07 Jul FOOD ALLERGY OR SENSITIVITY?
Have you been to countless doctors and had numerous tests yet results are inconclusive? You may suffer from skin irritation, headaches, digestive/respiratory symptoms, thyroid problems, arthritis, or other autoimmune conditions. Many of these symptoms can be related to food and gut inflammation. Research shows that 95% of all chronic diseases have an inflammatory component. Maintaining gut integrity prevents or sets the stage for food sensitivities, immune dysfunction, inflammation, and chronic diseases.
Determining which foods may cause inflammation in each individual is an essential step in reducing inflammation and improving quality of life and health outcomes.
A food intolerance is when the body lacks the ability to digest certain nutrients in foods. It is an inflammatory response to food; however, the offending food can typically be tolerated in small quantities. A food sensitivity is when individuals have unpleasant reactions to certain foods such as: acid reflux, nausea, or cramps.
Extensive research has shown that repeated and excessive inflammation generated by food is part of the underlying process involved in disease formation.
An allergic reaction to a food is a specific immune system response that initiates symptoms either immediately or up to 4 hours after ingestion. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and can include: hives, coughing, trouble breathing, vomiting or anaphylaxis.
Do you have a Food Sensitivity or Allergy?
Testing is available for both allergies and sensitivities. Talking to a board certified allergist about your options is recommended, especially if food allergy is suspected as emergency medication may be necessary in case of anaphylaxis.
Individuals suspecting a food intolerance or sensitivity could also greatly benefit from keeping a food and symptom diary. Tracking foods, medications, and supplements consumed along with physical symptoms and time of onset can help identify triggers and patterns.
Identifying each individual’s unique sensitivities and intolerances requires time and dedication for appropriate diagnosis. Going through this process, however, is an important step to maintaining gut health and lowering risk for chronic diseases. Speak to your doctor or a registered dietitian for more information.