Food allergies are characterised by the production of antibodies which can be identified by food allergy testing. However, many people react adversely to foods but do not produce antibodies. This is known as intolerance. Lack of enzymes to break down foods such as gluten, casein (from milk), histamine, tyramine and oxalates cause intolerances. Food intolerances are associated with headaches, migraine, irritable bowel, interstitial cystitis and fibromyalgia and many other conditions.
The bacteria in our gut play an important role in breaking down foods. Low levels of good guys combined with overgrowth of yeasts and fermenting bacteria leaves many of us unable to break down foods that can provoke symptoms. Shifts towards less healthy gut bacteria are caused by lack of breast feeding, antibiotics, sugar consumption and toxin exposure such as mercury from fillings which is swallowed in saliva.
Leaky gut, in which the gap junctions between intestinal cells remain open, allows foods to pass into the body before they have been adequately digested. Incompletely broken down foods may provoke an immune response. This can be lessened by taking calcium citrate 15 minutes before meals as calcium is involved in regulating opening and closing of gut junctions.