Pseudoallergic reactions

Pseudo-allergic reactions are non-immunological reactions that produce symptoms of allergic diseases. Only some of the many manifestations that are identified by this term depend on the release of histamine, other manifestations can be due to the release of other inflammatory mediators (Ortolani & Pastorello, 2006). The clinical manifestations recognised by the scientific community as being attributable to food allergy are basically those demonstrated in IgE mediated sensitised patients by standardised challenge tests. IgE mediated reactions involve the skin, the respiratory apparatus, the gastrointestinal tract and cardiovascular system (Ortolani & Pastorello, 2006). A very distinctive pattern of food allergy involves the unpredicability of the severity as well as the variability of the reactions. Consequently, a food usually causing a mild reaction can provoke a severe one if consumed after an aspirin, alcohol intake, ACE- inhibitors (medication primarily used for high blood pressure), beta blockers or immediately before exercise. In gastrointestinal anaphylaxis, the person immediately after ingestion of the culprit food, begins to experience nausea, abdominal pain, cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea. This is the most frequent food allergy. Moreover, in atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome, the IgE antibodies bound to langerhans cells play an important role as receptors, thus it is important to look for the correlation between any form of sensitisation.

Ortolani, C. & Pastorello, E.A. 2006. Food allergies and food intolerance. Best Practice & Research Clinical Gastroenterology, 20, 3, 467-483.


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