Ever wonder why onions make your spouse gassy, but you digest them just fine? Or, why red wine gives you a migraine but a martini does not? Or, why your grandmother thinks corn makes her arthritis pain worse? Well, you might be suffering from food sensitivities. Medical research has found that foods, food additives, and chemicals can provoke various symptoms and leave one struggling with chronic health conditions.
This month, we are diving into the facts around food sensitivities and how, by working together, we can create a plan to optimize your health!
Food sensitivities will affect an estimated 15 – 20% of the population, with symptoms varying depending on the individual. Research has found that people struggling with irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, fibromyalgia, and chronic depression have higher levels of mediators, such as histamines, cytokines, and prostaglandins, circulating throughout their bodies. Symptoms are provoked when mediators are released from immune cells. Therefore, when trigger foods, additives, or chemicals are ingested, the inflammatory response kicks in, causing a reaction.
How do you identify what foods are making you sick?
Each person will vary in what foods may provoke symptoms. Traditionally, an elimination diet has been used, but over the years, science has evolved. Now, several methods of testing are available to identify what foods could be triggering reactions.
Symptoms associated with food sensitivities:
- Irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, heartburn, diarrhea, abdominal pain, cramping, bloating
- Migraine and other chronic headaches
- Fibromyalgia, joint pain, muscle pain, muscle weakness
- ADD/ADHD, fatigue, tiredness, insomnia, general malaise, restlessness, “brain fog”
- Hives, eczema
- Excess mucus production, chronic post-nasal drip, chronic congestion
If you struggle with one or more of these conditions, reach out to discuss food sensitivity testing.
Are food allergies and food sensitivities the same?
The simple answer is no.
Food allergies affect about 1-2% of the population and usually provoke an allergic response. The degree of reaction to a food allergy can vary but can result in anaphylactic shock in severe cases. The most common food allergies include cow’s milk, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, shellfish, and fish. With food allergies, one molecule of the food can trigger a reaction. This is the reason schools enforce a no-peanut policy.
On the other hand, food sensitivities affect about 20-30% of the population. They could take anywhere from 45 minutes to several days to produce a response. Reactions to food sensitivities can vary greatly, often going undiagnosed. The amount of food needed to provoke a reaction can vary greatly depending on how severe the sensitivity is; usually, food sensitivities are dose-related.
One of the most effective ways to test for food sensitivities is with the Mediator Release Test (MRT), patented by Signet Diagnostic Corporation in 2001 (now Oxford Biomedical Technologies). MRT is a highly accurate blood test (94.5% sensitivity and 91.8% specificity) used to identify foods, additives, and chemicals that cause immune system reactions.
What is tested in the MRT test?
Foods tested include dairy products (cow and goat), flavor enhancers, fourteen varieties of beans, nuts, and legumes, twenty-two fruits, twenty vegetables, twelve grains, seafood, beef, eggs, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, and more.
How do you read the results?
Results are divided into three categories: GREEN, YELLOW, and RED.
The LEAP (Lifestyle, Eating, and Performance) Program is the Best Food Sensitivity Diet using the MRT test results. LEAP-MRT combines to identify a safe-foods diet and the best step-by-step method of building a delicious, nutritious, and genuinely healthy diet tailored to your specific needs.
One of our Certified LEAP Therapists (CLTs) can help you decrease or eliminate your symptoms to improve your health and quality of life.