Best Summer Health Tips From Dr. Oz: Food Allergies

By Dr. Mehmet Oz

doctor_ozThe two most common, food allergies, which are rampant in America, are dairy allergies and gluten allergies. For the many folks who come on my show and ask about feeling tired or worn out or swollen or bigger bags under their eyes or not being able to go at full speed, the first tip I almost always give is to cut both out. Now, we don’t know if you have an allergy or to which one it might be, but elimination diets are good ways to figure this out. They’re better than testing you in other ways; plus, they give you real functional information. By the way, it’s not a bad idea anyway to, once in a while, go without those foods.

Gluten allergies are caused by proteins in wheat products, lots of grains, … have a gluten issue. So, it seems pretty simple. You just avoid eating bread and you’d be okay, but it’s not the case because we have so many different types of gluten products used in condiments, ice cream, in places you don’t expect to see them, they appear. So, you really have to check to make sure there is no gluten in the food you eat to assess whether or not you have a gluten allergy. You can acquire a gluten allergy as you mature as well in life, so it’s not just something that kids can be able to diagnose and they carry it through their lives. The good thing about having gluten allergies is just about everybody on a gluten-free diet loses weight. So, it’s not a bad side effect to have.

Dairy allergies are usually not as severe as gluten allergies. Gluten allergies are sometimes auto-immune ailments in reality, like celiac disease where dairy is pretty much an intolerance to the ability to lactose in sugars in milk. If you don’t have the enzyme lactation in your gut, if your ancestors didn’t have to digest milk, which African-Americans rarely had to because they had plentiful sources of food, so they don’t have those enzymes. Many whites don’t either. So, you develop lactose intolerance as you get older.

There are now many solutions. There are lactose-free drinks. You can take lactase as a pill; it’s an enzyme to help treat it, but again, you need to be cautious, if you’re going to be lactose-free, to make sure that you really identify lactose because it sneaks up on you in places you do not expect it.

Dr. Mehmet Oz

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