If you suffer from food allergies, you may be one of the many people that have low stomach acid. Low stomach acid is called Hypochlorhydria. Hypochlorhydria is not limited to any age group, but is more common in older people. When doctors talk about low stomach acid, they do not mean there is less fluid, it means the strength of the acid is no longer strong enough to do its job. The strength of the Hydrochloric acid is measure by its pH (Potential of Hydrogen; Hydrogen Ion Concentration).
The Hydrochloric acid (HCL), produced by the stomach's parietal cells, has several important functions. First; the acid maintains a sterile environment in the stomach, to keep bacteria and pathogens from causing infection. The second function; is to break down food into a thick semi-fluid mass, called chyme. The third function; of the acid, is assist in breaking down proteins in the chyme. The breaking down of proteins is a function of the Peptic enzymes. These enzymes cannot function properly without sufficiently strong Hydrochloric acid. The Peptic enzymes are most active in the breaking down, and converting proteins when the strength of the stomach acid is at 1.0 to 1.3 pH. When the strength of the acid decreases, the peptic enzymes become less active, in the sterilization and conversion process. At pH 5.0 pH, the peptic enzymes are completely inactive, in the conversion process. At this pH level, there is no sterilization and conversion of the nutrients consumed, and the stage is set for allergies to enter the small bowel and cause allergic reactions. This condition also allows bacteria and pathogens, to flourish in the digestive tract. Many proteins are allergens and will cause allergies, if they are not broken down and destroyed, by the hydrochloric acid and peptic enzymes.
Many people, as they age, develop allergies that they never had when they were younger. In many instances, the acid producing cells in the stomach wane in their ability to produce strong enough acid. This reduction in the strength of the stomach acid is called Hypochlorhydria, or in extreme cases, Achlorhydria (no stomach acid). When unsterilized and unconverted proteins and other nutrients enter the small bowel, the immune system is activated, resulting in an inflammatory response.
The food allergic reaction signs and symptoms include:
• Tingling or itching in the mouth
• Hives, itching or eczema
• Swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat or other parts of the body
• Wheezing, nasal congestion or trouble breathing
• Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
• Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting.
In some people, food allergies can trigger a severe allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can cause life-threatening signs and symptoms, including:
• Constriction and tightening of the airways
• A swollen throat or the sensation of a lump in your throat that makes it difficult to breathe
• Shock with a severe drop in blood pressure
• Rapid pulse
• Dizziness, lightheadedness or loss of consciousness.
In many cases, a simple pH diagnostic test, or gastrogram will tell the doctor why you are developing food allergies.
Instead of doing a pH diagnostic test, a doctor may put you through a maze of skin tests, to try and figure out what is causing an allergy, including:
• Skin test: by placing a drop of solution containing a possible allergen on the skin. A series of scratches, or needle pricks, allows the solution to enter the skin. If the skin develops a red, raised itch area (called a wheal), it sometime means the person is allergic to that substance. Skin test aren't always accurate. They sometimes indicate an allergy, when there isn't one (false positive) and you may react differently, to the same test performed on different occasions.
•Intradermal test: A small amount of allergen solution is injected onto the skin. The Intradermal test is more sensitive than the skin prick test, but is more often confused as being a positive reaction, in people who do not have symptoms, to that allergen. (false-positive test results).
• Skin Patch test: An food allergen, is placed on a pad that is taped to the skin, usually on the persons back, for 24 to 72 hours. The test is used, to detect a skin allergy, called "contact dermatitis". Sometimes, the results of the patch test can be inconclusive, or misleading. This condition is known as "angry back" and is most likely to occur in people with very active dermatitis (false positive test results).
Many of these test do not solve the food allergy problems people have, because the doctors are not testing the digestive system, for an unbalanced condition. Before putting yourself through a battery of skin test that may be inconclusive, get a pH diagnostic test. A pH diagnostic test, ph Capsule Test or Gastrogram is a safe, simple, and reproducible test that will tell the doctor how well your digestive system is dealing, with the foods you consume.