduce histamine production and therefore can alleviate food allergy symptoms.
When the surveillance immune cells bind to an antigen and send out chemical messengers, they also communicate to other immune cells, the B-cells, which are instructed to make antibodies to the antigen
An antibody will bind to one specific antigen identifying it as a dangerous molecule that should be removed. Macrophage cells (scavenger cells of the immune system) are specifically designed to remove damaging molecules from the body. After the antibody binds to a dangerous molecule the macrophages consume the molecule, taking it out of circulation and destroying it.
Symptoms of Food Allergies
- vomiting, diarrhea, blood in stools,
- eczema, hives, skin rashes,
- runny nose.
Foods That Cause Allergic Reactions
Over 140 different foods have been identified as causes of allergic reactions. According to a recent report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 90% of food allergies are associated with 8 food types:
- soy foods
- crustacean shellfish (shrimp, prawns, lobster, crab)
- tree nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, and chestnuts)
Food Intolerances Do Not Involve the Immune System
The majority of toxic responses to food are intolerances rather than food allergies. A food intolerance is defined as any reproducible, toxic response to food that does not involve the immune system. Food intolerance responses can occur due to:
- A food can contain a molecule that your body has difficulty breaking down or digesting causing an intolerance response as that molecule is allowed to continue down your intestinal tract. Lactose intolerance is an example of this type of toxic food response.
- Food intolerances can also be caused by food additives such as sulfites which are added to processed foods to extend their shelf life. In this case, the sulfite is an irritant to the GI tract most likely causing inflammation and associated symptoms.
There are many types of food intolerances. The most common are intolerances to:
- Preservatives and Additives
How do these foods affect my body?
Food intolerances are often inconsistent because food intolerances not only involve sensitivity to specific food molecules, but is also affected by the health of the entire digestive tract and whether it is providing a good barrier for your body. When the digestive system is compromised you may have a sensitivity to foods which otherwise would not affect you adversely. An example of this situation is “leaky gut syndrome” whereby the GI tract is compromised by inflammation which allows food molecules and immune byproducts to enter the blood stream.
The role of your gastrointestinal tract, which includes your esophageal area, stomach, and your upper and lower intestinal tracts, is to take in the food you eat, break it down to molecule-size pieces, and have it absorbed into your body in a controlled way. Your gastrointestinal tract provides a protective barrier between the food you eat and the rest of your body, and when it is healthy and functioning efficiently, it lets in specific food molecules in specific places at specific times.
Many things can affect this barrier and, when it is compromised in any way, it can let in food molecules that are not properly digested. This can cause a reaction to a food, not because you are sensitive to it, but because it is in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Whole body cryotherapy can actually reduce food intolerances and heal “leaky gut” by reducing inflammation throughout the GI tract: in the stomach, small and large intestine. By reducing inflammation caused by allergens, stress or other disease process, the gut is able to heal and become less porous. Food intolerances actually decrease because reactive food molecules are unable to enter the bloodstream and cause symptoms such as hives, eczema, rosacea, rash, GI discomfort, congestion, wheezing etc.
Food Sensitivities, Esophageal Reflux and Your Stomach
Food digestion begins in the stomach at the upper end of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The stomach has a protective mucosal layer called the stomach lining which protects it from the acid that is produced by specialized stomach cells called parietal cells. The acid in the stomach is a vital component to break down food particles.
An allergic response in the stomach can produce an area of inflammation in the stomach wall causing lesions or sores in the stomach lining as well as potentially destroying the parietal cells. The reduced number of parietal cells results in less acid production inhibiting the proper breakdown of food in the stomach. When food is improperly broken down in the stomach large undigested particles are transported to the intestines where they cause additional inflammation & allergic responses and intensify existing symptoms.
Whole body cryotherapy has been shown to reduce inflammation in internal organs, including in the stomach, small and large intestine. Whole body cryotherapy can reduce inflammation which can allow for the healing of lesions and allow parietal cells to regenerate. This less inflammatory environment encourages more complete stomach digestion and does not allow large food molecules to reach the intestines. This further reduces inflammation in the intestines and reduces leaching of reactive molecules into the blood stream. Food allergy and intolerance symptoms are thus further reduced or eliminated.
Along with toxic foods, alcohol consumption and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) can also destroy the stomach lining causing stomach inflammation and inadequate digestion of food. Medications that decrease stomach acid production also decrease the ability to digest food properly
One specific type of food allergy in the stomach is called allergic eosinophilic gastroenteritis. This condition is characterized by symptoms of acid reflux, severe abdominal pain after eating, vomiting, and diarrhea. With allergic eosinophilic gastroenteritis, the esophageal area, stomach and upper intestinal tract can become inflamed compromising its proper function. People with serious acid reflux problems that are not responsive to medications have this condition. If left untreated, the inflammation in the stomach can result in holes in the stomach lining leading to additional problems.
Whole body cryotherapy is especially helpful in reducing symptoms related to allergic eosinophilic gastroenteritis because it directly reduces inflammation in the GI tract. Symptoms can be radically improved and even eliminated with consistent cryotherapy treatment.
Food Sensitivities and Your Gastrointestinal Barrier
One of the most important functions of your intestinal tract, especially the small intestine, is its selective barrier function. Your small intestine does an incredible job of keeping out the dangerous and unwanted molecules while letting in the nutrients, building blocks and energy-generating substances your body needs for survival. Your small intestine receives the food from your stomach, processes it further and then selectively and carefully transmits nutrients to tissues in the body that need them.
This barrier function works well most of the time. However, research has shown that when compromised, it can become ‘leaky’ and allow molecules that normally wouldn’t get into your body to sneak through. Molecules travel to your liver where they may be destroyed or get into the bloodstream and travel throughout your body.
“Leaky gut” is the term commonly used to describe the condition when your small intestinal wall is broken down allowing large food particles to pass through. Leaky gut can be caused by intestinal inflammations from parasite or microbial infections as well as a food allergy response and can result in the development of multiple food allergies. Inflammation of the intestinal wall caused by allergic reactions to one food left untreated can facilitate allergic responses to others foods because the inflamed wall of the intestine allows toxic food molecules into the body that normally would be prevented from entering. Increasing number of food allergy responses taxes the ability of the macrophages to eliminate damaging food molecules. The immune system gets overwhelmed and increasing numbers of toxic food molecules are allowed into the body.
Leaky gut can often prevent the absorption of nutrients vital to your health. Nutrients are normally absorbed through the cells at the tip of the intestinal villi, however, when the intestine is damaged from inflammation, the villi are no longer healthy and in tact and are unable to properly absorb the available nutrients. Cow’s milk, eggs, soy, and wheat are common allergens that are associated with intestinal inflammation and leaky gut. Research has shown that stress can also cause leaky gut
Food Sensitivities and Systemic Responses
The travel of toxic food particles via the bloodstream to other parts of the body can account for a rash on your arms or legs as a result of an allergic response. Many scientists and clinicians have looked at the role of food allergy in a number of systemic (whole body) diseases and conditions. Most notably, conditions associated with inflammation, such as red, inflamed patches of skin, called dermatitis, asthma and joint pain have been related to toxic food responses. Rosacea, a condition causing red, inflamed facial skin, is thought to be triggered by allergic reaction to chocolate, red wine or highly processed food.
Food Cravings Explained
It is possible that our bodies can become addicted to the chemicals such as histamine or cortisol which are secreted by immune cells in response to allergens in the body.
Another theory proposed by a well-known immunologist is based on the science of how antibodies and antigens connect (bind) to each other. Antibodies can bind to more than one site on an allergen in the food, therefore, when there is very little antigen but a large number of antibodies present, the antibodies will become cross-linked and make large complexes. It is theorized that these large complexes can cause an increase in allergic symptoms.
In an attempt to reduce symptoms, the body may try to increase the number of antigens in the body to counterbalance the higher levels of antibodies. Thus the body may crave the antigenic food in an attempt to equilibrate the ratio of antigens to antibodies.
Food Sensitivities & Aging
Food allergies are more common in infants than in adults but food intolerance is more prevalent in adults. In general, adults have more compromised digestive function due to stress, the intake of alcohol and the use of drugs like NSAIDS such as aspirin. In addition, the production of digestive enzymes and digestive function becomes more sluggish with age. Inflammation also increases with age (and may actually be the source of aging!) causing more and more food intolerances. Whole body cryotherapy effectively reduces inflammation throughout the body, reducing symptoms of aging and can significantly decrease food intolerances—allowing you to eat the foods you love without negative side effects.
Whole body cryotherapy can reduce food allergy and intolerance symptoms in three important ways:
- Food allergy symptoms arise due to the immune system producing histamine. Whole body cryotherapy reduces histamine production which suppresses food allergy symptoms.
- Inflammation in the stomach, small and large intestine cause “leaky gut” syndrome where by food molecules enter the bloodstream and cause symptoms such as eczema, rosacea, hives, rash, congestion, wheezing, fatigue etc. Whole body cryotherapy reduces inflammation allowing the GI tract to heal and become less porous. Food allergy & intolerance symptoms can be significantly reduced or eliminated.
- Reactive food molecules such as gluten, soy, dairy, nuts etc can cause inflammation in the GI tract leading to GI discomfort and other symptoms. Whole body cryotherapy can suppress this inflammation, reducing and/or eliminating the associated symptoms.
Call Chill Cryotherapy in Westfield to start your journey to freedom from food allergy and intolerance symptoms!! Our clients report significant reduction in allergy symptoms related to food and can return to eating the foods that they love!! Please check out our website to hear directly from our clients regarding cryotherapy and food sensitivities:
Call ChillRx Cryotherapy: 908.228.5711
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