Article of Interest: What You Don’t Know About Food Allergies

food allergies

Our team at the Hoffman Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT) Program at UT Health San Antonio wanted to share this important external article:

What You Don’t Know About Food Allergies,” from Jane Brody of The New York Times.

Unfortunately, a growing number of people can experience severe, potentially fatal reactions to certain foods, most of which are omnipresent in the American diet. The main culprits, the so-called “Big 9” — milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, crustacean shellfish, wheat, soy and sesame, which was recently added to the list — account for about 90 percent of food allergy reactions.
Although commercially packaged foods now must label the actual or possible presence of major allergenic foods that can cause fatal reactions, other food allergens are not required to be listed. And sesame, which affects more than a million children and adults in the United States, is not required to be listed on foods until 2023.

This is important for people who experience chemical intolerance, said Dr. Claudia Miller, allergist/immunologist, professor emeritus, and leader of the Hoffman TILT Program at UT Health San Antonio.

“Individuals who develop TILT often report new intolerances for foods and food additives as well as for chemical inhalants like fragrances and cleaning chemicals, and for medications and excipients/colors used in compounding drugs,” Miller said.

How chemically sensitive are you?

Answer these three questions from the Brief Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (BREESI):

  1. Do you feel sick when you are exposed to tobacco smoke, certain fragrances, nail polish/remover, engine exhaust, gasoline, air fresheners, pesticides, paint/thinner, fresh tar/asphalt, cleaning supplies, new carpet or furnishings? By sick, we mean: headache, difficulty thinking, difficulty breathing, weakness, dizziness, upset stomach, etc.
  2. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse or allergic reactions to any drugs or medications (such as antibiotics, anesthetics, pain relievers, X-ray contrast dye, vaccines or birth control pills), or to an implant, prosthesis, contraceptive chemical or device, or other medical/surgical/dental material or procedure?
  3. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse reactions to any foods such as dairy products, wheat, corn, eggs, caffeine, alcoholic beverages, or food additives (e.g., MSG, food dye)?

If you answer YES to any of these three questions, take the Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI) and share the results with your doctor!

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