Food Allergies and Prostatitis
Food allergies and intolerances may cause inflammation of the prostate. Although food allergies and intolerances have similar symptoms, they are not the same thing. Their possible role in causing chronic prostatitis is uncertain, and not all experts agree they can cause prostatitis. However, here is what is known about food intolerance, food allergy, and chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS).
Symptoms of both food intolerance and food allergy can include nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. People who have a food intolerance typically also experience bloating, gas, cramps, headache, irritability, and nervousness. A food allergy is an immune system response, and so symptoms generally can affect the entire body. In addition to the symptoms already named, food allergy can cause hives, itchy skin, shortness of breath, a sudden drop in blood pressure, and difficulty swallowing. In short, food intolerance symptoms can be uncomfortable, but food allergy symptoms can be life threatening.
One reason food intolerance and food allergy may be a cause of prostatitis is that some men say they experience a flare-up of symptoms when they eat certain foods. Wheat and what products, such as breads, pasta, and baked goods, are foods commonly associated with food intolerance and food allergy. Trying a wheat-free diet could help determine if wheat is the cause. Other men notice their symptoms get worse after eating spicy or acidic foods.
Among men who have undiagnosed or undetected food intolerance or food allergy, the body may respond to the offensive foods in a variety of ways. One way may be chronic prostatitis. Unfortunately, identifying a food intolerance or food allergy is challenging. Sometimes a person will not respond to a particular food for hours or days.
Another problem is that people can develop “allergy-addiction syndrome.” This means they experience relief after eating an offending food, but later it is found to cause their chronic symptoms. Therefore while food intolerance and food allergy may be a cause of chronic prostatitis, much is still not known about the relationship.
If you believe that food intolerance or food allergy could be the cause of your prostatitis symptoms, you may consider the ALCAT (antigen leukocyte antibody test) test or an elimination diet to determine what foods to avoid. An elimination diet can help you uncover possible food allergies. It is a less expensive alternative to the ALCAT test. Naturopathic urologist Dr. Geo Espinosa has stopped using the ALCAT test because it is not as accurate as previously thought.
The ALCAT allergy test is designed to identify a person’s reaction to over 350 foods, chemicals, or substances that may cause inflammation in the body. The test can help determine the causes of several chronic health problems like prostatitis, asthma, and migraines. If you can identify and eliminate the substances you are sensitive to, you may be able to significantly reduce your prostatitis symptoms. Use it with caution, though because it can throw out false positives, making it less accurate than hoped.