by Mila McManus, MD
Food allergies and food sensitivities are not the same thing. Traditional allergists generally rely on food allergy testing only, which is also what is taught in medical school as the standard protocol. This limited practice leaves a great deal of diagnostic information off the table. For that reason, we have found food sensitivity testing to be highly useful toward helping our patients feel great again. Here are specific reasons why food sensitivity testing is useful:
- When food sensitivity testing results indicate a patient is reactive to a large number of foods, this is confirmation of a leaky gut and poor digestive health, something an upper and lower GI scope cannot tell us.
- This information can be incredibly helpful with resolving bloating, abdominal pain, IBS, constipation, heartburn, inability to lose weight, diarrhea, skin rashes, and with alleviating autoimmune diseases, mood disorders, etc.
- This allows us to focus on repair of the gut rather than simply focusing on food elimination.
- Test results can reflect excessive populations of mold, yeast, and fungus in the body which can be specifically targeted and addressed.
- Yeast, especially, causes a plethora of common digestive issues, as well as other chronic symptoms outside the GI tract, making it difficult to distinguish from other common ailments such as IBS, Depression, Eczema, and Asthma. Did you know that yeast produces and secretes over 100 toxins?!
- Mold and fungus can contribute to environmental allergies, headaches, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections, and vaginal and urinary tract infections.
- Food sensitivities often exacerbate autoimmune disease, and removal of one or more foods can bring autoimmunity into full remission or control.
- Asthma, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Eczema, and other respiratory and skin concerns can often be addressed by cleaning up the gut and small edits to the diet.
- Food sensitivity testing can also shed light on possible connections to environmental and seasonal allergies. Read about concomitant food/environmental allergies.
Below, Example A is clear food sensitivity test and Example B sheds light on many of the possibilities listed above. The IgA white bars reflect immune responses especially in the mucosal membranes of the ears, nose, and throat, digestive tract, skin, and lungs. The IgG gray bars are reflective of immune responses impacting other aspects of health such as migraine headaches, achy joints, and other symptoms of inflammation and congestion.
Consult with your medical provider to determine if food sensitivity testing would be useful for you or someone you love.
Example A: Normal, Here’s what we hope yours looks like: Good
Example B: High Sensivities: Bad