Posted 4/23/2008 11:12 PM (GMT -6)
Yes. Avoiding milk products helps reduce the severity of my hay fever symptoms. Cooked milk products don't cause a problem, only cold/uncooked. Also, I find avoiding pollen cross-reacting foods during the specific pollen season helps me feel better and helps my gut work better (I have a lot of gut motility problems). Examples of food-pollen cross-reactivity are: Birch Tree Pollen - cross reacts with apples & related fruits (rose family), as well as some other foods. Grass Pollen - cross reacts with grains such as wheat, rye, barley, rice, etc. (which are members of the grass family), and some other foods. Cross-reactivity between pollens and foods can happen when the food contains a protein that is similar to the protein in the pollen. Antibodies that cause allergic reactions to pollens recognize the pollen by certain specific proteins in the pollen. So when the food contains a similar protein to the pollen, then the same antibodies that cause pollen allergy can also cause allergy symptoms. Not everyone with pollen allergies experiences this cross-reactivity - it depends on which protein or proteins in the pollen that the antibodies are programmed to recognize. And sometimes cooking the food changes the protein enough to prevent the cross-reactivity from occurring.
And finally, I also find I need to avoid the foods I tested allergic to on skin scratch tests.