Understanding Food Allergies/ Intolerances

Did you know that foods that you eat have been implicated in a wide range of medical conditions affecting virtually every part of the body—from mildly uncomfortable symptoms such as indigestion, mild eczema and acne to severe illnesses such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), chronic infection and chronic headaches. However, people most commonly are used to hearing about food allergies – peanut or shellfish for example – which cause unpleasant symptoms of hives, swelling of lips, skin reactions around the mouth or, in worse cases, anaphylaxis. If you have been to an allergist, you may have experienced a pin-prick test for a number of environmental allergens, and sometimes food allergens. This test measures your immediate immune response to allergies – mediated by IgE – which could occur within minutes to a few hours. There is another type of immune response: a delayed reaction which can take up to 3 days to occur. For this reason it is hard to identify the problem foods. These foods do cause an immune response but since they are not your typical allergy you know of we refer to them as food sensitivities or intolerances. Some food intolerances are caused by an immune response related to food-specific antibodies called IgG antibodies, while others are associated with an enzyme deficiency or chemical sensitivity. These IgG antibodies recognise and bind to specific food proteins to form immune complexes in the body, which can accumulate in joints and other organs where they cause inflammation and many of the symptoms associated with food intolerances. Food Sensitivities/Intolerances can present in many forms. Take a look at the chart below:

System Symptoms and Diseases associated with FOOD ALLERGIES
Gastrointestinal Irritable Bowen Syndrome (IBS), Celiac Disease, Ulcerative colitis, Constipation, Chronic diarrhea, Canker sores (recurrent mouth ulcers), Stomach ulcers, Duodenal ulcer, Gastritis, Irritable colon, Mal-absorption, Vomiting, Indigestion, Colic (in babies)
Genitourinary Bed-wetting, Chronic bladder infections, Kidney infections, Frequent urination
Immune Frequent colds or flu, Chronic infections, Frequent ear infections
Mental/Emotional Anxiety, Depression, Hyperactivity, Inability to concentrate, Insomnia, Irritability, Mental confusion, Personality change, Seizures, Fatigue & lethargy
Musculoskeletal Fibromyalgia, Joint pain (arthritis), Back pain, Bursitis
Respiratory Asthma, Sinus infections, Chronic bronchitis, Wheezing, Chronic runny or congested nose, Post nasal drip
Skin Acne, Eczema, Psoriasis, Hives, Itching eyes, Rash
Head Migraines, Headaches
Miscellaneous Fatigue, Headache, Hypoglycemia

Our clinic offers food sensitivity testing – through a blood sample (not a pin-prick test!) – which detect specific IgG antibodies in a wide range of foods.Some examples of food items include fruits, vegetables, animal protein, nuts/seeds, seafood, dairy, spices, yeast, coffee & tea. If you suspect you have an intolerance to some foods, an IgG food test is something to consider.

So you have identified your food allergies – now what?

Food sensitivity testing is the first part of the jigsaw puzzle to piece together exactly what is causing your illness or symptoms. Knowing what you are sensitive or intolerant to can be helpful in the management of your lifestyle through the design of diets based on food test results. In addition, the condition and function of your gastrointestinal (GI) system strongly impacts vitality and overall health. Our gastrointestinal tract is the largest part of our immune system and this is where we absorb the vital nutrients from our food. If the proper steps are taken to heal the gut many health conditions can improve or even be eliminated. Our treatment program ensures the health of your GI system is optimized through individualized strategies that have been tested and work effectively with our clients. Inquire about our food allergy testing and our approach to individualized treatment programs for your health condition so you can experience the benefits of what it is truly like to experience optimal health.