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Genetics of Food Allergy and Intolerance

Can genetics explain if you are allergic to some powders or foods?

White blood cell patterns are genetically determined and defined as HLA DQ and DR genes have been identified with increased risk of pollen, dust, latex, and food allergy. The interesting part of this story is that there are advantages to knowing your HLA DR and DQ when assessing the risk of pollen allergy and food allergy or cross-reactivity.

Genetics of Food and Allergy Reactions

As I explained in my article on the genetics of gluten sensitivity, we all have proteins on the surface of genetically determined cells. This pattern is easily detected by testing the cells from the blood or from the mouth obtained by a Q-tip swab. Specific patterns have been associated with increased risk for autoimmune conditions, gluten sensitivity and celiac disease.

HLA DQ Genetics and Celiac or Gluten Sensitivity

HLA DQ2 is present in more than 90% of people with celiac disease while HLADQ8 is present in most of the rest, although not all people with dementia are found to have DQ2 and / or DQ8.

DQ and DR Genetic Patterns Related to Food Allergy and Benefit or Sensitivity?

There are now several DQ or DR patterns associated with food allergy and pollen as well. As a Food Document, I continue to search the literature for more information on genetic links to food allergy and intolerance. My search has brought me some interesting articles on the rare areas of oral allergy (OAS). The relationship between seasonal nasal allergies and allergies and food allergy is certainly well established but is not widely known by most doctors or patients. It seems that some of us need to avoid eating certain foods if we have allergies or allergies, especially during hay fever. This issue also seems to be inherited.

Research Genetic Society Documents With Certain Food Allergies and Raids

Boehncke, et al. from the University of Frankfurt reported in 1998 that certain types of white blood cells known as HLA class II or HLA DQ genotypes and DR genetic patterns were found more frequently in people with specific pollutants associated with food allergy. HLA-DQB1 * 0301 is present in more people with pollen allergy. Those with HLA-DRB1 * 08, the inherited pattern of white blood cells, have been linked to allergy to powders, having a six-fold increased risk of peanut allergy. Those who inherit the HLA-DRB1 * 12 white blood cell pattern are 13 times higher at risk for carrot allergy.

Allergies Exposure to Birch Tree Pollen Emerges

Birch pollen allergy to hazel nuts is associated with HLA-DRB1 * 01, DQA1 * 0101, and DQB1 * 0501. Hazelnut, almonds, walnuts and apples are the most common food allergy to birch pollen. Allergies to these foods are usually associated with birch pollen in other studies.

Herbal Allergies Also Related to Food Reactions

In 2004, Wang et al. from China published that white blood cells of type DQA1 * 0302 were found in more people with Artemisia powder caused by allergic rhinitis, hay fever due to Mugwort or Sagebrush grass. Mugwort allergy is associated with several food allergies including apples, celery, hazelnuts, pistachio, salads, almonds, nuts, and carrots.

Where to get the genetic test

There are three commercial labs that I know will be offering a full typing of HQ DQ. They are Quest Laboratories, Bonfils Laboratory in Denver, and Enterolab. Bonfils runs Enterolab's genetic test. Enterolab offers a test run on cell samples obtained from a Q-tip mouth swab. This test is available directly from Enterolab without a doctor's prescription even though it is not covered by insurance. However, it is very affordable from the point of genetic testing at $ 149. Bonfils also types DQ into cells derived from blood samples sent to them from other laboratories.

The Future of Genetic Testing in Raid and Food Allergy

In the future such tests should be extremely helpful in assessing suspected food allergies, intolerance allergy and allergy powders. Meanwhile, those of us interested in this fascinating story are looking forward to more research findings in this exciting area. Dr. Fine, the founder of Enterolab, previously published a HLA DQ pattern related to microscopic colitis. He has found that microscopic changes in the large intestine or intestine are similar to those observed in the small intestine in celiac disease. Several articles have now documented that gluten-free diets work in many people with microscopic, lymphocytic and colitis colitis. It also helps many with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

The discovery of intraepithelial lymphocytosis in the distal small intestine (terminal ileum) is associated with an increased incidence of recurrent disease in the proximal small intestine. Now, adding the trick, are these articles linking white blood cell protein gene sequences to pollen allergies and food allergic reactions that are well-recognized but rarely clinically addressed. Oral Allergic Syndrome (OAS), also known as "mouth burning syndrome", occurs in many people but is often not diagnosed. Symptoms include burning, pain and / or itching of the mouth or throat with or without swelling that occurs almost immediately after eating certain foods. Foods that cause this reaction are usually associated with pollen, latex, or dust allergies.

Unique Pollen Allergic Association and Oral Burning or Food Reaction

These extraordinary associations of trees, grasses, and weeds, latex pests and home allergy pests to food reactions, though documented in medical literature, are not usually recognized by doctors or patients. The OAS literature contains numerous reports of food allergies or intolerance reactions associated with pollen, dust, mold or latex allergy. One of the best examples is pollen allergy to weeds. It is associated with a higher risk of food allergy or intolerance to just a few foods. This includes foods in the pumpkin family (cucumbers and watermelons) and bananas. On the other hand, birch pollen allergy is associated with sensitivity to many foods. The list includes foods in the Rosacea family (apples, pears), the family of peas (hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts), potatoes, and carrots. Reactions include classic allergic reactions such as skin rash (atopic dermatitis, itching), diagnosing (asthma), runny nose (allergic rhinitis), as well as oral OAS symptoms and other food intolerance symptoms.

If You Are Suspicious of Food Allergies, Inactivity or Sensitivity Can Be evaluated by an Expert

Individuals who suspect food allergy or intolerance are encouraged to review the food powder connection and to undergo an appropriate assessment of food allergy, intolerance and sensitivity. Food sensitivities include gluten sensitivity and goat milk protein sensitivity (casein). Food intolerance includes lactose intolerance. Food allergy is separate and distinct from food sensitivities or food intolerance.

Consider Getting a Genetic Test or Asking Your Doctor to Test You

Recent information on the relationship of the pattern of white blood cell protein, HLA type DQ, suggests that we should consider performing genetic testing. After sufficient evaluation,

Set Baseline Symptom Scores and Start a Diet Symptom Diet

I encourage everyone to establish a basic symptom score. A detailed dietary symptom diary before a diet elimination attempt is also very helpful. An elimination diet that excludes major food clinics (dairy, cereals, legumes, and evenings) and any food from a single allergy list is recommended before receiving an IBS diagnosis, fibromyalgia, unexplained neuropathy or headache, and fatigue syndrome chronic. Any symptoms that cannot be easily explained or corrected by diagnosis and other treatments should be considered as a result of a food reaction until proven otherwise.

Selected Bibliography

Boehncke, et al. Clin Exp Allergy. 1998 Apr; 28 (4): 434-41.

Fine KD et al. Am J Gastroenterol. 2000 August; 95 (8): 1974-82.

Wang et al. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg Feb; 130 (2): 192-197.


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