What is a Food Allergy

Yesterday, I discussed the symptoms attributed to Allergy Tension Fatigue Syndrome and how I had experienced symptoms similar that have virtually disappeared since going dairy-free. Most notably, was the relief from the chronic upper back, neck and head tension that had bothered me for years. I recently had the opportunity to have my blood assessed for non-IgE mediated food allergies, before we get to the results, we’ll do a refresher on food allergies and then finish up with a recipe for Dairy-Free Whipped Cream.

WHAT IS A FOOD ALLERGY

This will be review for those of you who are on the up and up with food allergies. I detailed this out in my Casein Confession, so it’s nothing new if you’ve read it. For those of you who are just hearing this for the first time, it’s important to understand the differences between food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances. If you are a visual learner, the graphic below is a great tool.  Image Source

Immune Mediated (Food Allergy)

IgE Mediated Food Allergies are characterized by an immediate, sometimes severe reaction by the immune system. Food allergies trigger IgE antibodies which cause the release of cytokines and histamines, which trigger the inflammatory response. The primary target organs of food allergies are the skin, which results in hives and swelling as well as the respiratory system, which results in difficulty breathing.

Non-IgE Mediated Food Allergies (aka Food Sensitivities) are delayed reactions, mediated by the T cells of the immune system, which trigger IgG and IgA antibodies. These antibodies do not cause the release of histamine, however, they do release other chemicals which results in inflammation. Symptoms of food sensitivities appear hours or days later after ingesting the suspect food. Non-IgE mediated food allergies result in wide ranging symptoms affecting multiple systems in the body; respiratory, musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, dermal, reproductive, cardiovascular and central nervous systems.

Non-Immune Mediated (Food Intolerance)

Food Intolerances can mimic allergic inflammation and may occur from food additives, pharmacological compounds, or an enzymatic deficiency, such as lactose. They do not involve the immune system and result in predominantly gastrointestinal issues and do not result in multi-system symptoms.

 

CAUSES OF FOOD ALLERGIES

Two major factors contribute to the cause of non-IgE mediated food allergies; a hyperpermeable gut and a slow or deficient detoxification pathway.

A hyperpermeable gut, also known as leaky gut. This can be caused by a number of factors, including irritations caused by an imbalance in the types of micro-organisms in the gut. Antibiotic use commonly induces this. Excess cortisol, caused by stress, causes gut hyperpermeability as well as decreases the secretion of IgA antibodies. Stress also weakens the immune system in other ways.

A slow or deficient detoxification pathway. When food passes through the intestinal wall it enters the portal bloodstream and then passes through the liver. Toxins are modified in the liver in two phases with the end goal being elimination. If the body cannot keep up with this process, these toxins enter general circulation where the immune system is activated. A detoxification deficiency makes it difficult or impossible to breakdown dietary toxins. To learn more about detoxification refer to these two posts I wrote back in January: Detoxification Part I: Healing Waters & Detoxification Part II: Healing Foods.

 THE RESULTS ARE IN

My blood was tested for non-IgE mediated food allergies in response to 94 general foods, 15 vegetarian foods, 24 herbs and 24 spices.

Meat/Fowl This includes beef, chicken, eggs (duck & chicken), lamb pork and turkey. NO REACTIVE FOODS

Fruits Eighteen of the most common fruits were tested including most berries. NO REACTIVE FOODS

Fish/Crustacea/Mollusk This includes clam, cod, crab, halibut, lobster, red snapper, salmon, scallop, shrimp, sole, tuna. NO REACTIVE FOODS

Grains/Legumes/Nuts/Seeds The largest class of all the foods tested, including wheat gluten and wheat gliadin. It’s important to note, I have been gluten-free for nearly four years. Outside of the scope of this article, you can’t test for gluten sensitivity unless you are eating gluten. NO REACTIVE FOODS

Vegetables A long list of starchy and non-starchy vegetables were tested. NO REACTIVE FOODS

Spices All 24 of your common spices were tested. NO REACTIVE FOODS

Herbs This group is great for supplement users as it encompasses 24 of the most common herbs used in supplemental form. NO REACTIVE FOODS

Miscellaneous A few miscellaneous foods like cocoa and coffee as well as yeast. NO REACTIVE FOODS

Dairy The dairy category tests bovine-derived milk proteins casein and whey as well as cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, milk and yogurt. In addition goat milk is also tested. YOUR REACTIVE FOODS INCLUDE: CASEIN, WHEY, CHEDDAR CHEESE, COTTAGE CHEESE, MOZZARELLA CHEESE, MILK, YOGURT,  & GOAT MILK

This particular food allergy panel grades adverse food reactions on a spectrum from No Reaction (Class 0) to Extremely High (Class VI). Foods classified as Class III and above are advised to be eliminated. Foods in Class 0, I, and II are advised to be rotated. My reaction to all the dairy foods except goat milk was moderately high, right on the line between Class III and Class IV. Goat milk scored quite low actually only a Class I reaction.

HEALTHY DAIRY-FREE RECIPE

 

Picture
 Dairy-Free Coconut Whipped Cream

Original Recipe by Patty
Technique by Healthy Living How To

Printable Recipe

Prep Time: 1 minute
Whiz Time: 30 seconds
Serves: Many

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender or VitaMix.
  2. Whiz on the highest speed for 30 seconds, no more, no less.
  3. Pour cream into iSi whipper and charge.
  4. Before dispensing, refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight until well chilled.

Recipe Notes

If you read my Casein Confession post, you will notice this is the same recipe for the Coconut Coffee Creamer with the addition of stevia. The difference is using the iSi Cream Whipper to add volume and texture similar to whipped cream. I have made this many many many times with much success. The one and only time it flopped, was when I used a different brand of coconut milk and my mother-in-law’s cheap-o blender. After blending, the coconut creamer is a thick pourable liquid, however after refrigerating overnight, the magic happens. Don’t fret if you don’t have an iSi whipper, you can still make this, however, instead of being whipped and airy, it will thicken and solidify. To fancy up a dessert you can add the thick cream to a frosting bag and pipe on. I make a batch of this weekly and use it as my coffee creamer as well as a topping for my post-workout berries.

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Comments

  1. says

    I was wondering about your recipe for non-dairy whipped cream. You’rs is the first I have seen that calls for an egg. Don’t raw eggs pose a health risk? (bacteria-wise that is).

  2. TJ says

    Was this allergy testing via mail or doctor office? I don’t have insurance right now and am looking for an alternative. Thank you!

    • Vanessa says

      Most insurance does not cover this type of allergy testing. I would contact US Biotek for providers in you area that can help you.

  3. jessica says

    Dairy-Free Coconut Whipped Cream – i was wondering if it’s possible to switch the stevia for agave or grade b maple syrup? and if so, what would the ratio change need to be?

    • HealthyLivingHowTo says

      Hi Jessica. Thank you for your readership and for your comment. I don’t make recommendations for agave as it is highly processed and up to 90% fructose. Along those same lines, maple syrup is half fructose. If you are wondering what’s so bad with fructose, you can read my article Fructose: The Original F Word. I do not use agave or maple syrup in my kitchen and all of the recipes found on Healthy Living How To are sugar-free, most using stevia.

      • Diane says

        We sound like twins, separated at birth (and a few decades!). I, too, have been trying to connect all of the health dots: CFS, GF/DF, ADD, Leaky Gut, Adrenal Fatigue, etc. I thought I was the only one who had back/shoulder muscles that seemed impossible to relax! I’ve been off dairy for at least 3 months and it hasn’t helped that, so I’m thinking that my adrenals haven’t healed enough yet. I also wanted to ask you if you’ve tried NAET sensitivity testing? I tested sensitive to Stevia as well as gluten & dairy, mold & chemicals. Just wanted to throw that out there since I don’t think that Stevia is usually tested for.
        Since I have ADD, too, I don’t like to cook. That’s a problem when you have to make everything from scratch. I just discovered a quick lunch in veggie burgers, tho.
        I appreciate your site and all of your insight! I’ll be researching ATFS. Thanks.
        Diane

        • HealthyLivingHowTo says

          Hi Diane. I have been tested for stevia and showed no sensitivity. What are you doing to heal leaky gut?

          • Diane says

            Hi, I’m eating gluten and dairy free, plus more veggies than meat, but since I have low B12, I do eat meat occasionally. If you have any advice on this, I would love to hear it!

  4. Beverly says

    I found the flavor and sweetness of this Non_Dairy Whipped Cream to be just perfect, so delicious, and a real treat on my Chai. I did have a problem with the consistency in that mine was merely a foam. I followed the method and ingredients exactly(used Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut oil instead of Nutiva). When you developed the recipe, perhaps there was more fat in the coconut milk than there is today? I am trying again with full fat (22%) Thai Kitchen, and will see what happens tomorrow!

  5. Jacqui says

    This looks amazing! So happy to have finally found a decent looking dairy free cream!
    We don’t have those brands of coconut milk in australia, what should I look out for label-wise in the brands here so it’s similar?

  6. Kristine Nally says

    Thank you so much for the excellent post, I love the diagram! Your entire site is so well written. I have a question about your IgG results: If you are not consuming any dairy, then why would you have antibodies to dairy products? I am trying to understand my IgG results. Thank you.

    • says

      If food proteins get through the gut barrier and into the bloodstream, the body identifies these particles as foreign and mounts an immune defense. This is leaky gut. Over time, the body becomes sensitive to the offending food. Does that help explain it?

  7. MJ says

    I’m very interested in the “leaky gut” concept – I have many food sensitivities/intolerances (gluten, dairy/casein not sure which) as well as ulcers/GERD (&hiatal hernia), autoimmune problems, dx’d IBS, etc. I’m nearly Paleo, still holding on to two dairy products – whey isolate protein for athletic recovery, and a frozen treat called Arctic Zero that I think has casein in it. I feel addicted to it, but I so enjoy it. How soon after stopping those things would you think I might notice improvements in my health and well-being? I’m also pretty low carb/sugar, but always can do better. Glad to have found your site. Thanks!

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