Why Food Allergy Testing is Important
The term ‘food intolerance’ and ‘food allergy’ are often confused and are two very different things.
Food allergy is relatively rare. Only about 2% of the adult population are affected. and is basically a swift response by the body’s immune system to a particular food. In this type of reaction, the body’s immune system mistakes that food item or an ‘invader’ which often results in a rapid allergic reaction often within minutes or within a maximum of two hours. This type of allergic reaction is commonly associated reactions to peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs and seafood.
Food intolerance is quite different to food allergy and whilst the symptoms can impact the person’s quality of life they are not life threatening. Food intolerances are much more common than food allergies.
When foods and drinks are digested the proteins within them are broken down into smaller fragments for easy absorption into the body. Larger fragments can pass through without breaking down, and sometimes the body reacts by attacking them using antibodies called Immunoglobulin G’s (IgG).
Is your food making you sick?
Food allergy testing is a very important step. Food allergies are common, and commonly misunderstood by doctors as well as patients. We see patients all the time who go to a doctor, test positive for lots of different foods, and are advised to avoid all of these foods. It can make life miserable. We have found in practice that they are often not truly allergic to all these foods, taking the definition of an allergy as something one is born with and often found out at a very young age. Often allergies are actually in-tolerances Meaning the gut lining is not working optimally and you cannot tolerate breaking down and absorbing certain foods.
The term “Food allergies” is becoming more and more common. There has been an increase in severe food allergy cases in the last 10 years, we believe this is from poor diets and processed foods depleting our stomach lining causing Leaky Gut Syndrome (often mistaken for IBS). When we see test results that are positive for healing and nutrient dense foods such as carrots and beets we have to think it’s not the food, it’s the stomach. Instead of following traditional treatment of avoiding the foods and ignoring the true problem, why not rebuild and heal the gut to allow for proper food breakdown. Knowing that 70-80% of your immune system is in your stomach, strengthening it will increase quality of life on many levels.
Symptoms of “Food Allergies” or Intolerances
- Reddening of the skin
- Itchy skin
- Swollen lips or eyelids
- Tightness of the throat
- Wheezing, coughing, or difficulty breathing
- Abdominal pain
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- Unable to lose weight or weight gain
- Joint pain and Inflammation
If you experience any of the above symptoms frequently, you may very well be allergic or intolerant to the foods you are eating. It is time to get it tested. We use food allergy testing in my office to determine what foods you are unable to break down. We then take you off those foods while you are in the repair and rebuilding phase for the gut. This may take 6 to 9 months, then we retest and find fewer allergies! You are then able to resume eating many of the healthy foods you enjoy. This is a much better alternative to avoiding foods indefinitely, never fixing the problem.