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Food Allergies and Sensitivities...the What.

I often see children and adults in my practice with major health issues that range from:

● Eczema

● Brain fog

● Constipation

● Diarrhea

● Thyroid disease

● Auto-immune diseases (a very broad category)

● Joint and Muscle pain

● Stomach pain

● Sore throat

● Leaky Gut

● Anxiety and Depression

● Impaired Immune Function

● Recurrent Candida infections

● Impaired memory

● Moodiness or irritability

● Bloating or Flatulence

● Behavior issues in children and even adults too

**The list could go on and on but we won’t!!

One of the underlying issues for many diseases are inflammation. One of the causes of inflammation is when you have an immune reaction and one of the more easily controlled immune reaction is to the food we eat.

What is an immune reaction called and how does it work?

Immune system typically reacts to some kind of protein that it is presented with whether it is a virus, bacteria, food or environmental particle. There are 2 main types of antibodies for allergens that are looked at when speaking about food or environmental.

We are going to focus on food since it is easier to control than our environment. IgE – is the immediate onset allergen, such as a child eating a peanut then they can’t breathe or immediately developing a rash or someone who immediately starts sneezing when a cat walks by. IgG is a delayed onset allergen that occurs after an exposure to food or environment within 72 hours and are commonly called sensitivities to help with distinction.

The majority of the time in our office we deal with discovering the sensitivities because something that immediately causes a reaction is easy to quantify, but when we just can’t figure out what is causing the tummy ache or eczema. This is when we look to those subtler allergens.

When a patient comes to us to evaluate inflammation or has a rash like eczema and they have already had a skin prick test with very few positive results, we will run a food allergy panel that contains 210 food items. The company we use does both IgE and IgG testing so we can see a calculated number to help us determine that foods impact on your health. This test is done by a blood draw so that white blood cells can be evaluated for reaction. Once the results come back, we offer a read off to the patient. The easy to use chart shows low food reaction, moderate and foods to avoid.

People always wonder what the impact of ignoring results such as these are. The more inflammation in your body, poor gut health and pain, joint pain and usually auto-immune disorders to follow; which may not happen in a year or even two but sometimes years down the road. One of the disorders that is very prevalent in woman especially and can be triggered by increase in inflammation and antibody reactions is thyroid disease (most common is hypothyroidism). The other impact is the list of symptoms above that will occur repeatedly and usually more and more frequently when foods are consumed.

The treatment is really one of the most difficult of parts because it requires us to change our diet. Other conditions simply require supplements or exercises but changing what we eat because it makes us sick is one of the hardest things we have to do, but I highly encourage it because a patient will feel much better and live a healthier more productive life.

Here are the most common Allergens seen in our practice:

  1. Dairy – any product coming from cow’s milk directly such as butter, sourcream, cottage cheese, yogurt and cheese.

  2. Egg’s – This is both chicken and duck eggs and people usually have a higher antibody reaction to the egg white than the egg yolk.

  3. Pineapple – very common allergen and the juice of pineapple is a sweetener in many products.

  4. Almond and Peanuts – Both these nuts are eaten frequently and are two of the most popular ones.

  5. Gluten and Gliaden – while a popular food to avoid it is by no means at the top of the list.

If you suffer from any of the symptoms related to chronic inflammation or excess histamine production due to allergens you may want to consider food allergy testing to improve your health and reduce the chances of auto-immune disease. Contact our office to get a test done.

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