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September 7, 2011 at 1:50 PMComments: 2 Faves: 0

Why All These Food Allergies?

By Beryl More Blogs by This Author

I'm not discounting the severity of food allergies, but my question is, "Why are there so many allergies today and why are they increasing"? I don't recall having these issues when I was a kid or when my boys were young. For example, there have been nuts/peanuts and wheat products around forever, and I cannot recall anyone having those allergies years ago. What is causing the, now?  What has changed in our diet, environment, or genetics?

Let’s take wheat, for instance. All we hear about today is “gluten free,” but why? In digging a little deeper, I ran across an article related to celiac disease. Celiac is a genetic disease that is most common among people of northern European descent. People with celiac are gluten intolerant: they cannot digest the protein found in wheat, barley, or rye.

When a person with celiac disease ingests gluten, the villi become damaged when the body tries to destroy the gluten in the intestines. Over time, the villi become blunted and shorter, decreasing the surface area available for the absorption of nutrients. According to the article, recent studies have shown the “incidence of this disease in the US to be 1 in 133 people. First and second degree family members of a person with celiac have a much higher chance of having the disease, more like a 1 in 20 chance.”  

As I have mentioned before, my big issue with the medical field is that they want to "treat the problem" instead of attempting to discover the root cause and eliminating the problem entirely.

I know of one doctor in Grand Rapids that has a theory on wheat. He feels that much, if not all, of the wheat in our food chain is rancid by the time it gets to us. I've recently had an experience with both soda crackers and tortilla chips where both were rancid when we opened the package from the store, and they were not expired according to the expiration date on the packages. I don’t have Celiac, but I’m certainly intolerant to rancid wheat.

Photo Credit: sweenpole2001

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  • My mom found out a couple years ago that she has a wheat allergy. She is still able to eat wheat, but she has to be careful how much at one time. She loves pizza and says that she can't give it up but after one piece her throat is a swollen.

    I wonder the same thing, Beryl. How come there are so many food allergies today? Or were they always there and we just didn't recognize them until now?

    My mom also is allergic to pineapple and I found out that I am too. I hope I don't end up becoming allergic to wheat, but like the statistics said above...I have a much greater chance!

  • I wonder the same thing Beryl. I don't have a good answer, perhaps it has something to do with the High Fructose Corn Syrup used to sweeten virtually every wheat product on the shelves. I too don't remember severe food allergies when I was a child. I'd be interested to hear some expert advice on this.

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