Food and Allergies

Dr Cornelia Botha and Dr Tanith Davidson treat allergies in their practice and have compiled the below article. They always take food reactions into consideration, whether the symptoms are realted to the respiratory tract, digestion, skin or headaches. Dr Botha focusses more on headaches, respiratory and digestive involvement, whereas Dr Davidson focusses more on skin manifestations. To make an appointment with either Dr Cornelia Botha or Dr Tanith Davidson please contact their receptionist by visiting the contact page.


Food Allergy versus Food Hypersensitivity

An allergy is an abnormal reaction of a person's immune system to a normally harmless substance. Some people have severe reactions to food that can result in extreme swelling of the eyelids and/or lips or an unanticipated visit to the emergency room due to anaphylactic shock. Other people have milder reactions to food, but the symptoms are still very uncomfortable – skin rashes (including hives and eczema), itching skin, difficulty breathing (including asthma), sinusitis, headaches, digestive complaints etc. The milder symptoms are often more chronic (i.e. on-going) and the person is often unaware that their symptoms are being trigger by food.

Sometimes the reaction a person has to food is a hypersensitivity reaction as opposed to an allergy reaction. Some examples of diseases that food hypersensitivity reactions are associated with include asthma, eczema, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), functional dyspepsia, migraine & migraine-like headaches, crohn’s disease (a severe inflammatory bowel disease) and juvenile obesity. To learn more about food hypersensitivities click here.


Processed Foods

Reports suggest that the incidence of conditions such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis (i.e. eczema) has increased during the past decade. Many scientists believe that the consumption of processed foods and the high levels of stress in our daily lives are major contributors to the rise in the frequency of these conditions. Processed foods contain higher levels of additives and preservatives, flavouring agents, and colorants. Food sensitivities can also be triggered by chemicals in our food such as preservatives, pesticides, fungicides, insecticides, and food spoilage chemicals such as sulfites.

Allergies and hypersensitivities to food preservatives and additives have been widely published. For example a long list of preservatives commonly used in literally thousands of different processed foods, flavouring agents and dyes are known to cause hives.

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HEAVY METALS

A number of heavy metals such as arsenic, aluminium, cadmium, lead, mercury and nickel are found in our foods through fertilizers, colorants, additives, insect sprays and pollution to name but a few. These metals can either be part of the cause of allergies or can aggravate the allergies themselves.

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FOOD AND ADD ADHD

Click here to learn more about the link between food and ADD ADHD.

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A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO ALLERGIES

A holistic approach any disease that has some kind of allergy component such as eczema, asthma, hay fever and hives must include a thorough assessment of the diet, including indicated testing to assist in prescribing a holistic treatment program. Click here to learn more about a holistic approach to the treatment of allergies.

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MORE LINKS:

Click here to learn more about the link between food and various health challenges.

To make an appointment with either Dr Cornelia Botha or Dr Tanith Davidson please contact their receptionist by visiting the contact page.