What are food sensitivities?
Food sensitivities are an immune reaction to a food in the diet. They are becoming increasingly common due to a variety of factors including:
- The over-consumption of processed and genetically-modified foods
- Chronic stress which strains the digestive system
- Overuse of certain medications (such as heartburn medication and antibiotics) which can disrupt our healthy gut bacteria
Food Allergy vs Food Sensitivity
Food allergies (like peanuts allergies) cause an immediate reaction that often includes hives, rashes, digestive upset, and difficulty breathing.
Food sensitivities on the other hand can be more subtle. Symptoms can appear 24 to 72 hours after eating an offending food and the symptoms are different for everyone but may include diarrhea, constipation, headaches, fatigue, skin concerns, and joint pain. The delayed reaction can make it very difficult to identify the offending food!
What are the most common food sensitivities?
- Milk and dairy products, eggs, wheat and gluten, peanuts, tree nuts (almond, walnuts), soy, corn, brewer’s yeast (found in beer, wine, vinegar, and soy sauce) and baker’s yeast (found in bread, pastries, muffins).
How do I know if I have food sensitivities?
There are 2 main ways to identify food sensitivities.
1. Elimination Diet
The elimination diet involves removing the most common foods that cause sensitivities (see list above) for a minimum of 3 weeks. After the elimination phase, foods are gradually reintroduced in a systematic order in order to determine if any reactions occur.
2. Food sensitivity Testing
Food sensitivity testing is done through a simple blood draw. It measures how your immune system reacts to 96 common foods. There are special tests available for vegetarians and those eating certain ethnic diets. The results of the test allow you to determine exactly which foods your body doesn’t tolerate well.
To learn more about food sensitivity testing options
book your complimentary 15-minute consultation.