Food sensitivities are very common and manifest themselves in many different ways. Common signs of food sensitivities include:
• Digestive Upset: Symptoms include nausea, stomach pain, heartburn, gas, diarrhea, cramps, or bloating which begin immediately or up to several hours following a meal.
• Headaches or Migraines: Most people who suffer from migraines can point to a specific food, or several foods, that seem to kick off their headaches. Common triggers include wheat, dairy, yeast, corn, and eggs. Tyramines are another common irritant, and they can be found in foods including cheese, wine, avocados, bananas and citrus foods.
• Depression or Anxiety: More than 90 percent of serotonin is produced in the gut, which is often referred to as our “second brain.” It therefore makes sense that what happens in the gut affects our moods.
• Skin Disorders: These include eczema, rosacea, acne and psoriasis. Research has indicated that the gut and skin are tightly related, and removing trigger foods can make a big difference in keeping sufferers more comfortable.
• Fatigue: Food sensitivities cause inflammation, which taxes the body. If this occurs on a chronic basis, it can lead to constantly feeling tired.
• Joint Pain: It may seem hard to believe, but research has shown a connection between joints and the gut. Many patients with joint pain noticed significant improvement when problem foods were removed from their diets.
• Insomnia: The body’s inflammatory response to problem foods can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. An unfortunate side effect is that lack of sleep can make the body crave things like bread, sugar and alcohol, which exacerbate the problem.
• Weight Gain: Food sensitivities can interfere with the signals the gut sends to the brain after eating, leading the brain to indicate a higher “set point” for weight than a healthy person would have.
• Allergies: Runny nose, blocked ears, coughing and sinus pain may be linked with food sensitivities. Research has indicated that patients show considerable improvement after removing trigger foods from their diets.
WHAT DO WE RECOMMEND?
1. The most cost-effective way to determine your food sensitivities is an Elimination Diet. Most common triggers are eliminated and re-introduced over a period of weeks. This requires vigilance, discipline and an ability to keep a food journal.
2. We offer food sensitivity testing, also known as the Alletess, which is done by blood draw. On the plus side, you will get a very specific list of 184 foods and your level of sensitivity. However, it is not covered by insurance and costs $350. The results take about three weeks to come in. When sorting through food reactions gets overwhelming, the Alletess can help provide very specific answers.