Why Am I Becoming Sensitive to More and More Foods?

A recent JAMA study  (Journal of the American Medical Association, Jan. 2019) discovered that among the 26 million adults who have a food allergy, about half developed an allergy as an adult - that’s 1 in 10. In addition, more women 7.2% than men 3% where found to be afflicted and some allergies are more commonly developed during adulthood (shellfish and wheat) than childhood (peanuts). 

Adult-Onset Allergies- Why Am I Getting Them Now?

Prevalence of Food Allergies: Total number of U.S. adults 

with food-specific adult-onset allergies in 2016. 

Source: JAMA Network Open, Jan. 4, 2019.

Allergens Graph

Some experts theorize that increase adult onset allergies could be related to the rising rates of C sections that affect the microbiome of babies, increasingly sterile environments and increased use of antibiotics - all conditions that affect the good bacteria in the intestinal tract which in turn alters the immune system.

This study also found that almost twice as many adults (19%) think they have a food allergy but don’t test positive using the flagship medical method of testing for a food allergy - known as the IgE-mediated-allergy.

Why the symptoms but not an allergy?

Because they have a food sensitivity instead! In other words, the symptoms of an allergy and have been tested only to find out you do not have a true allergy according to your doctor, then you are NOT imaging things…you have developed a sensitivity to the food.

Estimates indicate that up to 50% of people have one or more food sensitivities. And here’s how it happens:

Chemicals or mold in workplace and household settings, foods, a new pet, hormonal changes and the process of aging are all factors that play a role in adult onset of allergies.  


Environmental exposure built up over time from these common allergens, and the body’s accumulated toxic burdens are two well-understood triggers for adult allergies.

What is less understood is the role our digestive system plays in developing allergies, especially as adults.

Did you know that 70% of the immune system is located in and around the gut and the digestion system? 70%! That means your gut has a lot to do with how the immune system reacts to foreign invaders - aka allergens. In fact, our gut is the body’s first line of defense against bacteria, viruses and parasites. 

When we develop chronically poor digestion from eating foods that our body considers an allergen, our gut becomes inflamed, resulting in undigested food particles leaking into our bloodstream (called ‘Leaky Gut Syndrome’). This explains why you could eliminate the trigger to an allergy, such as a food, pet or household mold, but still have allergic like reactions. Under such circumstances, the immune system becomes overtaxed by undigested food and has to work harder to eliminate the accumulated burden placed on it. This added burden accumulates over time and is especially relevant as we age.

Graph - Ability to Digest

An effective and systematic treatment approach is to first improve digestion and heal the  leaky gut. This helps to lessen the stresses on the immune system so that it can do its job to eliminate the allergen(s), which then helps to lighten the daily burden on the body’s organs of detoxification. This, in turn, resets the body’s ability to keep up with the toxic burden of allergens in our day-to-day environment.

If you have been suffering from itchy eyes, runny nose, bowel problems or other annoying allergy induced symptoms, we can help. Give us a call or visit our website www.DigestionReliefCenter.com to find out how you can get relief. To see if our approach is right for you, please call Dr. Patrick’s office at 530-899-8741 to schedule your consultation.

This article was first published in the Spring 2019 issue in The Lotus Guide.

Since 1999, Dr. Patrick Giammarise, DC, IHS, has helped North State residents by using a whole-body systems approach to health. He specializes in providing natural relief for food and environmental sensitivities, intolerances and digestive problems. For more information contact Dr. Patrick at 530-899-8741 or visit www.DigestionReliefCenter.com

© 2019. Dr. Patrick Giammarise, DC, IHS. All Rights Reserved.

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Doubling of Adult Food Allergies

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