Digestion is one of the most vital functions in the body. Without it, we cannot take in what we need to thrive and survive. For most of our digestion and tissue repair, it takes place when we are at rest, so when you experience stress or a busy life, digestion is commonly affected.
Digestive discomfort, such as gas, bloating, abdominal pain and changes in bowel function, are the most common reasons people consider looking at what foods aggravate their body. And, since digestion impacts the body’s overall function, food that the body is reacting to can impact other areas as well, leading to more health issues.
Symptoms of Food Sensitivities
- Gas and bloating
- Constipation and/or diarrhea
- Acid reflux or heartburn
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Migraines and headaches
- Mood changes, depression, anxiety
- Difficulty concentrating
- Hyperactivity and ADHD
- Eczema, psoriasis
- Joint pain
- Frequent infections
What is a Food Sensitivity?
Your digestive tract is an entryway into the body, so our systems are uniquely designed to protect themselves from potential harm. There is a large network of immune cells found in the gut that are constantly identifying potential threats to the body. If the immune system thinks that the food is a threat, the body initiates an immune reaction against it. Over time, this can not only impact gut health, but can also cause a host of problems in the body.
What is the Difference Between Food Allergies and Food Sensitivities?
You may know someone who suffers from a life-threatening food allergy; someone who needs an epipen because the unknown ingestion of foods, like peanuts, causes their throat to close. This immune reaction caused by the production of immune molecules known as IgEs may not be that difficult to identify because the reaction happens immediately after the ingestion of the offending food.
Delayed-onset food reactions, also known as food sensitivities, cause a similar immune molecule to form, but the reactions are much slower and symptoms far broader. If you have a food intolerance, your body will produce IgG molecules against a food, resulting in symptoms within hours to days. These reactions are not life threatening and may or may not be present for life.
Testing for Food Sensitivities
Blood tests to assess the body’s immune reactions to foods are the easiest and most accurate way to assess food sensitivities. IgG immune molecules that are formed against certain foods can last days to weeks within the body. Specialized blood tests look for elevations in these immune molecules against specific foods and provide you with individualized profiling about what is irritating your body.
Treatment of Food Sensitivities
Once food sensitivities are identified, it’s not enough to just avoid aggravating foods. It’s essential to treat the underlying cause of the issue, support the body in the healing process and re-establish good health.
- Eliminate problem foods
- Support the immune system
- Correct any underlying digestive or health issues
- Repair damage to the mucosal lining of the gut
- Re-establish healthy intestinal flora in the gut
- Support the body in maintaining optimal health
Why Should I Have Food Sensitivity/Intolerance Testing Done?
If you suspect that you have a food intolerance, taking charge by identifying the problem foods is the first step towards healing your body and improving your overall health. Healthy digestion is essential for optimal function of the body. By taking charge of your health, you can heal the system and work towards eliminating the intolerance. Unlike food allergies, food intolerances can change and you can work towards reintroducing those foods again.
Learn More About Food Sensitivities
To learn more about food sensitivities, please contact us at Bronte Wellness Boutique in Oakville, Ontario, to talk with one of our Naturopathic Doctors or to book an appointment for your individualized blood testing.