Why should I check for food sensitivities?
Food sensitivities can present in obvious ways, including gut symptoms like diarrhea, bloating, and stomach pain, and more general symptoms like tiredness, mood changes, headaches, and joint pain. Have you ever dealt with a chronic health issue, such as asthma, eczema, migraines, or Inflammatory Bowel Disease? Did you know that food sensitivities tend to underlie mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia? These are just some of the symptoms and conditions that are associated with food sensitivities.
Is a food allergy the same thing as a food sensitivity?
Not exactly! With a food allergy, you usually notice a reaction right away, within seconds or minutes of eating a food. This is what’s called an IgE immune response, which is a part of your immune system that reacts right away to allergens that your body sees as a threat.
Food sensitivities are typically a delayed reaction that can develop days after eating a certain food. These reactions usually show up in ways that aren’t obvious and can be harder to track based on symptoms alone.
Are food sensitivities the root cause of my issue?
Food sensitivities often reflect increased inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation can stem from a variety of factors, including exposures in your environment, long-term mental and emotional stress, infections, and foods you eat.
Are food sensitivities lifelong?
Unlike conditions like Celiac Disease and lactose intolerance, delayed-onset food sensitivities typically are not lifelong. When you’re dealing with chronic inflammation, avoiding foods that trigger or aggravate symptoms is a good idea while addressing the root cause of your inflammation.
RELATED: What is Inflammation
How do I test for food sensitivities?
There are a few different options to screen for food sensitivities. One option is to do a full food panel that includes a variety of foods that you eat on a regular basis. This is a great option if you tend to eat a varied diet. There is no one-size-fits-all diet for anyone, and foods that might be good for one person may not be good for others. Sometimes a food you eat often that seems healthy could be something you’re actually reacting to. Some of the most common dietary triggers of inflammation are wheat and dairy. If you tend to eat a diet high in these foods, you could start with testing for antibodies to just wheat and dairy, and this can be a great starting point to tackle chronic inflammation.
It’s always best to speak with your integrative medicine provider to choose the best food sensitivity testing option for your individual needs.