A large portion of the food we eat today is processed, refined, nutrient deficient, and heavily contaminated with preservatives and artificial colourings and flavorings. The increased chemical exposure disrupts the immune system and renders it hyper-sensitive and prone to allergic reactions.
There are different types of reactions in the body to certain foods. You can have a food allergy or a food sensitivity.
A food allergy is a reaction resulting in an abnormal immune response to a substance (allergen). A true food allergy can result in more immediate and severe symptoms, it may be life threatening and require hospitalization – such as a throat swelling and blocking the airway.
A food sensitivity can result in more delayed and varied symptoms and may manifest as headaches/migraines, nervousness and irritability, fatigue, joint aches, compromised immune system, autoimmunity, gas and bloating, inflammatory bowel disease, IBS, and other classically associated allergic responses such as itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, hives and water retention. Food sensitivities can also contribute to behavioural and neurodevelopmental issues, including ADHD and autism.
Regular medications such as antihistamines and steroids are only effective at suppressing the symptoms of allergies, sometimes with unpleasant side effects such as drowsiness and headaches. Long term treatment requires a more comprehensive identification of the underlying causes.
The benefits of testing for food allergies:
Food sensitivity testing is a simple blood test that gives us insight into what your body is reacting to. The Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay technique (ELISA) is used to measure IgG (indicating delayed sensitivity) and IgE (indicating immediate reaction) levels for 95 common foods. The blood test will offer the patient a clear indication of an allergic or hypersensitivity reaction to specific foods.
By conducting blood tests, a naturopathic practitioner will be able to determine what is out of balance in the body and to correct it through diet and natural supplements targeted at healing the gut. The test results will allow your doctor to develop clear guidelines from which to plan meals, eliminate offending foods and restore balance to your body.