Food Allergy vs. Food sensitivity? The difference between needing and EPI pen and having a food baby!
I did a video today on facebook about this topic of food allergy vs food sensitivity. Before I learned what functional medicine was I only knew what a food allergy way. It is when you eat something that can send you to the ER because your airways swell up and you can't breathe. The kind where you eat a peanut for example and it literally could kill you. This kind of food reaction sets off part of the immune system called the IGE, and that causes histamine to be released which leads to the severe reactions. Most people who have this should never eat that food again.
There is an entirely other reaction that can occur on a daily basis for people that is a different immune pathway that can lead to some pretty serious consequences. People may just think oh I just get bloated after eating or my poop is inconsistent, or I get gas, heartburn or stinky toots. Normal right? NO! Food sensitivities are when you eat something that is still setting off your immune system in your gut, because most of our immune system is in our gut tissue, gut bacteria and lining of the gut wall. It can create a low lying level of inflammation which is the underlying cause for many diseases. When we eat something say dairy, and our body recognizes it as foreign then it will attack it as such. This sets off a cascade of immune mediators and inflammatory markers which is your bodies way of protecting itself. It can lead to symptoms such as congestion, headaches, depression, anxiety, weight gain or trouble losing weight, digestive issues, bloating, fatigue, joint pain and in severe chronic cases, autoimmune conditions, heart disease and more. This in turn causes more damage to the lining of our precious one cell thickness lining and contributes further to something called leaky gut syndrome and this further exacerbates and creates more food sensitivities! Yikes!
What can we do about it? Well for one we can get a blood test called an IGG food panel or MRT panel that will actually show you on a result what foods are setting your immune system off. You then would avoid those foods for a 3-6 month period of time to see how much better you will feel and let your gut heal! Then you would introduce those foods one at a time every 6-7 days to see if you react to them still. If you don't want to shell out some money then do what is called an elimination diet. You get off of all the common offensive foods like dairy, gluten, corn, soy, alcohol, caffeine which a whole 30 type food plan would cover and eat good fats, good sources of proteins, and lots of veggies and berries for fruit. It won't take long for your body to start to feel better and heal and work better! It is truly amazing how well our bodies work if we give them half the chance! Do this for 3-4 weeks at least and then again can introduce those foods one at a time if you even want to!
I personally did an MRT test after I tested positive for Hashimotos which is an autoimmune thyroid condition. My big one was cow milk, and once I removed dairy from my life my bowel issue resolved, my anxiety level dropped way down, and my stomach was flat and not bloated!! I have been able to avoid thyroid medication, I feel good, I don't have anxiety anymore, or allergies for that matter. My skin is the clearest it has been since before acne outbreaks in Highschool as well which is a bonus! Of course food is not the only thing that can make us sick, but its a huge part of it. We have a CHOICE, thank goodness. Feed disease or prevent disease with what we put in our mouth every day. I know what choice I am making. If you need any extra support feel free to reach out!