Seminar on Food Sensitivities

A family of four enjoys a summer picnic, outdoors, sitting at a picnic table enjoying summer foods.
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PALM COAST, Fla., January 19, 2017 On Jan. 11, 50 members from Parkview Baptist Church in Palm Coast joined Florida Hospital Flagler for free seminar on food sensitivities, including gluten, food chemicals, additives and preservatives.

Florida Hospital Flagler gastroenterologist Dr. Issam Nasr led the presentation by explaining the difference between a food allergy and food intolerance.

With a food allergy, the body identifies a food protein as dangerous and creates an immune-mediated adverse reaction, creating antibodies against the protein. Even a single bite can result in an allergic reaction which can have serious implications, such as a drop in blood pressure, difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, loss of consciousness or even death, he said.

The eight leading food allergies are eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish fish, soy and wheat.

On the other hand, food intolerances are non-immunologically-mediated reactions, and while many of the mechanisms are not completely understood, these intolerances could be caused by enzyme deficiencies, malabsorption, or overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria inside our large intestine, he said. Understanding the relationship between food, intestinal health and the trillions of bacteria inside our colon is key to avoiding symptoms from food that can be mistakenly attributed to sensitivity or intolerance.

About Florida Hospital Flagler

Florida Hospital Flagler is a member of Adventist Health System, a faith-based health care organization with 46 hospital campuses and nearly 8,200 licensed beds in 10 states. With 99-beds, Florida Hospital Flagler is one of the six Florida Hospitals in Volusia and Flagler counties that composes the Florida Hospital East Florida Region. As the largest hospital system in the area, the Florida Hospital East Florida Region has 923 beds and more than 6,000 employees. With a mission to extend the healing ministry of Christ, the Florida Hospital East Florida Region collectively contributed nearly $120 million in benefits in 2015 to the underprivileged, the community's overall health and wellness and spiritual needs, and capital improvements. For more information about Florida Hospital Flagler, visit

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