Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Could Food Allergies Be Caused By A Parasite?

Tuesday, 20 July 2010 02:10 PM

Question: My son has seemed to develop food allergies, specifically, wheat, eggs, and dairy, over the past three years. He gets sick every time he eats. The doctor ran a blood test for celiac disease, but said it was negative. Someone mentioned he could have a parasite. What do you know about this and how can you test for it? Doctors seem to dismiss the idea.

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

Food allergies have no relationship to parasitic disease. Food allergies are most reliably diagnosed by testing foods one-by-one by eliminating them from the diet. Skin testing is not reliable for diagnosing food allergies.

Most food allergies are to various preservatives so commonly used in our food products, but specific food intolerances are not as common as you may think. Our bowel and absorptive areas of the colon are amazingly resilient under usual circumstances, and actually require a natural flora of bacteria in order to function efficiently.

Parasitic disease is quite uncommon, and often will illicit symptoms of general allergy and itching, usually with abdominal pain, cramps, and/or malabsorption. Parasitic disease is easily checked for by at least three separate stool (feces) analyses looking for ova and parasites microscopically. Often parasitic disease has elevations of various blood elements, specifically white blood cells. Invasive disease may also involve migration of these invaders into our bowel and occasionally entering the liver, spleen, and pancreas. The abnormalities they create are easily detected by routine blood chemistry testing.

Occasionally, a colonoscopy with or without biopsy may be required to diagnose inflammatory or malignant disorders not otherwise detected by blood or fecal testing/analysis. One very simple way to screen for inflammatory and infectious disorders is to have a Westergren sedimentation rate performed on a freshly drawn blood specimen. A low or normal result implies no invasive or inflammatory disease process of any major degree. I recommend you seek a referral and consultation from a gastroenterologist (a specialist in diseases of the bowel).

© HealthDay

1Like our page
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 02:10 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

The information presented on this website is not intended as specific medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical treatment or diagnosis. Read Newsmax Terms and Conditions of Service.

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved