Allergy is one of the most common problems in modern society. One of the definitions of the term “allergy” is as follows – “a hereditary disease of the immune system, which is manifested by an increased sensitivity of the body to any substances.”
There are many types of allergies. One of these is food allergies. Food allergy is a disease that is one of the main ones in the medical section of allergology. This disease develops when certain foods are eaten, which include an allergen that causes an aggressive reaction of the immune system. Food intolerance is one of the most pressing problems of modern clinical and preventive medicine. The first clinical observations of the pathogenic role of food were made by Hippocrates in the 5th century BC. e. It was he who first proposed the principle of individualization of the diet of patients with food intolerance, depending on their reaction to the use of certain foods.
Why does a food allergy appear? There are several factors for this.
- Genetically determined predisposition to allergies. Approximately half of the patients suffering from food allergies have a weakened allergic history: they or their blood relatives suffer from any allergic diseases (hay fever, atopic bronchial asthma). Of great importance is the genetically determined ability of the body to produce allergic antibodies.
- Eating disorders during pregnancy and lactation (abuse of certain products with pronounced sensitizing activity: fish, eggs, nuts, milk).
- Early transfer of the child to artificial feeding (malnutrition in children, expressed in the mismatch of the volume and ratio of food ingredients to the body weight and age of the child).
- The lack of calcium salts in food helps to increase the absorption of unsplit proteins.
An increase in the permeability of the intestinal mucosa, which is noted in inflammatory and degenerative bowel diseases, dysbiosis, helminthic and protozoal infestations.
- Decreased acidity of gastric juice, insufficient pancreatic function, enzymopathy, biliary dyskinesia and intestines, contribute to the absorption of high molecular weight compounds.
- The composition of the intestinal microflora, the state of local immunity of the intestinal mucosa (lymphoid tissue, secretory immunoglobulins). With the normal functioning of the gastrointestinal tract and the hepatobiliary system, sensitization to food products does not develop.
In the effective treatment of food allergies, patient awareness of his illness plays a paramount role. If an accurate diagnosis is made, explanatory work is carried out with the patient and a specific allergen is identified – a person can easily exclude contact with this allergen and not cause allergic reactions in his body. Exclusion from the diet of foods containing certain allergens is the main and effective method of treating food allergies.