When an allergic reaction occurs the immune system responds. Most people are very aware of environmental allergies, like ragweed, causing symptoms such as runny noses and sneezing. Food allergies caused by an immediate immune response can cause anaphylaxis or tightening of the airways. We commonly hear about this with foods such as peanuts or other nuts. Did you know there is another category of immune reaction known as a delayed immune response. These reactions can occur over several hours to several days. These are the most common food reactions. We call these delayed immune reactions to food, food sensitivities. Food sensitivities can cause many different symptoms and health problems.
For example, if these immune complexes deposit in blood vessels they can cause headaches. If they deposit in joints they can cause joint pain. Other very common complaints associated with food sensitivities are asthma, eczema, chronic sinusitis and digestive disturbances. Sometimes it is very difficult to pinpoint which foods are the culprits and in some cases it is a number of foods together which cause you to exceed your threshold.
I have had a number of patients resolve chronic migraines, eczema and digestive problems by simply figuring out what they were reacting to.
Generally the top 5 food sensitivities are:
- Gluten (or just wheat in some cases)
I now utilize IgG Blood testing to determine delayed food reactions. I have found that the process is much simpler when I know what we are dealing with instead of having everyone eliminate gluten, dairy, eggs, corn and soy! I have also had cases where it was not one of the top 5. Sometimes sweet potatoes or asparagus are not for everyone. After reviewing the results, it is much easier to make the commitment to eliminate reactive foods since it is your blood giving the information – not just me!
After eliminating the foods for approximately 3 to 6 months (sometimes less, sometimes more) and working to heal the digestive tract, it is often possible to consume the triggers again without the same negative effects. The amounts are still required to be less, so you don’t end up back where you were, but occasional consumption can often be tolerated. There are cases where the food trigger is a major irritant for the system and in these cases it is better to avoid it completely.
If you think you or someone you know is suffering with food sensitivities give us a call and see if we can help.