Many television shows, Dr Oz for one, and other media sources are reporting on the epidemic of hidden food sensitivities. I thought I would take a minute to expand on this topic and bring to light the role your Naturopath Physician can play in identifying your sensitivities.
Let’s start with the difference between allergies and sensitivities. We have five different antibodies that make up part of our immune system: IgA, IgE, IgM, IgA,IgD. Type I hypersensitivity or anaphylactic reactions (IgE) are very familiar to us; they cause itchiness, rash and anaphylaxis-what we call allergies. Typically, these allergies are determined via skin testing through your medical doctor and are treated with antihistamines/ inhalers or strict avoidanceof the allergen(s). Whereas Type IV hypersensitivities or delayed sensitivities (IgG) cause many familiar symptoms including headaches, bloating, weight gain, diarrhea, constipation, foggy thinking and muscle aches. These symptoms can start shortly after ingestion all the way up to 96 hours later; making it difficult to identify which individual food is causing the symptoms.It seems hard to believe a reaction can take place anytime up to 4 days after exposure but more familiar examples include the rash appearing 1-2 days after exposure to poison ivy or after wearing a belt or jewellery containing nickel. For a more detailed explanation with diagrams go to the following link:
The easiest way to identify food sensitivities is to take a quick blood test called an E95 test.This in-house test takes 5 minutes to do and the results come back to us typically within 2weeks. Depending on the severity of the identified sensitivity, we may suggest following an individualized food plan for a specified period of time before re-introducing the removed food(s)or we may suggest removing the food(s) indefinitely.
Alternately, with a strict commitment to a 3 week elimination diet followed by a graduated re-introduction of the ten most commonly identified foods, sensitivities can be identified. This diet can be prescribed as a stand-alone treatment or can be paired with nutritional-support products to ensure your nutritional needs are being met.
If you are interested in uncovering your food sensitivities, come into the clinic to meet with one of our doctors to determine the which method would be best for you!
Dr Susan Steeves, BSc Dietetics, ND.
Phone 604-514-8555 to book your appointment today!!