True food sensitivities can build up over time and may or may not present with one pressing symptom, but a cascade of them.
Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea or loose stools; skin rashes that won’t go away or come and go; mood issues like anxiety, fatigue, depression, mind fog; or weight gain and hormone imbalances, may all be stemming from the foods that we are eating on a regular basis. Food sensitivities often won’t cause anaphylactic shock or an ER situation, but those types of reactions are true allergic reactions that may require ER treatment, Benadryl or the use of an EpiPen to reduce the effects on the inflammatory response. True food sensitivities can build up over time and may or may not present with one pressing symptom, but a cascade of them.
What happens when you have a leaky gut? When you eat a food that you are sensitive to, over time those allergens cause inflammatory changes in the gastrointestinal lining, resulting in a leaky gut. This leaky gut allows particles that are inflammatory to travel in the lymph and blood systems and pass through the GI mucosal barrier and result in certain body systems that impact the skin, nose, lungs, brain, digestive tract, liver, cardiovascular system, metabolism and hormone production.
Symptoms may range from mild to severe and may also come and go. This can make it difficult to pinpoint what is exactly causing your symptoms. It can affect kids and adults of any age. Here is how to identify your food allergy or sensitivity:
Do a diet diary for three to seven days. Write down everything that you are eating and drinking and how you feel after eating them to see if you can discover the offending food.
Follow an anti-inflammatory diet for two to four weeks, avoiding the most common allergenic foods, which are wheat, gluten, soy, corn, tomatoes, eggs, peanuts, processed meats and dairy. Then slowly introduce one food at a time (eating it two to three times in one day, then wait two days before introducing another food to see if you have a reaction such as fatigue, diarrhea, rash, bloatedness, headache, stuffy nose, etc If there is a reaction, it is best to avoid that food for two to three months while healing the gut lining.
Get food allergy serum testing. There are some very specific food sensitivity blood serum tests that are very specific for testing mild, moderate or severe food sensitivities by testing IgE and IgA immune markers for reactions to that particular food, herbs, spice, mold, artificial coloring or preservatives. Costs vary depending on which foods panels are needed. It’s important to note that not all food allergy serum testing is alike and make sure to use a reputable lab. Once you have the information, following the rotation and elimination diet will often resolve your symptoms. It is key to also heal the gut lining and support the liver to make it worth the effort of eliminating the foods and prevent a recurrence.
Regular exercise and sweating for 20 -30 minutes three to five times per week will eliminate all the toxins. Sweating is a great way to get rid of the toxins that are in your foods, water and the environment. Regular use of infrared, dry or moist saunas can help open your emunctories, the organs that aid in the elimination of toxins that affect skin, lungs, kidneys and liver.
Stay hydrated and get enough sleep. Target drinking at least half your body weight in ounces of water daily to support the kidneys and body systems that help eliminate toxins. Getting good quality sleep is your body’s best way to rejuvenate itself. Target seven to eight hours if you are an aging adult. Teenagers require eight to 10 hours daily.
Schedule a blood workup for your male and female hormones by a hormone specialist. Food sensitivities put stress on the liver by congesting it. This results in a sluggish metabolism and lower hormones which create imbalances. FBN
By Christina Kovalik NMD, Lac
Dr. Christina Kovalik NMD, LAc, The Vitality Doctor, is a naturopathic physician and acupuncturist specializing in hormone optimization, optimal health and vitality. She is a new Flagstaff resident, practicing since 2004, and opened her second location in Doney Park in 2020. For more information, visit thevitalitydoctor.com or call 928-863-6086.