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Food Sensitivities and Food Testing

Food sensitivities or intolerance is a chronic immune reaction that occurs when the immune system attacks food particles.  The symptoms (which are listed below) can be linked to many body systems including metabolic, dermatologic, respiratory, neurologic, and gastrointestinal.

Food sensitivities are often confused with food allergies, and they are different. A food sensitivity involves a reaction with the digestive system (a chronic immune reaction) and a food allergy involves an immediate immune reaction. Food sensitivities also differ from allergies in the fact that most people can eat a small amount of the food they have a sensitivity to without issue, where those with an allergy typically can’t be exposed to the food at all.

Food intolerance may develop because a person eats the same foods over and over and develops antibodies, has a leaky gut, poor body detoxification or ingests excess toxins from food or the lacks the proper enzymes that are needed to breakdown certain types of foods. The exact mechanism that causes the symptoms in a food sensitivity is not known.  The symptoms seen with a food sensitivity can be delayed for a few days after ingesting the trigger food. Some people can go a lifetime without knowing they have a food sensitivity because of the delay in reaction, as well as the vague symptoms that mirror common ailments.

Symptoms of Food Sensitivity

There are a few symptoms that have been associated with food intolerance and sensitivity, these include:

  • Bloating
  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Migraines
  • Headaches
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Feeling under the weather
  • Stomach aches
  • Irritable bowel
  • Hives

Potential Food Sensitivities

Some common foods that are found to cause food intolerances are:

  • The sugar in milk
  • Wheat
  • Gluten
  • Caffeine
  • Histamine (in mushrooms, pickles, and cured foods)
  • Additives (like artificial sweeteners, coloring, or other flavorings)

How to Diagnose an Intolerance

The best way to identify food sensitivities is through formal testing.   There are labs that can determine sensitivities to foods, food additives, chemicals and molds through blood testing. In addition, keeping a food journal and a record of what foods are eaten and what symptoms appear and when they occur can also help. This information can then be evaluated by Dr. Judi Goldstone at the Southern California Center for Anti-Aging who will identify which foods are be causing a reaction and develop an eating plan for you.

Some people can elect to avoid certain foods. In these cases, it is recommended that a person removes the suspected food from their diet for a set period, anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months.  During this time, if the symptoms resolve it is more likely that the food was causing the issue. Another step in this process would reintroduce the food and see if the symptoms return.

Diagnostic testing is available for determining if you have a sensitivity to foods, herbs, coloring, additives, pharmaceuticals, and environmental chemicals.

To get the help you need to diagnose and treat food sensitivities, contact us make your appointment at the Southern California Center for Anti-Aging where many patients have been successfully diagnosed and treated for food sensitivities.

Posted in: Symptoms

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