What’s Food Allergy? Causes, Symptoms, and Natural Treatment

10 minutes read.   

Group of food you may be allergic to


Have you ever noticed certain reactions on your body or inside your body anytime you eat a particular food? I have experienced such if you haven’t. let’s find out why this happens and how to prevent it.

Food allergies are immune-based diseases. It may happen to every one out of ten people.

But other factors may cause allergic reactions other than food.

An estimated one-fifth of the population believes that they have adverse reactions to food, but the true prevalence of food allergies ranges between 3 and 4 percent in the general population.

Despite the risk of severe allergic reactions, there is no current treatment for food allergies. The condition can only be managed by avoiding the known triggers or treatment of food allergy symptoms.

Fortunately, there are natural allergy fighters that can help to boost your immune function and enhance gut-friendly bacteria, which helps to reduce the development of food allergies and allergy symptoms.

This article takes you through everything you need to know about food allergy including natural treatments you can follow. Feel free to skip.

In this article:

What’s Food Allergy?

Food allergies may be defined as an immune system response to a disagreeable food protein.

How Does Food Allergy Happen In The Body?

For an instant, your body may see some food components as foreign substances but they are not typically harmful to your body. These foreign substances are called allergens

The body senses that a protein in a particular food may be harmful and triggers an immune system response, producing histamine to protect itself.

Your body “remembers” this and when the same food enters your body again, the histamine response is more easily triggered thereby producing an unpleasant reaction in your body called allergy.

The diagnosis of food allergies may be a problem because non-allergic food reactions, such as food intolerances, are frequently confused with food allergy symptoms.

Food Allergy Vs Food Intolerance

A food intolerance is an adverse reaction to foods or food components, but not due to immunologic mechanisms.

In other words, intolerance is referred to as a food allergy, and the non-immunological form is called a food intolerance.

Food allergies and intolerances are often linked, but there’s a clear difference between the two conditions.

A food allergy comes from a reaction of the allergen-specific immunoglobulin E antibody that is found in the bloodstream.

Non-immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated food allergies are also possible; this happens when someone is exposed to a food that causes signs and symptoms of an allergy, such as allergic contact dermatitis.

For example, a person may have an immunologic response to cow’s milk because of the milk’s protein, or that individual may be intolerant to milk due to an inability to digest the sugar lactose.

The inability to digest lactose leads to excess fluid production in the gastrointestinal tract, resulting in abdominal pain and diarrhea.

This condition is termed lactose intolerance because lactose is not an allergen, as the response is not immune-based.

Food intolerances are nonspecific and the symptoms often resemble common medically unexplained complaints, such as digestive issues.

immunoglobulin E (IgE)-medicated food allergies are the most common and dangerous of adverse food reactions; they cause your immune system to react abnormally when exposed to one or more specific foods.

Immediate reactions to IgE-mediated food allergies are caused by an allergen-specific immunoglobulin E antibody that floats around in the bloodstream.

When immunoglobulin E (IgE) is working properly, it identifies triggers that could be harmful to the body, such as parasites, and tells the body to release histamine.

Histamine causes allergy symptoms such as hives, coughing, and wheezing.

Sometimes IgE reacts to normal proteins that are found in foods — and when the protein is absorbed during digestion and enters the bloodstream, the entire body reacts as if the protein is a threat.

This is why food allergy symptoms are noticeable in the skin, respiratory system, digestive system, and circulatory system.

Types of Food Allergy

There are basically two types of allergies:

1.Immunoglobulin E (IgE) mediated

In this type of food allergy, your body’s immune system makes IgE antibodies that react with certain food.

Antibodies are a type of blood protein used by your immune system to recognize and fight infection.

An IgE-mediated allergic reaction usually occurs within several hours of eating the food allergen and can include mild to severe symptoms, including anaphylaxis

2.Non- Immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated

In a non-IgE food allergy, your immune system does not make IgE antibodies, but other parts of the immune system are engaged in mounting a response against the perceived threat.

A non-IgE mediated allergic reaction often involves skin or digestive symptoms, or a combination of those symptoms, including vomiting and diarrhea, and can occur up to 3 days after eating the food allergen.

Symptoms of Food Allergies

Food allergy symptoms can range from mild to severe and, in rare cases, can lead to anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.

Anaphylaxis can impair breathing, cause a dramatic drop in blood pressure and alter your heart rate. It can come on within only minutes of exposure to the trigger food.

If a food allergy causes anaphylaxis, it can be fatal and it must be treated with an injection of epinephrine (a synthetic version of adrenaline).

Food allergy symptoms may involve the skin, gastrointestinal tract, cardiovascular system, and respiratory tract.

Learn More: What’s Anaphylaxis? Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment

Some common food allergy symptoms include:

  • vomiting
  • Nasal congestion, nasal itching, and rhinorrhoea (nasal discharge-catarrh)
  • Sneezing
  • stomach cramps
  • coughing
  • wheezing
  • shortness of breath
  • trouble swallowing
  • swelling of the tongue
  • inability to talk or breathe
  • weak pulse
  • dizziness
  • pale or blue-colored skin

Most food allergy symptoms occur within two hours of eating the allergen and often they start within minutes.

Exercise-induced food allergy is when the ingestion of a food allergen provokes a reaction during exercise.

As you exercise, your body temperature goes up and if you consumed an allergen right before exercising, you may develop hives, become itchy, or even feel light-headed.

The best way to avoid exercise-induced food allergy is to avoid the food allergen completely for at least 4 to 5 hours before any exercise.

Causes Of Allergies

Researchers aren’t exactly sure why the immune system causes an allergic reaction when a harmless foreign substance enters the body.

Allergies have a genetic component. This means parents can pass them down to their children. However, only a general susceptibility to allergic reactions is genetic. Specific allergies aren’t passed down.

For instance, if your mother is allergic to shellfish, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be, too.

Things that may cause allergy include:

  • Animal products: These include pet dander, dust mite waste, and cockroaches.
  • Drugs: Penicillin and sulfa drugs are common triggers.
  • Foods: Wheat, nuts, milk, shellfish, and egg allergies are common.
  • Aged wine: Some wines have stayed too long in store so when buying always check the expiring date. (This kind of win caused me a skin allergy that scared me. So I can relate in this case)
  • Insect stings: These include bees, scorpions, wasps, and mosquitoes.
  • Mold: Airborne spores from mold can trigger a reaction.
  • Plants: Pollens from grass, weeds, and trees, as well as resin from plants such as poison ivy and poison oak, are very common plant allergens.
  • Other allergens: Latex, often found in latex gloves and condoms, and metals like nickel are also common allergens.
  • Some people are allergic to the first rainfall of the year, harmattan or winter, and cold, especially during raining season.

This normally causes fever or bruises on the body. (I can relate in this case).

The kind of allergy caused by pollen released by plants.

May cause symptoms like:

  • itchy eyes
  • watery eyes
  • runny nose
  • coughing
  • Skin rashes (e.g heat rashes)
You may be allergic to Aged Wine

How To Detect Food Allergy Or Intolerance?

Baking egg or milk proteins decreases their allergenicity, likely due to alteration of the protein structure. However, heating alone does not reduce the allergen of all proteins in some food.

For example, you may not show an allergy when eating fried egg or baked food that contain eggs such as cake but may experience an allergy when you eat cooked egg.

Compare when you add raw milk to hot tea to when you just drink raw milk straight. How does your body react to it?

Also, compare when you eat fresh garlic or ginger straight to when you use them to cook food. There’s always a great difference in the way your body reacts to them.

When you eat uncooked groundnuts/peanuts when you use them to cook soup. And so on.

Therefore all you need to do is test the foods in a different form of preparation and carefully observe how your body reacts to them.

That will help you choose what works best for your immune system. Don’t conclude to be allergic to a particular food excerpt you test the food and it happens to you.

Food allergy Test

A systematic approach to diagnosing food allergy or intolerance includes a careful history, followed by laboratory studies, elimination diets, and often food challenges to confirm a diagnosis.

Recently, an increasing number of commercial tests for food allergies are marketed to consumers and healthcare practitioners.

IgG or food intolerance testing is meant to work as a simple means to identify food sensitivities, food intolerances, or food allergies, but researchers believe that this is an invalidated form of testing.

As you have learned from here the best method to diagnose whether you’re allergic to a particular food is to begin eating the food in a different method of preparation either separately or in combination with other food.

Learn More: Walnuts Allergy.

Natural Treatment For Food Allergy

Six Natural Ways to Reduce Symptoms of Food Allergies

There are currently no treatments available to prevent or treat food allergies.

The management of food allergies consists of avoiding the foods and other factors triggers in you, and knowing what to do if there’s an unintended ingestion.

The following natural treatments for food allergies will help you to cope with the food allergy symptoms and make them less severe.

1. Gastric Enzymes

The incomplete digestion of food proteins may be linked to food allergies and can cause gastrointestinal symptoms.

Taking gastric enzymes with meals can aid the digestive system in fully breaking down food particles, and it serves as a vital food allergy remedy.

2. Probiotics

Probiotic food boosts immune function and reduces the risk of developing food allergies.

A 2011 study evaluated 230 infants with a suspected cow’s milk allergy. The infants were randomly allocated to groups that relieved a mixture of four probiotic strains or placebo for four weeks.

The results showed that probiotics may enhance both inflammation and immune defense of the gut.

The probiotic treatment further stimulated the maturation of the immune system since the infants given probiotics showed increased resistance to respiratory infections and improved vaccine antibody responses.

More and more studies have shown that probiotics can intervene in food allergies based on the intestinal mucosal immune system.

Probiotics and their metabolites can interact with immune cells and gut microbiota to alleviate food allergies.

Learn more: List of Eleven fermented foods with Probiotics

3. GAPS Diet

The GAPS diet is a meal plan that is designed to repair the gut wall, boost the immune system, stop toxic overload, and prevent toxins from entering the bloodstream.

It is commonly used for the treatment of autoimmune diseases.

The diet focuses on removing foods that are difficult to digest and damaging to gut flora and replacing them with nutrient-dense foods to give the intestinal lining a chance to heal and seal.

Under the GAPS diet, you avoid processed foods, grains, processed sugar, starchy carbs and potatoes, artificial chemicals and preservatives, and conventional meat and dairy.

Instead of eating these inflammatory foods, you focus on consuming healing foods like bone broth, non-starchy vegetables, organic wild meats, healthy fats, and probiotic-rich foods. You can use bone broth to prepare whole food.

4. MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane)

Research suggests that MSM supplements may be effective in reducing allergy symptoms.

MSM is an organic sulfur-containing compound that is used to improve immune function, lower inflammation, and help restore healthy bodily tissue.

It can be used to relieve digestive issues and skin conditions that are associated with allergy symptoms.

Natural sources of MSM include fruits, vegetables, grains, meat, port wine, coffee, tea, and cow’s milk. Etc

5. Vitamin B5

Vitamin B5 supports adrenal function and can help with the control of food allergy symptoms. It is important in maintaining a healthy digestive tract and boosting immune function.

Natural sources of vitamin B5 include:

  • Organ meats (liver, kidney)
  • Beef, Chicken breast.
  • Mushrooms.
  • Avocados
  • Nuts, seeds.

Dairy milk is normally fortified with vitamin B5

Cereal fortified with vitamin B5. Etc

Learn More: How to make Avocado Butter from Home in 20 minutes: Step by step

6. L-glutamine

L-glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the bloodstream, and it can help to repair leaky gut and boost immune health.

Research indicates that leaky gut, or intestinal permeability, is likely to cause various pathologies, including allergies.

Compounds such as glutamine have the mechanistic potential to inhibit inflammation and oxidative stress.

Food sources of glutamine include plant and animal proteins such as beef, beans,  pork, poultry, milk, yogurt, ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, raw spinach or anyara leaf,  raw parsley, and cabbage. Etc


Food allergies may be defined as an immune system response to a disagreeable food protein.

Some common food allergy symptoms include vomiting, Nasal congestion, nasal itching and rhinorrhoea (nasal discharge-catarrh), Sneezing, stomach cramps, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, trouble swallowing, swelling of the tongue, inability to talk or breathe, weak pulse, and dizziness.

On rare occasion will food allergies cause anaphylaxis,

Researchers aren’t exactly sure why the immune system causes an allergic reaction when a harmless foreign substance enters the body.

Things that may cause allergy include, Animal products, Drugs, Foods, Aged, wine Insect stings, Mold, Latex, and weather.

Food intolerance or IgG tests are controversial and researchers suggest that they do not produce an accurate diagnosis.

The best method to test if you’re allergic to any particular food is to test food in a different form of preparation and carefully observe how your body reacts to them.

That will help you choose what works best for your immune system. Don’t conclude to be allergic to a particular food excerpt you test the food and it happens to you.

The only way to cure a food allergy is to avoid the allergen.

There are some natural remedies that can help to alleviate food allergy symptoms, including probiotics, digestive enzymes, vitamin B5, and following the GAPS diet.

I hope you get the value worth your time, I appreciate the time you spend with me. Leave a comment below if you find this article helpful and don’t forget to drop your question, opinion, or criticism if any. Cheers!


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