What is a food senstivity?
Reactions to foods can come in many forms – digestive disturbance, mood change, chronic pain, and other symptoms. While a severe allergic reaction to foods, such as anaphylaxis, can be life-threatening, other food reactions are more subtle and less easy to identify. Conventional allergy testing can identify potential life-threatening allergies, but it is less able to identify foods that contribute to an overall sense of dis-ease in the body and mind.
- A true allergy can be life-threatening, and is an immune response to a certain food
- Sensitivities are different than allergies, and can cause discomfort without being life-threatening
- Sensitivities can cause symptoms that build over time, so the trigger food may be difficult to identify
- Various methods of naturopathic testing are available to identify food sensitivities
- Most common food sensitivities are milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat, though each person may have unique food sensitivities that are not on this list
How do we treat it?
After appropriate testing, an elimination of your food sensitivities may be recommended for a period of time to desensitize your system to each food that is causing problems. This time will be used to rebuild your intestinal and immune health so that when the offending foods are reintroduced, you will have fewer symptoms when these foods are eaten infrequently in small amounts. Some patients find that upon reintroduction, there are really one or two foods that cause them the most problems, and thus avoiding those foods is in their best interest. However, we highly recommend our comprehensive approach so that your diet does not need to be severely limited. Too much dietary limitation, in our opinion, is not health!