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Are Food Sensitivities Sabotaging Your Health?

DO ANY OF THESE STATEMENTS SOUND LIKE YOU?

You might be surprised to hear you may have a food sensitivity.

TYPES OF FOOD REACTIVITIES

Before we start getting into the nitty gritty, I’d like to highlight that there are actually 3 different types of food reactivities, these include:

  1. Food Allergies
  2. Food Intolerances
  3. Food Sensitivities

Let’s go over each of these in more detail so you can get them straightened out in your mind. It’s super important you understand the difference between these 3 types of reactivities, let’s start with the first…

1.) Food allergies

Food allergies are a life threatening situation that involves an immediate immune reaction after eating an offending food. These reactions can be fatal or just plain annoying –depending on the severity of your reaction.

You’ve probably heard of people having allergies to peanuts, eggs, or sesame seeds. They’re no fun! But they’re common examples of food allergies you may have seen before.

Symptoms of a food allergy can occur with in minutes of eating an offending food and can include symptoms like:

True food allergies involve IgE antibodies that cause the degranulation of mast cells in connective tissue, such as the lungs, skin, and lining of the GI tract.

This degranulation of mast cells is what leads to the symptoms I just noted above.

2.) Food Intolerances

Food intolerances do not involve the immune system and may be enzymatic in nature.

Lactose intolerance is an example of a food intolerance you’ve probably heard of before.

When a person does not have the lactase enzyme present in their small intestine to break down the sugar lactose, the result is gas and diarrhea. This is because your body did not have the enzyme that was needed to break down lactose into a more tolerable food particle.

Common symptoms of food intolerance include diarrhea, bloating, and gas.

Unlike food allergies, food intolerances are not life threatening.

3.) Food sensitivities

Like food allergies, food sensitivities cause a reaction in your immune system BUT the reaction is delayed—also known as “delayed hypersensitivity” and it is NOT life threatening.

Food Sensitivity reactions come on gradually and may take 48 to 72 hours to experience any symptoms. These reactions can also be dose dependent, complicating matters even further.

Food sensitivities occur with ANY food or chemical. This means even healthy foods you eat such as spinach, salmon, or turmeric could be causing an unhealthy immune reaction in your body!

In addition, it’s common to see sensitivities to chemicals in foods such as:

The good news is that food sensitivities are NOT permanent. Once we heal your body’s immune system, the number of food sensitivities you experience will diminish.

The reason food sensitivities are so important is because they cause an inflammatory process in your body, cascading into various chronic health problems as I’ll discuss below.

WHY SHOULD I CARE IF I HAVE A FOOD SENSITIVITY?

Food sensitivities are more common than you think.

Up to 40% of people experience food sensitivities and it’s more common in women.

Food sensitivities follow inflammatory pathways that can lead to chronic health conditions like: digestive issues such as IBS and IBD, reflux or GERD, autoimmune conditions, migraine headaches, chronic depression, uncontrolled asthma, and more.

Food and food chemical sensitivities remain one of the most under-addressed areas in conventional medicine.

This means that your doctor is not addressing the root-cause of your chronic health condition.

As a result, you’ll typically end up spending thousands of dollars on numerous trips to the doctor’s office, diagnostic testing, and an ever growing list of medications with no relief in sight.

WHICH FOOD SENSITIVITY TEST IS BEST?

It is my feeling, the most accurate method for food sensitivity testing out there is MRT, which stands for Mediator Release Test.

MRT is a blood test that measures the magnitude of your body’s inflammatory response to various foods.

MRT measures BOTH type III hypersensitivities (IgG, IgM) and type IV hypersensitivities (cytokines, prostaglandins, TNF, histamines, etc).

MRT is the most accurate and comprehensive food sensitivity test available because it yields results with 94.5% sensitivity & 91.7% specificity.

In addition, MRT tests the amount of pro-inflammatory mediators released, no matter which pathway triggered them, (i.e. we’re not just measuring IgG reactions like most other food sensitivity tests out there) so you’ll know for sure what foods are causing your symptoms.

See a more detailed explanation in this video:

Now that you know more about Food Sensitivities, let’s investigate if they could be the root-cause of your health problems.

SIGN 1: HASHIMOTO’S THYROIDITIS

Hasthimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common reason women experience hypothyroid (low thyroid function).

You might be surprised to learn, one of the most common triggers of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is, you guessed it, FOOD SENSITIVITIES. When a reactive food is eaten, it triggers your immune system to attack the tissue in your very own thyroid gland.

When your immune system starts attacking your thyroid gland, you experience worsening of thyroid functioning which leads to symptoms like: cold intolerance, hair loss, constipation, infertility, and more.

Recognizing and eliminating reactive foods has been a life-changer for those suffering from Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

Cutting out your reactive foods can lower thyroid antibodies and help you get your thyroid functioning back on track. It’s as simple as that!

SIGN 2: MIGRAINE HEADACHES

An estimated 26 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches, with the majority of sufferers being women.

Migraine headaches are often characterized by an intense throbbing pain on one side of the head accompanied by nausea and vomiting, extreme sensitivity to light and sound, and blurred vision.

Studies have shown that simply identifying and eliminating trigger foods can reduce the severity and frequency of migraine episodes.

Not only are the frequency of migraine headaches reduced, but quality of life is improved significantly. Clients can see an improvement in their physical functioning, reduced pain levels, improved mental health, and a renewed sense of vitality.

Again, getting to the root of your health issue simply by removing your reactive foods allows you to avoid costly doctor visits and medications so you can start living your most radiant life.

SIGN 3: IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (IBS)

IBS affects up to 45 million people in the United States with about 2 in 3 of those being women.

You probably know if you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) — with symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, gas, constipation, distention, diarrhea, and cramping these symptoms are hard to ignore.

Did you know up to 80% of your immune system is located in the lining of your gut? Because of this, your gut is bombarded with countless substances that could stimulate an immune reaction right smack dab in the middle of your gut.

When the immune system in your gut reacts to foods and chemicals, various immune mediators are released including: cytokines, histamine, prostaglandins, and leukotrienes. The result? Digestive upset.

Many of my clients see a vast improvement in their digestive symptoms simply by removing reactive foods for a period of time to give their gut a chance to regenerate and repair itself.

After we remove these reactive foods for a period of 3-6 months, we retrial these same foods that were once causing issues. Up to 80% of once-reactive foods are able to be tolerated again. This is true healing!

SIGN 4: RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS (RA)

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is characterized by loss of function in the joints, connective tissue, and other supporting body structures. This leads to symptoms like pain, swelling, stiffness, and even deformity.

Of the 1.3 million adults in the United States with RA, about three-quarters are women and food sensitivities have been studied as a modifiable risk factor for RA.

RA is brought on by inflammation, which of course we now know is triggered by the effects of foods we are sensitive to.

Simply by cutting out problematic foods from your diet we can minimize and reverse symptoms of RA.

SIGN 5: FIBROMYALGIA

Fibromyalgia is characterized by feeling of constant exhaustion, brain fog, muscle fatigue, and difficulty getting out of bed in the morning.

Food sensitivities place a constant and hidden stress on the body because these foods create overall inflammation of the body leading to a feeling of being run down.

This chronic or “low-grade” inflammation acts like a slow drip of inflammatory messages that ends up wearing down your body over time.

Cutting out your reactive foods, again, can reduce overall inflammation and allow for recovery and remission of fibromyalgia symptoms.

OTHER CONDITIONS ASSOCIATED WITH FOOD SENSITIVITY

We just went over 5 conditions associated with food sensitivity, but there are many others including:

The good news: I can help you chart a path to wellness.

It doesn’t have to be a blind guessing game, eliminating foods at whim, hoping you’ll figure out which foods are causing your symptoms.

Remember: you can be sensitive to any food, including things we deem healthy and anti-inflammatory like turmeric or even ubiquitous foods like tomatoes or garlic!

Imagine if you ate those foods every single day, not knowing they were actually the root-cause of all of your health issues!

If you want to find out the root-cause of your inflammatory condition, then you can get started by scheduling a complimentary consult with me and get started on your path to healing.


Sarah Neumann Haske, MS, RDN is a Digestive Health Dietitian and owner of Neumann Nutrition & Wellness, LLC. Her practice helps women heal their gut using a root-cause approach to their health. As a result of her program, her clients are able to come off medications, feel more energized, and live a radiant care-free life. If you’re interested in finding direction and accountability while discovering freedom from your digestive issues, then schedule your free call with Sarah now.