FOOD ALLERGIES & SENSITIVITIES
While everyone I meet in my practice is unique and faces different health challenges, there are some common themes that emerge as I work with clients. Particularly concerning is the incidence of food sensitivities and allergies as well as the prevalence of autoimmune and chronic inflammatory conditions.
It’s estimated that over 32 million people in the United States suffer from food allergies.(1) According to The Food Allergy Research & Education website, food allergy is a medical condition in which exposure to a food triggers a harmful immune response.(2) The immune response, called an allergic reaction, occurs because the immune system attacks proteins in the food that are normally harmless. The symptoms of an allergic reaction to food can range from mild (itchy mouth and a few hives) to severe (throat tightening, swelling and difficulty breathing).
Millions of people today also suffer from food intolerances or sensitivities that are difficult to detect through traditional allergy testing. Food sensitivities are measured through IgG (Immunoglobulin G) testing. According to the Great Plains Laboratory, IgG antibodies are present in all body fluids and serve as a first line of defense against infection, but do not release histamine or produce the familiar immediate hypersensitivity reactions of itching, hives, flushing, or sneezing associated with classic IgE allergic reactions.(3) In contrast, IgG antibodies have more subtle immune effects, ranging from gastrointestinal bloating and nausea to headaches, mood changes, and fatigue. Unknowingly, people may continue to eat “offending” foods, not connecting delayed reactions to the foods eaten perhaps hours or days before.
Many of the foods we eat today are heavily processed to make them convenient and shelf-stable. Much of the standard American diet is comprised of genetically modified crops (or derivatives of such crops) like sugar beets, corn, and soy, which are also heavily sprayed with harmful pesticides containing the chemical glyphosate.(4) More on the health risks associated with GMO foods, please visit: https://www.responsibletechnology.org
GMO crops are also fed to animals grown in factory farm environments, which then become the majority of the meat that we buy at supermarkets across the country as well as worldwide. Dairy too goes through a pasteurization process destroying the enzymes responsible for breaking it down and making it virtually undigestible and a potential irritant (antigen) for the immune system.
An elimination diet is an effective way to determine if your body is intolerant to certain foods in your diet and can be very beneficial for your digestive, cognitive, and immune system function, as well as for your overall health and wellbeing. In my practice, I work with each client to uncover what foods or food groups are causing inflammation in the body through a customized elimination diet plan as well as functional allergy and sensitivity testing.
To learn more about my functional nutrition approach to food allergies and sensitivities, and to schedule your initial assessment, please fill out the form below. I will be in touch within 24 hours with more information on the next steps.