Did you know that unlike food allergies, which tend to be very obvious, food sensitivities can go unnoticed and unidentified while silently wrecking havoc on your health?
Food allergies are typically quite obvious with symptoms occurring immediately or within a short period of time after exposure. This would represent an IgE reaction of your immune system. For example, someone who is allergic to peanuts may have their tongue or throat swell up with exposure and need immediate care.
Food sensitivities on the other hand, are often dose dependent and include delayed reactions, occurring anywhere from 1 to 72 hours post exposure. They include IgG reactions as well as mediator release from white blood cells including: histamine, leukotrienes, cytokines, prostaglandins, and interleukins just to name a few.
In fact mediator release is the key event that increases systemic inflammation and leads to chronic symptoms like: brain fog, pain, fatigue, digestive distress, headaches, rashes, anxiety, depression, insomnia, weight gain, and more. Even so called "healthy" foods like broccoli, avocado, garlic, or blueberries, for example, can become triggers that lead to unwanted and chronic symptoms. This truely brings to light the saying that "one woman's food is another woman's poison."
Theses inflammatory reactions to foods create a viscous cycle in that they contribute to increased intestinal permeability (or leaky gut) while also being a direct root cause of the symptoms of inflammation.
When your gut is permeable, it has small holes or "leaks" where food proteins that are normally kept inside the gut can now enter the bloodstream. This activates the white blood cells in your immune system to release mediators which lead to the chronic and unwanted symptoms of systemic inflammation listed above.
Removing foods that you are reacting to is the first and most important step in healing the gut, reducing intestinal permeability, and decreasing those chronic symptoms. You will not be successful healing the gut without removing these foods because of the fact that mediator release makes the gut more permeable, continuing this viscous cycle.
How to Identify Food Sensitivities:
So what can you do about it? In my practice, I almost exclusively use the MRT (mediator release test) which is a blood test that measures volumetric changes in mediator release to help us identify which foods that you are specifically reacting to and which foods are the safest for you. I find that this test is the most clinically effective because it is measuring the same mediators that raise systemic inflammation.
Once we identify the foods causing you the most inflammation, we remove those foods from your diet for at least 90 days. I find that almost all of my patients experience a significant reduction or elimination in their chronic symptoms when we do this. I have personally had huge success using this test to identity my own sensitivities and it was one of the key pieces that has allowed me to start to heal my gut and reverse my crippling, reactive symptoms.
You can learn more about the MRT Test on their website by clicking here.
If you want to know which foods could be contributing to your chronic symptoms and are looking to heal your gut and reverse your autoimmunity, I'd love to help you! You can learn more about working with me here. And you can read some testimonials from others who have worked with me here.
I hope you have found this information to be helpful. Feel free to post questions below or contact me directly here.
In Good Health,
Billie Shellist, FDN-P
I practice functional nutrition, an approach that allows me to look at your entire health history and help you find the "root causes" of your chronic health complaints.
This cuts out the trial and error process and helps you get real symptom relief and resolution!
Food is medicine and knowledge is power -I hope you enjoy my anti-inflammatory recipes which are gluten, dairy, and soy free as well as very low grain and sugar.
If you'd like to heal from the root cause(s) of your chronic symptoms, try starting with a complimentary 15-minute consultation. Click here to request your free session.