Food Allergies:  Why We Crave What Harms Us

  • When you are allergic to a food, you have antibodies to that food.  The food is an antigen and your body makes antibodies against that antigen.
  • What makes you feel bad and damages your body is  the large immune complexes formed when antigens and antibodies are present in roughly the same amount. 
  • When you eat the food you are allergic to, you add antigens, (allergens).  Then, there are enough antigens to occupy all the antibodies without forming big complexes.  Huge complexes do not form because there is more antigen that antibody. 
  • After some hours of not eating that antigen, antigens and antibodies are present in a balanced ratio, the worst scenario for your body.  You will feel bad and you will experience relief only by either waiting it out (antigens will clear out of the system in a few days) or eating more of the food.



Leaky Gut and food Allergies:

Damaged digestive systems are thought to be a main contributor to food allergies.  It works in a vicious cycle:  because the digestive system is damaged and allowing the intrusion of larger than usual particles, the back up immune system, IgG is activated.  It then sends in antibodies to those foods to help your body eliminate what it perceives as invaders.  These antibodies form immune complexes which can further damage the digestive system and perpetuate the cycle.

Both of these slides were made by Vincent Marinkovich, MD Clinical Associate Professor, Stanford Medical School.  Dr Marinkovich is a pediatric allergist.  These pictures were part of a slide presentation made available to me through the Institute for Functional Medicine.