TV is a great vehicle for information about medical conditions and new treatments. But it’s equally adept at spreading misinformation, as was the case with a recent Dr. Oz segment which initially caught our eye because it dealt with “hidden food allergies”. Great topic, but the show was a bit misleading.
Dr. Oz’s guest, Dr. Mark Hyman, laid out his theory that people can have mild “allergies” to common foods. He described how some of these foods can cause chronic fatigue, anxiousness, bloating, weight gain and “brain fog,” among other symptoms. These are diffuse, complex and varied symptoms, and we find it very misleading to label these with the broad stroke of “allergy”. Dr. Hyman’s recommendation to administer a restrictive “elimination diet” to identify personal allergies and reduce symptoms may have mislead many viewers.
The biggest area of concern with this particular segment is the loose characterization of what allergy is. Allergy is a specific malfunctioning of a patient’s immune system that results in the over-production of Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies when exposed to a specific food or environmental trigger. Many of the symptoms discussed during the segment could just asRead More