If you are sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, then maybe you are suffering from food sensitivities.
What is a Food Sensitivity?
Fatigue. Heachaches. Joint pain. Gastrointestinal distress. Skin rashes. Food cravings. Brain fog. Mood swings.
These are just a few of the many symptoms associated with food sensitivities. Food sensitivities, an immune-mediated inflammatory response, are pretty tricky to diagnose. Unlike food allergies, where one molecule of the allergic food produces a significant and immediate reaction, food sensitivities are dose-dependent. This means small amounts of the food may not cause a problem, but larger amounts will. The problematic “dose” varies for each individual.
Additionally complicating the diagnosis, food sensitivities have a delayed response in the body. That means symptoms may not show up immediately after consumption, but anywhere from 4 to 96 hours later. Sensitivities can develop to any food or chemical ingested. These include “healthy” foods such as garlic, salmon, broccoli and sweet potatoes.
Frequent consumption of the same foods overtime may make you more likely to develop a sensitivity…so picky eaters beware! Lastly, conditions associated with food sensitivity range vastly from migraines to irritable bowel syndrome to fibromyalgia, so it can be challenging to link these problems back to food. Overall, food sensitivities are less understood by the general medical community. But, it does not make them any less real or problematic.
Common Food Sensitivity Tests:
In the past, dietitians and other clinicians have helped their patients try to identify food sensitivities by using an elimination diet followed by a food reintroduction challenge. I call this the “guess and check” method because there is no sure-fire way to know that the diet is completely void of all reactive foods. For instance, one person may be sensitive to dairy, gluten, fish, peanuts, and citrus, some of the most common food triggers. Another person may be sensitive to rice, pears, lamb, and olives, some of the least common food triggers. Essentially, there is no perfect-hypoallergenic diet for the entire population because each person’s body is unique.
Currently, there are few tests on the market to help diagnose food sensitivities including ELISA IgG and ALCAT. While both of these tests can be helpful in identifying food triggers, they also have many flaws. For example, the IgG test exclusively quantifies the IgG response to specific foods, not including food chemicals, and does not measure all of the other mechanisms the body may react. Because of this limitation, the test results may show that unsafe foods are actually safe and vice versa.
My Top Pick For Food Sensitivity Testing:
I utilize a test called Mediator Release Test (MRT). I use the results of the MRT test to put together an individualized eating program to reduce symptoms, heal the gut, and improve overall health. The power of simply changing the food you eat will amaze you!