Food Allergies

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Food Allergies 2011-12-09T23:00:01+00:00


I have a delayed allergy to wheat of all things! My parents are both Sicilian, going back to the original Dons (more about that later). I lived in Rome for 5 years and you haven’t lived until you taste one of my pasta recipes. So go figure!

There’s the possibility that my genes are from some Northern European adventurer where corn was used more than wheat. So wheat is foreign to my system and I develop an inflammatory response with it.

Here’s an interesting example for you

Go to a real Italian restaurant. I’m not talking about the corner pizzeria.  A good way to tell is if it’s very expensive. They speak Italian and the menu reflects the current chic in Italy. The menu goes beyond spaghetti and Meatballs. You’ll never recognize Lasagna because they call it “Pasta al Forno”. Chicken” parmijohn” is “Pollo alla Diana” or some other honored female.

You will not see any milk drinkers. Only Americans order Cappuccinos after dinner.

The after dinner drink, besides wine, is a fragrant, dark, Espresso. For Italians this aroma is the true finale like the last Act of the Opera.

Why? Because they are mostly Lactose Intolerant.!

When I first got to Italy I asked my Aunt, “When does the milkman come?”

First thing in the morning” she said’.  She was right.

I heard a bell ringing and the strange sound of Baaaa ,Baaaa.  The bell came from around the neck of a goat and my Aunt took a container out which was filled by milking that goat!

Turns out Goat milk does not have lactose!

(Guess what! The milk was HOT- yeccch!)

When I’m old and tired, I’d like to research the genetic factor in delayed food allergies. There seems to be a geographic thread that makes lots of sense.

What is the difference between a true allergy and Delayed Food allergies?

These do not behave like the allergies which cause immediate reactions or reactions in 2 hours. These are sneaky and do not present within a logical period of time.

The reaction is hardly recognizable. You might feel tired after eating your DFAs or a slight skin reaction, a little diarrhea or constipation but certainly nowhere near Anaphylactic Shock, a true medical emergency!

I had that true allergic reaction which was very severe. About 1 ½ hours after my mother’s killer Shrimp Scampi meal.  I was sitting in the theater, waiting for the curtain to go up when I felt my face getting hot. Within minutes my lips blew up, my tongue started to swell and I got real scared. I got in a taxi and rushed home. My mother almost passed out and thought I had been in an accident.  Luckily, Dr. Bernabeo lived across the street.  He saw me immediately and gave me a shot which stopped the progression.

I will never forget the site of my face in his waiting room mirror. I was 18 years old and the way I looked was much worse than the potentially life threatening emergency.

I stayed in my room for 5 days and the swelling finally went down. Do you think I would ever look at shrimp again? Actually, after so many years I’ve tasted part of one without reaction but I can live without shrimp.

I tell you this story so you can get the full idea of a real crazy allergy and the difference with a delayed food allergy which we will call DFA. A true allergy is evident within 2 hours the other is chronic, lazy, causing symptoms which we cannot link to a food. You can have a delayed allergy to wheat.  You can have it the morning and develop symptoms later in the day. If you keep on eating wheat and eventually develop headaches because of it, your physician will most likely give you an Rx and never suspect the real cause. The Rx could cause some untoward side effects and your physician will change the drug or give you something  to counteract the side effects of the first Rx. Eventually you have headaches ALL THE TIME AND NEVER CONNECTED IT WITH A FOOD YOU COULD BE EATING.

I was so thrilled when I learned this because I really felt like a doctor. A true  healer, Hurrah!!! A simple blood test detected all the DFAs and even listed the degree of severity.

All those years of study and I’m finally doing something that is extremely rewarding without side effects…

Oops, wait a minute. I did create some great side effects but they are the best possible side effects imaginable. Many of my patients did the testing just for the side effects. Read on and you’ll learn some amazing facts about DFAs.

Later on, when we get to know eachother better, I’m going to ask you for some of your blood ( in a test tube on it’s way to the lab, of corse!) and find out what your secret DFAs are.

Interesting, that I did not learn this in medical school!