Many people are unknowingly eating trigger foods that make them feel sick, cause inflammation and pain, but they just don’t realize it. Because of the variety of symptoms, oftentimes simple food intolerance’s/reactivity or allergies are overlooked as the cause.
How many of these symptoms do you have?
- Bloating/Gas/Stomach Distention
- Back/Joint/Neck pain
- Cravings for specific foods
- Seasonal allergy symptoms – sneezing/itchy eyes/ nasal problems
- Weight Gain or Loss
If you have had these symptoms recurring for more than a year it is very probable you have hidden food allergy.
According to a study released in 2013 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies among children increased approximately 50% between 1997 and 2011. And a whopping 42% of people don’t discover they have food intolerance’s until they have suffered with these symptoms for over five years!
This is because the most common symptoms of food reactions are thought to be related to some other health issue and go undetected by most doctors. This same survey found that women are much more likely to have hidden food intolerance’s than men and that 48% of participants had at least one other family member who also had a food intolerance.
But I have had allergy (scratch) testing you say….
Scratch testing is very unreliable for discovering food intolerance’s because this method of testing is designed to detect a true immediate allergy responds – not a delayed immune responds which is what a food intolerance is. Because it can take hours to days for a food intolerance reaction to manifest a scratch test doesn’t pick this type of immune responds reaction up. Add to this that when symptoms occur they are not connected by most people to what they ate yesterday or two days before!
What’s the difference between a food allergy, an intolerance/reactivity and a food sensitivity?
While many people use the terms food allergy, intolerance/reactivity and sensitivity interchangeable these are three different types of immune responses.
A true food allergy is defined as is an immune response to a specific protein. When this occurs the body reacts to this protein as harmful and defends against it. There are two types of food allergy IgE mediated and non-IgE mediated.
In an IgE mediated responds the body triggers IgE anti-bodies to bind with the food protein and this activates the release of histamine and other mediators. These mediators cause symptoms such as red, itchy eyes, runny nose, and respiratory distress and can even be fatal.
A non-IgE mediated response is where the immune system response directly to the food protein causing the release of chemicals. This leads to inflammation being produced in the body, which is prone to occur in the GI tract. Common symptoms of this type of response are, constipation, nausea, diarrhea, reflux, bloating and abdominal pain. It’s probably surprising but only 5% of food allergies are due to IgE mediated responses.
~The majority of food allergies (95%) are non-IgE mediated.
Non-mediated IgE allergies are what is called delayed response reactions. As such usually occur several hours up to several days from eating the offending foods. These are very common and called food intolerance’s or food reactions or even food sensitivity. This type of immune reaction does not show up on a skin prick test you might have done at your allergist.
You can also have a reaction or sensitivity to a specific food or class of foods. Some of the common specific foods people tend to be sensitive to are eggs, corn, soy and casein.
There are also classifications of foods some people react to such as oxalate’s, glutamate’s, histamine’s, amine’s, polysaccharides and disaccharide’s. Often people with ASD, autoimmune conditions and other serious diseases find they have developed reactions to these classifications of foods…. some of these can now be tested for.
How can you tell if you have a food intolerance/ reactivity?
There are specialized labs that do serum blood or blood spot testing to check for food intolerance’s/reactivity. Those that check for specific anti-bodies that are formed when you react to gluten, casein, eggs, soy, corn or specific foods are testing for IgE mediated reactions. While there are some very good and reputable specialized labs that do this type of testing the problem is that many people do not have these antibodies show up on tests yet they still “react” with symptoms when they continue to eat these foods.
There is also non IgE mediator testing that is now available. This test involves a blood draw and checks for mediators released from cells.
What are non-IgE mediators?
- Platelet aggregating Factor
- Eosinophil Chemotatic Factor
- Peroxidase Enzymes
What to do if your experiencing food intolerance’s symptoms?
Get tested and remove those foods from your diet following a systematic program. Contact me about Cell Mediated Response Testing ! Once the test results are in you’ll need to begin the elimination diet. This involves eliminating your specific reactive foods for four to five weeks. The most common foods people react to are Gluten, Dairy, Eggs and Soy, although I am seeing more people who are also reacting to corn as well.
….Interesting to note that corn and soy are two of the most highly Genetically Modified crops on the planet. Also, new scientific studies are now pointing to the widespread use of GMO’s as one reason we are seeing such an increase in people with not just food intolerance’s but also a range of auto-immune related diseases! Watch for my next post on GMO’s where I will share more on this.
Remember that the foods most commonly found reactive like corn, soy, and wheat are used in many products as fillers so unless you read labels judiciously you may still be ingesting them. Also, if you dine out you will most certainly be exposed to gluten, dairy, soy and eggs. The only way to be sure of not eating these foods is to cook your own meals during this time.
In the past I used only IgE testing. Now I use both IgE and Cell Mediator Response testing and and clients are getting faster results. Remember a person can be reactive to just about any food. This is one reason I highly recommend testing plus checking for Candida overgrowth.
Do you HAVE to test?
No, but unless you are very disciplined, it’s much easier on you in the long run if you do test because the process is more targeted and your not guessing.
The good news is that once you determine what foods you are reacting to and follow through on the step by step elimination diet your symptoms will decrease and in most cases disappear altogether.
- 70% reported increased energy levels
- 37% experienced less stress
- 40% reported better ability to concentrate
- 50% now have a brighter mood
- 38% of overweight respondents noticed weight loss
How long must I remove the reactive foods from my diet?
Re-introducing foods you react to needs to be done systematically a diary of your reactions must be monitored closely. It is very helpful to work with someone trained to in this area to help you…(yes, I can help you!)
The length of time a person needs to stay away from a reactive food varies from person to person. This is dependent upon several factors. First, how reactive were you to the food? How long have you avoided eating the food? Did you experience any rebound symptoms once you re-introduce the food?
For severe/high reactivity to a food you may need to remove it for several months. Many people find they must not eat the food for six months, and even after that sometimes you may not be able to re-introduce that food with out symptoms reoccurring. For milder cases you can try a test to see if can resume eating the food after it has been removed for thirty days.
In reality, the patients I work with often find they do not miss these reactive foods once they have been removed for thirty days. This is because they discover many new foods they enjoy eating. And of course many people begin to realize they feel much better with out a food such as gluten or dairy they never go back to eating it again. Gluten is actually a very inflammatory food and has been linked to many serious chronic diseases – even cancer.
Health benefits of discovering your reactive foods
There is no doubt that by determining what foods make you feel sick you can improve your health. It goes without saying life is much more enjoyable when you are not in pain! Besides the obvious symptom relief you experience once you get those un-supportive foods out of your diet you are taking powerful proactive action for yourself! When you decrease inflammation anywhere in the body you automatically boost immunity and improve your body’s ability to do its daily work of keeping you alive! As you move to feeding your body what it needs instead of what it was trying to combat through the immune response you support your overall health. This decreases your risk of developing chronic disease.
Think you might be suffering from hidden food intolerance’s? Take this questionnaire: Food Intolerances Symptom check list and see how you score and if you would benefit from working with me to discover your hidden food intolerance’s.
Are you ready to stop feeling like your body is working against you and reclaim vibrant health?
I teach people just like you how to transform from hopeless to happy again every day. Very often these people tell me that working with me was the catalyst for so many other positive transformations in their lives.
Take the next step and contact me to see if we are a fit: