Acid Reflux & Food Allergies
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that GERD often may be overlooked in babies and young children. Recent studies strongly suggest that GERD aggravates or may be the predominant cause of asthma symptoms in the very young. In many cases, physicians believe that the refluxed stomach contents enter the lungs directly.
Anyone – including infants, children, and teens – can develop gastroesophageal reflux. Keep in mind that people may experience GERD symptoms periodically or chronically. GERD symptoms also may be related to eating specific foods or, rarely, even to food allergies. Some of the most common food allergies are peanuts, milk, soy, shellfish, fish, nuts, and eggs.
Another sensitivity that is emerging is with soya beans and soya flour as they are more widely used in processed foods 2. When compared to food allergies, larger quantities of the food are required to provoke the symptoms of food intolerance and food intolerance generally produces a very slow response to food with symptoms appearing several hours after food is eaten, or the next day or even 48 hours later 2. Food intolerance tends to diminish if the food is avoided for a while, however it can reappear if the food is eaten on a daily basis again and a viral infection can spark off food intolerance again 2.
They can experience symptoms that include constipation and fatigue, which may indicate a tendency for gluten intolerance. Learn more about the symptoms of gluten intolerance here and how avoiding specific foods may relieve them. Some people find that if they stay off the specific food for a while, they have no reaction when eating it again – this is known as tolerance. Maintaining tolerance is often a question of knowing how long to abstain, and how much of it to eat when it is being reintroduced.
Trust Your Gut: Digestive Symptoms
â€œIt doesnâ€™t get as much press as you would expect but it seems to be increasing in incidence,â€ Dr. Gabbard says. â€œWe also donâ€™t completely understand why it occurs. The thinking is that it may be due to genetics and environmental exposure.â€ Interestingly, EoE is diagnosed only with an endoscopy. â€œTypically you shouldnâ€™t see eosinophils in the lining of the esophagus, but patients with asthma have high numbers of these â€˜allergic cellsâ€™ in their airways,â€ Dr. Gabbard says. â€œWith EoE, some sort of allergic response causes a large amount of these eosinophils to come into the lining of the esophagus which can affect the ability of the esophagus to squeeze food into the stomach.â€ Here are the medical reasons to never ignore heartburn.
What is a food allergy?
â€œTo diagnose GERD, the guideline is that if you have typical symptoms like heartburn and regurgitation that improves with medication-usually a two-month trial of a proton pump inhibitor (PPI)-thereâ€™s no need to do any further testing,â€ Dr. Gabbard says. â€œHowever, anyone who has heartburn that doesnâ€™t respond to acid medicines should see a doctor to discuss booking an endoscopy.â€ And, if youâ€™re experiencing weight loss, vomiting, severe heartburn, or severe trouble swallowing, always see a physician right away. Luckily both GERD and EoE can be treated with dietary changes, and there are several home remedies that can help you manage your symptoms. In general, experts urge people with symptoms to avoid eating spicy or fatty foods, chocolate, and mint and to be wary of taking fish oil supplements.
Adverse immune responses to food are the main cause of EoE in a large number of patients. Other diseases can also result in eosinophils in the esophagus.
However, proton pump inhibitors can also improve EoE symptoms without making the inflammation any better. Researchers are now looking into using them to manage EoE.