The Health Professional’s Guide to Food Allergies and Intolerances
by Dr Janice Joneja

'Adverse reactions to food are arguably some of the most confusing and misunderstood conditions in medical practice' says Dr Joneja in the opening lines of her introduction to her new book guiding health professionals through this complex area of medicine. And how many patients can vouch for the truth of that.

Dr Joneja, who holds a doctoral degree in Medical Microbiology and Immunology and is a registered dietitian in the College of Dietitians of British Columbia, has specialised for many years in food allergy and intolerance in both the adult and the child populations, so she is ideally placed to advise and inform her colleagues.

Her new book, published by Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and available here on Amazon is based on her original guide, the first of its kind, published in 1995, but greatly expanded and updated and incorporating the latest research and practice in the field.

The book is divided into seven parts covering everything from the scientific background to details of the foods that may be implicated and the treatment of food allergy and intolerance in children.

As she says in her introduction:
‘Food does not cause allergy. The symptoms are caused by the allergic person’s unique response to the food, not by the food itself. Furthermore, to complicate the situation, many adverse reactions to foods are not caused by an allergic reaction, but by food intolerances. Food intolerance reactions are quite different from food allergy both in the way the body responds to the food and the management of the condition. The term food sensitivity describes when eating a food results in distressing symptoms. This term covers both food allergy and food intolerances.’

Both of these topics are covered in more detail in the first section of the book.

Of particular interest to the health professional will be part two on diagnosis – a challenge for even the most experienced practitioner not least because of the continuing ‘lack of any definitive laboratory tests that would identify the specific food responsible for the clinical signs and symptoms that result from its ingestion.’

This section will be very helpful to any medical professional struggling to understand and to differentiate between food allergies and food intolerances.

Parts three and four give a wealth of specific information on the most common food allergens, both food components and additives. It also includes information on nutrients to be found in specific food allergens, and how to ensure that those nutrient needs are met while the trigger food is eliminated.

Part five looks at all the many health conditions (asthma, eczema, urticaria/ hives, angioedema, migraine, eosinophilic gastrointestinal conditions, food protein–induced enteropathy and coeliac disease) associated with food sensitivity; parts six and seven look at paediatric food allergies. These latter chapters include information specific to paediatric food allergies and other, often food related conditions, such as hyperactivity and autism.

An excellent book to recommend to your own health practitioner if they are struggling to make sense of your food sensitivities – or maybe even to read yourself!

From – Cost $52.25 + postage.

First published July 2013

NB. Over the next few months Dr Joneja will be looking at some of the more obscure and trying allergens and triggers (histamine, sulphites, salicylates etc) for FoodsMatter. For newsletter subscribers they will be flagged each month.



More articles on the management and treatment of food allergy and intolerance

Back to top