Everyday, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day people live with food allergies, an autoimmune disorder. Medical statistics and research show food allergy diagnosis is the most common disorder to be misdiagnosed in the United States & Europe. While only 220 million cases are reported worldwide, this number continues to grow annually.
Food Allergies can strike ay any point in a person's life, at anytime. One day a person can eat foods like shellfish, ginger, avocado, tomato and be fine and the next day they could go into anaphylaxis shock (a life threatening allergic response). There is no cure and no reason why. Food Allergies can happen to anyone at anytime, anywhere.
The lack of research, funding, awareness and overall understanding of this autoimmune disorder makes us far from finding a cure or a reason why. When someone has an allergic reaction whether it be anaphylaxis or not, their entire immune system can be at risk, causing severe illness that may last for weeks. Painful hives, rashes, headaches, fatigue, vomiting and irritable bowel can often linger for weeks until the body is restored and the allergy has been completely eliminated from the person's diet.
Often we are only concerned about what we can see. Literally! If there is a rash or vomit, we are more concerned with that than what may be happening to the insides of our body, such as our heart, brain, lungs, or something else.
The long term affect of a food allergy not being diagnosed could possibly lead to other medical illnesses. While not proven medically, in a recent survey of late onset food allergic adults, 90% had another medical disorder of some kind.
In some ways, food allergy diagnosis is like being diagnosed with cancer. If you feel fabulous, all the time, then don't worry about it, everyone is going to die some day. However, if you struggle with medical issues and find yourself lethargic, having stomach aches, vomiting frequently, your bones ache, shortness of breath, headaches, or something else, then you may want to find out what's wrong. The difference between food allergies and cancer, is you can avoid the food you are allergic to 100% and feel completely better.
The hardest part is getting a doctor to test you. It all begins with food logs. We must be diligent about writing down everything we eat and then documenting how we feel. This is important because there are 170 foods that cause allergic reactions, and doctors don't test for all of them.
Allergist usually start with 10-70 various foods and then special requests must be made. Equally the doctors don't tend to be quick to perform allergy test. Even the allergist. I found unless I paid cash in full at the allergist office, called to book my own appointment and didn't wait for referrals, no one was connecting the dots that my illness was linked to what I was consuming daily.
After being tested for over 70 foods, I tested positive for 9 and then 14 later on. By avoiding all the allergens I felt 100% better and the majority of my medical conditions went away completely- with no antibiotics or other treatments. On occasion, I find my body getting sick frequently. I returned to the allergist and got updated tests. I found I was no longer allergic to certain foods while I was testing positive for others. While food allergy testing isn't 100% accurate, it takes a lot of the guess work out of what may be causing us to be ill.
If we can feel better, let's do it. Life is about living, sharing, caring, growing and enjoying being alive. Don't suffer through feeling "yucky."