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When you’ve tried to adjust your diet and exercise routine, but you’re still struggling with the afternoon stomach upset, headaches, unresolved joint pain, or skin rash, you may want to consider additional testing. For many of us, food sensitivities can show up as different symptoms in the body. Some symptoms happen immediately after eating a specific food, while others may be delayed by several hours or days. It can be challenging to connect these delayed food reactions back to the problematic food; this is where testing and working with a functional medicine practitioner can help uncover these “hidden” food sensitivities that contribute to underlying inflammation.
Symptoms and conditions that can result from food reactions include:
The right type of food intolerance test will look at IgE and/or IgG mediated reactions.
Understanding IgE- Mediated Allergies
An IgE allergy can be triggered immediately, from minutes to hours after you have consumed a food or been exposed to the allergen. These allergies are more permanent- meaning that an elimination diet with reintroduction will not remove the body’s immune response to the allergen. An IgE mediated allergy tends to create a histamine response, such as hives. IgE allergies can include foods, molds, and inhalants from the environment (think allergens from trees, grass, etc.)
Understanding IgG- Mediated Sensitivities
An IgG food sensitivity has a delayed onset (from hours to days after exposure). These sensitivities can be temporary, with positive outcomes from eliminating and reintroducing the body to the original allergen. An IgG mediated allergy tends to activate immune complexes that do not stimulate histamine releases. Symptoms include gastrointestinal symptoms, headaches, joint aches, skin rashes, fatigue, and behavioral problems.
The ”Leaky Gut” Connection with Food Sensitivities
IgG antibodies circulate in the body and may suggest an increase in intestinal permeability, or what we call ‘Leaky Gut Syndrome’. When the tight junctions that form the barrier in the gut don’t work properly, larger substances can “leak” through and cause an immune response. This immune response may result in a production of IgG antibodies to foods. This is just one of the many dietary and lifestyle factors that can contribute to an increase in intestinal permeability. Other contributors include stress, alcohol, excessive NSAID use, Western-style Diet (a diet higher in red meat, animal fat, high sugar, and low fiber). While Leaky Gut can be very apparent in many, there are a lot of very helpful solutions available to help the body restore its balance and proper gut permeability.
How To Take the Next Step:
Whether you’ve tried eliminating foods, following a very specific diet, or kept a journal of your foods to figure out your triggers, a Food Sensitivity Test could be your next step to help you achieve a better understanding of your body and health. As a Functional Medicine practitioner, I help my patients uncover underlying inflammatory responses that trigger discomfort, dis-ease and frustration. After weeks, months, or sometimes years of discomfort, it can certainly take a toll on someone’s mental state of well-being, contributing to an increase in anxiety, depression, and mood fluctuations. I’ve encountered patients sensitive to ‘health’ foods too, such as flax seeds, blueberries, or chicken. Food sensitivities can happen at any age. With testing available for children as young as 18 months old, we have helped many people learn their body’s sensitivities so they can take the first step towards healing. With the help and guidance of a functional medicine practitioner, you can get your life back (without all the symptoms) or simply take your health to the next level.
To learn more about our Food Sensitivity Testing at West Health Spa, call 352-331-3649 and request a Functional Medicine Consultation. At West Health Spa, we take a personalized approach to understanding and preventing health conditions to help you achieve a better state of health so you can live your best life.