Food Allergies and Sensitivities

Food sensitivities occur when a component of the diet triggers an allergic reaction or an abnormal, "overzealous" immune response.1415 Food sensitivities can cause histamine-medi-ated allergic reactions resulting in itching, swelling, and hives. They can also trigger autoimmune reactions, where immune cells activated by exposure to the food component cross-react with and harm the body's own tissues. Sensitivity can develop to foods or food additives and can produce a wide variety of symptoms. Symptoms can be confined to the digestive tract, such as bloating, cramping, diarrhea, or irritable bowel syndrome.1,15 They can also occur in parts of the body far away from the digestive tract, such as the joints (arthritis), skin (swelling and hives) and brain (headache).1,4,15 Symptoms can occur immediately after eating the food, or may be delayed for hours.

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