Allergies & Food Intolerance
Addressing any underlying food allergies or intolerances will help optimise your health and make conceiving that much simpler.
Food allergy is caused when the immune system, which protects us from infections, thinks that proteins of certain foods are those of harmful intruders e.g. of bacteria. The immune system reaction is to ‘destroy’ these proteins and in so doing gives us the allergic reaction. Some allergic reactions are violent and though rare can be fatal.
Food intolerance is the inability to completely break down food into absorbable components. The unabsorbed food which remains in the digestive system causes the classic symptoms of bloating, cramps and malabsorption.
The fundamental difference is that an allergy is an immune response and an intolerance is not, however both can have serious health implications. So it is important to identify any food that might be causing the problem.
The chronic low level inflammation that occurs with undetected allergies and food intolerances can not only be a cause of digestive issues including leaky gut, but has also been associated with damage to the fallopian tubes. The fallopian tubes play an important role in connecting the ovaries to the uterus and, if they are damaged, it can become difficult for the egg to reach the uterus for fertilisation or implantation into the uterine wall.
There are 8 common food allergens that cause 90% of food allergies:
Fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, dairy, soya, wheat & eggs
If you are are allergic to a specific food it is easier to avoid it if you cook from scratch with fresh ingredients. Processed foods have to clearly state if they contain the common allergens which in addition to the above includes celery, lupin, mustard, sesame & sulphur dioxide. Anyone serving food in a restaurant is responsible for knowing the ingredients in their dishes.
Coeliac disease is not a food allergy or an intolerance, it is an autoimmune disease. In coeliac disease, eating gluten causes the lining of the small intestine to become damaged.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat as gliadin, rye as secalin, and in barley as hordelin, these grains need to be totally avoided. Many coeliacs can tolerate oats even though there is a type of gluten called avenin found in oats.
If you think you have a food allergy or intolerance talk to your GP or a nutritionist.