Low allergen diet

Alternate Title

Diet, low allergen

Synonyms

Allergies, diet, elimination diet, food allergy test, food hypersensitivity, hypoallergenic diet, low allergy, oral allergy syndrome, rotation diet, sensitivity, intolerance.

Background

A low allergen diet eliminates foods and food additives that may trigger an allergic reaction. By removing the triggers, symptoms associated with the food allergy may be relieved. A low allergen diet is typically used as a diagnostic tool, rather than a cure, in individuals with suspected food allergies.

Common symptoms of allergic reactions may include itchy, watery eyes; sneezing; headache; fatigue; postnasal drip; runny, stuffy, or itchy nose; sore throat; dark circles under the eyes; an itchy feeling in the mouth or throat; abdominal pain; diarrhea; and the appearance of an itchy, red skin rash. Life-threatening allergic reactions may include trouble breathing and difficulty swallowing.

It is important to note that food intolerance or sensitivity is not the same as a food allergy. Allergic reactions are responses triggered by the immune system to a particular food, inhalant (airborne substance), or chemical. The terms "allergies" and "sensitivities" are often used interchangeably even though many sensitivities are not true allergies. "Sensitivity" is a general term and may include true allergies, reactions that do not affect the immune system, and reactions where the cause has not been established yet.

Detecting allergies and other sensitivities and then eliminating or reducing exposure to the sources may be a time-consuming process and the support of an expert is often necessary. Other methods of identifying food reactions include the scratch test, AST/MAST/PRIST/ELISA (tests that measure immunoglobulins), cytotoxic testing, and clinical ecology (provocation-neutralization; end-point titration).

Available high-quality studies evaluating the allergen free diet as an effective diagnostic tool are lacking. There has been some study of the low allergen diet as a possible treatment for asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome, and environmental hypersensitivity. One human study found that adopting a low allergen diet might be helpful in lactating mothers of colicky infants. More high-quality trials are necessary before any firm recommendations can be made.

A low allergen diet eliminates foods and food additives that may trigger an allergic reaction. By removing the triggers, symptoms associated with the food allergy may be relieved. A low allergen diet is typically used as a diagnostic tool, rather than a cure, in individuals with suspected food allergies.

Common symptoms of allergic reactions may include itchy, watery eyes; sneezing; headache; fatigue; postnasal drip; runny, stuffy, or itchy nose; sore throat; dark circles under the eyes; an itchy feeling in the mouth or throat; abdominal pain; diarrhea; and the appearance of an itchy, red skin rash. Life-threatening allergic reactions may include trouble breathing and difficulty swallowing.

It is important to note that food intolerance or sensitivity is not the same as a food allergy. Allergic reactions are responses triggered by the immune system to a particular food, inhalant (airborne substance), or chemical. The terms "allergies" and "sensitivities" are often used interchangeably even though many sensitivities are not true allergies. "Sensitivity" is a general term and may include true allergies, reactions that do not affect the immune system, and reactions where the cause has not been established yet.

Detecting allergies and other sensitivities and then eliminating or reducing exposure to the sources may be a time-consuming process and the support of an expert is often necessary. Other methods of identifying food reactions include the scratch test, AST/MAST/PRIST/ELISA (tests that measure immunoglobulins), cytotoxic testing, and clinical ecology (provocation-neutralization; end-point titration).

Available high-quality studies evaluating the allergen free diet as an effective diagnostic tool are lacking. There has been some study of the low allergen diet as a possible treatment for asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome, and environmental hypersensitivity. One human study found that adopting a low allergen diet might be helpful in lactating mothers of colicky infants. More high-quality trials are necessary before any firm recommendations can be made.

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