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About hypersensitivity, food intolerance and allergies


sosrodzice.pl: What is food hypersensitivity?

Berry Koniarek: Food hypersensitivity has an immunological basis. It is caused by the food antigens to cause a defense reaction on the part of the white blood cells of the immune system, which results in inflammation in various tissues and systems of our body. Simply specific food is treated as bacterial or viral antigens, i.e. the enemy and our body reacts with a full mobilization of defense forces - to locate, surround, neutralize and remove. Eating reactive products keeps our army in a state of constant war. Reactions are delayed, they can occur from several hours to 3 days after eating, depend on the amount of food consumed and are characterized by non-specific or chronic symptoms. It is very difficult to trace which food ingredients are causing them.

Sosrodzice.pl: And what is food intolerance?

J. K. .: Food intolerances are metabolic reactions that result from a deficiency or absence of enzymes involved in the digestion of specific nutrients. These include lactose intolerance caused by deficiency or lack of lactase - an enzyme that breaks down this milk sugar, or phenylketonuria, in which there are no enzymes involved in the metabolism of phenylalanine - an amino acid that is a component of animal and plant proteins.
Using these terms interchangeably is commonplace and unnecessarily confusing. Hypersensitivity and intolerance are undesirable reactions to foods, which include various types of adverse effects of food ingredients on our body. Adverse reactions differ in their mechanisms, and therefore in the methods of their diagnosis. These reactions also include bacterial and viral food poisonings and toxic reactions (e.g., poisoning with solanine, which occurs in high concentrations in germinated potatoes).

How do we recognize an allergy?

J. K.: A typical type I allergy has a specific mechanism. It is a reaction involving the production of specific IgE antibodies directed against food allergens. It is characterized by a sharp, immediate (from a few seconds to two hours) local reaction. Even a minimal amount of allergenic food causes a reaction. Most often it is acute urticaria, numbness, burning and swelling of the lips and tongue or throat, Quinky's edema. These types of reactions are very dangerous because they can lead to anaphylactic shock or suffocation.