Although there are many people who claim suffering food allergyThe reality is that this is usually not a common phenomenon. If a group of people were asked in the form of a survey, how many people know or think they know they are suffering from food allergies, about 20% of them will confirm this. And yet, half of them would be wrong.
At least in the United States, a country with more than 300 million inhabitants, only 1 out of 10 people really suffers some of food allergy It is currently known, according to a new work published in Russia JAMA Network Open, which analyzed over 40,000 people across the country.
Food allergy or intolerance: important differences
According to this new study, until then 19% of respondents they without hesitation argued that they are allergic to certain products, but they did not feel the typical physical reactions associated with general food allergies. This does not mean that food allergy is a mental invention, much less, but rather a mistake from the general population.
First Food allergy can be life-threateningand not knowing how to recognize their risks and independently diagnose without consulting a healthcare professional can be misleading as well as the memory of the authors in their work.
In the opinion of the same researchers led by Dr. Rucy Gupta, a pediatrician and professor of pediatrics at the School of Medicine at the Northwestern University, it is likely that these individuals have survived signs of food intolerance or other conditions associated with food, not food allergies.
Within an allergy, there is an immune system response to a trigger that is perceived as a threat, although it is not. In particular, in food allergyThe most common is allergy to nuts, legumes, eggs or mollusks many reactions that can vary from person to person, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention USA (CDC).
As in the usual allergic reaction, and in the case food allergy you can suffer symptoms such as hives, itching, swelling of the nose or throat, nausea, vomiting and / or stomach ache. In severe allergic reactions, anaphylaxis can be achieved, a shock, where there is a serious reduction in blood pressure and a sudden closure of the respiratory tract that is fatal.
In the case of the United States of America the most common allergenic substance (7 million people) mollusksThen go milk (5 million individuals) and peanut (5 million individuals). Other known allergens – nuts, fish, eggs, wheat, soya and sesame seeds, according to researchers.
On the other hand, this underlines the case inherited or acquired allergies, as a strange case of allergy to red mice caused by a tick bite, or a case of a farmer who has completed the development of allergy to onion skin after the life he undergoes. Although there are special cases, researchers say that aging develops allergy: 48% of people with real allergies cataloged in this work have developed them at a mature age, rather than in childhood, as is often believed. ,
Lactose and gluten: intolerance is not a food allergy
Although milk allergy exists, it is much more common intolerance to lactose– a completely different digestive reaction.
In Russia intolerance to lactoseThis "sugar" (disaccharide) is not properly digested by the large intestine, releasing waste such as methane and some acids, which will lead to typical symptoms of abdominal pain, edema, spasms, nausea, vomiting and more diarrhea. It is currently estimated that up to 70% of the population may suffer from such intolerance, especially in cases of Asian, African or Native Americans.
For to diagnose intolerance to lactose, a breath test can be performed on a hydrogen test that quantifies the presence of hydrogen, one of the lactose waste. However, they are more likely to try to withdraw dietary foods from lactose and test tolerance to them without any tests.
In the case of allergy to milk, there is a Allergy to milk protein cows (PLV), and not to lactose as such. Symptoms usually begin in the first three years of life and may disappear after four years. Symptoms are similar to lactose intolerance, but with an additional factor of possible anaphylaxis after the use of milk, as we have already mentioned.
For its part, there is gluten, within which it is possible to differentiate the allergy, intolerance and "sensitivity" to gluten (the latter is currently very controversial).
Within the limits of allergy There is no clear allergy to gluten by itself, but a Allergy to wheat (easily confused with intolerance of gluten or celiac disease), within which allergic symptoms and even anaphylaxis can be experienced, as we have already commented on. In this case, you can consume the rest of the cereals, some of which contain gluten. If you are intolerant to gluten, it's impossible.
In the case of intolerance to gluten or celiac diseaseThe immune system attacks the mucous membrane of the small intestine when it comes into contact with food with gluten, a protein contained in different types of cereals. Although it concerns only 1% of the population, currently up to 12% of people say they are suffering from a certain level of intolerance to this protein. This is what is now called gluten sensitivity. In the case of intolerance or celiac disease, the symptoms are similar to intolerance to lactose, but their diagnosis is more protocol-mediated, which allows the detection of signs in blood tests or performing intestinal biopsies. Treatment, as in the case of lactose, is to stop the consumption of food with gluten.
Finally, gluten sensitivity This is a controversial case, and there are studies that claim to be a "brain trick", given that it has been shown that some people suffer from abdominal pain, bloating, nausea and diarrhea, consuming gluten-free foods when they thought it was gluten-free . It's so-called Nocebo effector a situation in which there is a deterioration in health just because of the expectation that we may get worse.
On the other hand, new studies claim to be Another factor that should be taken into account among this sensitivity to gluten: fructans, molecules present in wheat, but also in other products that do not contain gluten, but cause gastrointestinal symptoms for certain individuals who are themselves diagnosed as "gluten-sensitive". At the moment, this is a possible option for celiac disease, but there are still a lot of research in this respect.