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Food Intolerance, Allergy, or Sensitivity
Food intolerance is one of the biggest challenges for people with food challenges. Trying to figure out exactly what’s causing the problem with American diets is complex. On any given day, we might ingest hundreds of different chemicals from processed and GMO foods. You may wonder what’s causing your illnesses. From stomach cramps to your skin to breaking out in hives to heartburn, even making your heart race or giving you those abdominal cramps? If you’re tired of living in pain, please review a variety of options below. Let’s use food (human fuel) and work with me, Debbie Allen, your Nutrition Health Coach.
60 Million People in the USA Suffer from Food Intolerance
Within the US, approximately 60 million people suffer from food intolerance. The prevalence of food intolerance has been increasing and it is estimated that 50% of adults and 70% of children suffer from food allergies.
In extreme cases, food allergies can lead to anaphylactic shock and death if untreated.
Symptoms of food allergies are typically fatigue, joint pain, congestion, headache, rashes, and chronic intestinal symptoms. Along with allergies, weight gain, and weak immune function; food allergy testing is helpful to identify symptoms and conditions.
Most common food intolerance
Lactose intolerance is the most common food intolerance. Other common food intolerances include gluten, eggs, caffeine, shellfish, and nuts. Symptoms of food intolerances can include gastrointestinal issues such as bloating, gas, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. See my page about IBS and align the challenges with food here.
Is there a difference between food intolerance and food allergy?
Food allergy and food intolerance are different. A food allergy is an immune system response to a food or certain parts of food that are allergens. Food intolerance is a problem with digesting food. Symptoms of food allergy can range from mild to severe and can include hives, swelling, difficulty breathing, and anaphylaxis. Meanwhile, symptoms of food intolerance are usually limited to gastrointestinal issues such as bloating, gas, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. It is important to differentiate between the two as food allergies can be life-threatening, while food intolerances are not.
This is the gold standard in food sensitivity testing. Elimination diets require a commitment and some energy from you but are reliable, easy to interpret, and FREE. For full instructions, please download the handout HERE. We always see better results after a Food Sensitivity Test.
Blood Draw Test
Precision Point Diagnostics Labs
We use a variety of labs with current state-of-the-art testing solutions that assist in the diagnosis and management of conditions. The Precision Point Labs utilizes AIMS (Amplified Immunological Monitoring System) profiles are the only test on the market that measures types of food intolerance to include IgG and immune complexes containing the complement fragment complement (C3d), for multiple food antigens and actually reports it. Precision Point Lab’s food allergy test is unique in that test detects all classes of IgG and IgG-C3d immune complexes for higher sensitivity.
Immunoglobulin G (IgG)
This is the main immunoglobulin circulating in human blood and helps protect us from infection and outside antigens. There are four subclasses: IgG1, IgG2, IgG3, and IgG4. IgG1 responds to new food antigens. IgG2 and IgG3 react to cell surface oligosaccharides of viruses, protozoa, and foods, which can be allergenic. IgG4 is commonly related to delayed food sensitivity symptoms. IgG can also activate the complement system to recruit an inflammatory response.
The AIMS Food Sensitivity Profile
This test measures total IgG (subclasses 1-4) antibodies for 88 foods. Other antibody assays may only measure IgG antibodies, which can miss food reactions that activate the inflammatory complement cascade. Finally, other food sensitivity tests may measure only certain subclasses of IgG antibodies, rather than measuring all four, as on Precision Point Food Sensitivity Profile.
For over 25 years, the ALCAT Lab Tests have provided a variety of specific blood tests to successfully overcome a wide variety of conditions, such as digestive disorders, migraines, obesity, chronic fatigue, skin disorders, and arthritis, which result from food intolerance and chemical sensitivities. The Alcat Test(s) results can help determine which foods and other substances (herbs, molds, additives, colorings, environmental chemicals, antibiotics – that are commonly present in food or your environment) may trigger unwanted inflammation and related symptoms. See a sample of this test: Alcat Sample Report
Order this test, which includes my consultation here: Order ALCAT
Skin scratch tests
This type of test detects foods that will react with anaphylaxis. This is the instant reaction of hives, swelling, or asthma-type symptoms. Unfortunately, there is MORE than one wheat protein that can cause gluten or other food sensitivity. Skin tests DO NOT test for DELAYED food sensitivity reactions. Most skin tests are covered by insurance, but the results are minimal.
EnteroLab has developed a unique screening test for gluten sensitivity as well as for dietary yeast, cow’s milk, chicken egg, and soy sensitivity that is more sensitive and specific than tests in current use (U.S. and European patents issued). This method utilizes stool rather than blood as the testing substrate. The rationale for using stool rather than blood for testing for food sensitivity is that immunologic reactions to proteins in the diet that cause these reactions are centered within the intestinal tract and not in the blood. We believe that our new tests can improve the health of millions of people worldwide. For more on the rationale and superiority of Enterolab’s method over pre-existing tests, please read an essay about this: CLICK HERE.
Did you know that you can order this test online? EnteroLab
Bacteria, yeasts, molds, dirt, and the types of food we eat all impact our Gut Microbiota, thereby influencing the microbiome. The bacteria present in our gut, mouth, skin, and other sites in the human body are often referred to collectively as the human Microbiome or “second genome”. Your gut microbiome affects your health for life.
Altered microbiota and dysbiosis may be related to many chronic diseases.
Conditions include obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, depression, and gut diseases. Understanding your microbiome is vitally important to living a healthy life, especially for people suffering from chronic diseases of the heart and digestive system, autoimmune disease, diabetes, thyroid disorders, and more. Learn more and get tested here: UBiome offers easy at-home testing.
When it comes to your health and traits, DNA is only part of the story. Other variables come into play, including non-genetic factors, such as your environment and lifestyle. DNA also contributes to our risk for various diseases. It’s where our lifestyle and DNA intersect that we have the greatest potential for positive change. If you find that you are at increased genetic risk, this knowledge may help you prioritize which dietary changes to make.
Learn more and get tested here: 23andMe.com offers easy at-home testing.
The most effective therapy for Food allergies and sensitivities is to follow the Elimination Diet, first. Discover which foods “YOU” are truly allergic or sensitive to. Eliminate these foods from your diet.
Learn To Cook
This is the Best and only way to confirm that you are eating food allergen and sensitivity-free. Pre-plan meals, as well as events, to stay free of allowing these foods to disrupt your life. By eliminating 100% of these foods from your diet; over time you will notice a sharp decline in your symptoms as well as your seasonal allergies. Want to take a cooking class? We can cook in your kitchen! More details are HERE.
This is my personal and professional view of food intolerance and allergy testing.
If you have known symptoms, the real test is to eliminate the food. Eliminating the food and following an elimination diet for a few weeks could be the most profound dietary change you’ll ever make. For some people, the results can feel nothing short of miraculous. Only YOU will know how that feels when you have the experience of the Elimination Diet.
Eat Right to Feel Right
I think everyone should try to follow a 100% grain and dairy-free diet very carefully, for at least 3 months. Preferably 6 months or even a year for some conditions. You WILL FEEL great and SEE improvement. And, it costs nothing extra to do this exercise. We all make 3 choices every day as to what we choose to eat.
In the case of someone who has no symptoms, but may have a blood relative who is gluten or dairy sensitive. You may want to know if YOU are ALSO gluten or dairy sensitive. You could be a good candidate for testing or food elimination. There are some people who have no obvious symptoms but produce antibodies to gluten and/or dairy. You may be at risk of long-term problems if you continue to consume it. Testing makes sense for these people.
Some people MUST have a lab test result in hand before they will consider making a change to a gluten-free diet.
Hence, for those people I also recommend testing. Believe it or not, I was one of these people. The tests reassured me that I REALLY do need to eliminate these foods. This is why I truly believe that the real gold standard is to try a gluten and dairy-free diet and see how you feel.
Please note: I am not a doctor.
I am a Master Nutrition Therapist. I use food therapy as my favorite therapy to approach most chronic diseases and conditions. These conditions include digestive challenges, obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, depression, and gut diseases. I also use a variety of supplements and subtle energy tools to assist, along with food.
Everything here is my opinion and is provided for educational purposes.
You are responsible for your own health, and the consequences of whatever healthcare decisions you make. Are you ready to work with a nutritionist to help you make better food choices? Contact me for a FREE 20-minute consult to see how we could address your health challenges and make positive changes with real food.
Are you experiencing symptoms from any of these health challenges?
Don’t let these conditions define you, take charge of your health today!
Debbie has been practicing Holistic Nutrition for over 20 years.
She believes that your life can improve with the right food choices. Let’s get started – Contact Debbie today! Denver Nutrition, LLC is owned and operated by Debbie Allen, a Master Nutrition Therapist and Certified Natural Health Practitioner. Denver Nutrition, LLC provides services based on credible medical research and scientific evidence. This site offers health, wellness, and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only.