Last month’s article “The Story of Megan” has generated a lot of interest in food sensitivity testing. As discussed in that article, the foods you eat can either build you up or break you down. If you have a sensitivity to a particular food, eating that food will negatively impact your immune system. This will ultimately cause a negative impact on your health. This month we would like to provide more information about food sensitivity testing and how it may help you improve your health.
Food sensitivity testing looks at different types of reactions, immediate, and delayed. If a person has an immediate reaction to a food they will typically experience symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, tightening of the throat, abdominal cramps or diarrhea, within minutes or up to a couple of hours after consuming that food. This immediate type of reaction is due to a particular part of our immune system called an IgE antibody. An example of this reaction would be someone having trouble breathing after eating a peanut.
Delayed sensitivities are a different animal. These types of sensitivities can take up to 72 hours to appear. The immune system reactions we are interested in are those due to IgG and IgA antibodies. Without a test, determining these sensitivities can be very difficult. This is difficult because our meals consist of many different ingredients. Each ingredient is a possible food to which we may be sensitive. To make matters worse, these particular sensitivities can build upon each other. Trying to pinpoint one food that may cause a reaction over the course of 72 hours is practically impossible. It is even more difficult when we understand that the symptom may not be a digestive symptom like an upset stomach, but may actually be something completely different such as a headache, increased agitation, joint pain, anxiousness, depression and/ or fatigue to name a few.
Unknown food sensitivities may contribute to many chronic conditions. A few of these conditions include: irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, Rheumatoid arthritis, chronic ear infections, chronic fatigue, insomnia, thyroid disease, ADD/ADHD, cardiovascular disease, eczema/psoriasis, overweight/ obesity, and diabetes.
Health and wellness care should be customized to you. That especially includes your diet. Just because a food is considered “healthy” does not actually mean that it is healthy food for you. To have the healthiest you possible, eat the foods that are building you up and not breaking you down. Following the specific diet based off of your own personal sensitivity test will lead to a more properly functioning immune system and ultimately a healthier you.
If you would like more information regarding food sensitivity testing and incorporating it into your health and wellness plan please call The Institute of Natural Health at 314-293-8123.