Food allergies

Nutrition therapy for food allergies

Nutrition therapy for food allergies (Picture Credits: ©piviso/pixabay)

Being a food allergy sufferer means always taking your allergy into account in everyday life and adjusting your behaviour accordingly. In concrete terms, it means you have to ensure that the foods in your shopping cart suit your needs and that meal plans are designed with your situation in mind. It presupposes that you know exactly what foods might contain your allergen and how it is labelled so that you can avoid it accordingly, without forgoing a balanced, varied diet. The nutrient balance should contain everything your body needs in sufficient quantities.

Nutrition therapy process

Step 1: Health and nutritional history

Step 2: Determine key areas of focus for counselling

Step 3: Define counselling period

Step 4: Put plan into action and permanent nutrition

What does nutrition therapy entail?

Allergological nutritional therapy is based on scientific position papers from both national and international scientific societies (WHO / FAO, the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology).

Step 1: A precise anamnesis as the basis for further procedure

The most important diagnostic tool used in allergy treatments is a detailed interview (anamnesis). The interview explores current and past symptoms and their accompanying circumstances as a way of assessing possible causes. Anything you notice in connection with the occurrence of symptoms may be important.

  • review of all laboratory and examination results. Bringing copies of medical findings or lab results helps us better evaluate the initial situation.
  • exclusion or consideration of previously unrecognised food intolerances
  • consideration of current medication intake
  • evaluation of the nutrition and symptom diary you brought with you. This daily log makes it easier to uncover connections between diet and symptoms. Your existing nutritional habits are the key to finding the solution best suited to you.
  • identification of stress triggers
  • defining individual goals for nutrition therapy

Step 2: Define key areas for counselling

The overall dietary concept and main focus of the consultation depend on the particulars of your case and the diagnosis.

During the consultation you will learn about the connections between diet and allergies. The goal is to enact permanent dietary changes while ensuring a healthy, enjoyable approach to food.

  • precise instructions as to how to avoid foods or food components that cause symptoms, taking into account individual tolerance levels
  • instructions for a practical and tasty elimination diet
  • developing the therapeutic diet in steps with the aim of having an individualised nutrition plan in your hands at the end
  • labelling regulation: what and how exactly?
  • How do I deal with warnings that something may contain traces of the allergen?
  • dangers of contamination in the kitchen
  • eating out in restaurants, on holiday, with friends
  • avoiding allergic reactions and anaphylactic shock
  • increase or restoration of quality of life

Step 3: Define the consultation period

You will receive personal advice and support in individual sessions. The duration of the consultation period depends on the goal you want to achieve.

Step 4: Implementation and permanent nutrition

The most important goal of nutritional therapy for food allergies is to make the largest possible food selection possible. Restrictions should only be made where really necessary. In this way, malnutrition can be avoided and the quality of life can be kept high.

Consultation times

Monday – Thursday: 07.45 am – 12.30 pm
Monday – Thursday: 02.00 pm – 06.00 pm

Making an appointment / telephone consultation hours

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 12.45 – 01.15 pm

What is an allergy?

An allergy is the response of the immune system to substances that are usually harmless, such as foods, pollens, medicines, molds, pet hairs and house dust mite. When a person comes in contact with a particular allergen to which they are allergic, an allergic response is triggered causing symptoms which include sneezing, wheezing, rash, itchy eyes and sickness.

Classic allergy

The organism forms antibodies against protein components of staple foods such as egg, cow’s milk, fish, soybeans, wheat, nuts, etc. If these antibodies cause histamines to be released upon repeated contact with the food, clinical reactions occur, in the worst case anaphylactic shock

Possible symptoms of a food allergy are:

  • Skin redness, itching
  • Itchy nose, sneezing, itchy and watery eyes
  • Vomiting, stomach cramps or diarrhea
  • Angioedema (sudden swelling of the skin or mucous membrane)
  • Hoarseness, tightness in the throat
  • Difficulty in breathing (whistling, chest tightness)

Cross allergy

Cross-reactivity occurs when the proteins in one substance are like the proteins in another. As a result, the immune system sees them as the same. In the case of food allergies, cross-reactivity can occur between one food and another. Cross-reactivity can also happen between pollen and foods or latex and foods.

Because of cross-reactivity, testing and diagnosis of food allergies can be challenging. Since the immune system sees the similar proteins as the same, a positive skin test or blood test (serum IgE) can result for a food, yet the patient may be actually allergic to a substance that is cross-reactive to that food. However, the individual may or may not have any allergic symptoms from eating that food. The individual may not have allergic symptoms from a food that is cross-reactive with another food or pollen to which the individual is allergic. This is true even though they have a positive skin test or blood test to that food. Many people end up avoiding foods because of a positive test and in some cases, they may have been eating that food before without any problems.

Pseudoallergy

Pseudoallergy mimics immediate-type allergic reactions clinically without evidence of underlying immunological mechanisms. Hence the name „pseudo“. The most common triggers of pseudoallergic reactions are aspirin and other nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, as well as some food ingredients and additives, such as salicylates, benzoates, and tartrazine. These reactions do not involve IgE sensitization and can, therefore, occur on first exposure.

Gaby Lingath