It is very important when dealing with adverse food reactions to use generally accepted terminology; this will avoid misunderstandings. As this chapter illustrates, many mechanisms underlying food allergy and food intolerance still have to be elucidated. It is often difficult to give an accurate diagnosis of food allergy. This is largely due to the limited reliability of the diagnostic means. Good therapy can only be started if the diagnosis is clear; herein lies an important problem.
If treatment is prescribed, the help of a dietician is essential, and good patient compliance is important. Some diets require considerable self-discipline on the part of patients. In the other extreme, patients may exclude many foods from their diet on their own accord, thus resulting in nutritional deficiencies. Other problems include the immense assortment of food products that are available, and the lack of knowledge of possible components, as well as the cost of specific diets, which may be quite considerable.
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