A true food allergy causes an immune system reaction that affects numerous organs in the body. It can cause a range of symptoms. In some cases, an allergic reaction to a food can be severe or life-threatening. In contrast, food intolerance symptoms are generally less serious and often limited to digestive problems.
Food intolerance, also known as non-IgE mediated food hypersensitivity or non-allergic food hypersensitivity, refers to difficulty in digesting certain foods. It is important to note that food intolerance is different from food allergy. Food allergies trigger the immune system, while food intolerance does not.
Food allergies are common, and commonly misunderstood by doctors as well as patients. We see patients all the time who go to a doctor, test positive for lots of different foods, and are advised to avoid all of these foods. It can make life miserable. We have found in practice that they are often not truly allergic to all these foods, taking the definition of an allergy as something one is born with and often found out at a very young age. Often allergies are actually in-tolerances. This means the gut lining is not working optimally and you cannot tolerate breaking down and absorbing certain foods.
The term “Food Allergies” is becoming more and more common. There has been an increase in severe food allergy cases in the last 10 years, we believe this is from poor diets and processed foods depleting our stomach lining causing Leaky Gut Syndrome (often mistaken for IBS). When we see test results that are positive for nutrient dense foods such as carrots and beets we have to think it’s not the food, it’s the stomach. Instead of following traditional treatment of avoiding the foods and ignoring the true problem, why not rebuild and heal the gut to allow for proper food breakdown. Knowing that 70-80% of your immune system is in your stomach, strengthening it will increase quality of life on many levels.
Symptoms of “Food Allergies” or Intolerances
Reddening of the skin
Swollen lips or eyelids
Tightness of the throat
Wheezing, coughing, or difficulty breathing
Diarrhea or vomiting
Unable to lose weight or weight gain
Joint pain and Inflammation
If you experience any of the above symptoms frequently, you may very well be allergic or intolerant to the foods you are eating. It is time to get it tested. We use food allergy testing in my office to determine what foods you are unable to break down. We then take you off those foods while you are in the repair and rebuilding phase for the gut. This may take 6 to 9 months, then we retest and find fewer allergies! You are then able to resume eating many of the healthy foods you enjoy. This is a much better alternative to avoiding foods indefinitely, never fixing the problem.
If you would like to find out if you have any food allergies or intolerances please contact our office at 954-495-4449.