When we talk about food sensitivities we are not referring to the same type of situation that occurs when someone has a severe allergy to a food or substance. In those cases, more profound symptoms are seen, such as breaking out into hives and needing medical assistance asap! Usually in these cases people find out very early on in life that they are allergic and try to stay clear of the allergen completely. With food sensitivities however, people can go years with them being unacknowledged. In these cases your body reacts as if it is fighting off an enemy invader. It is our immune systems job to fight off invading organisms to keep us healthy. But for various reasons, a person’s immune system may recognize a usually non-harmful substance as harmful. Our immune systems are strong, but while fighting off billions of other toxins from the environment and stress, our systems can become overloaded. It is also common, in these cases, that the body loses its ability to tap into fat stores for fuel.
What can this mean for a person with food sensitivities?
It means that the there may be a host of “symptoms” present from the food sensitivities, but because these effects can be written off as other problems they will go untreated and may never completely go away.
Key Symptoms of food sensitivities
Weight gain, post nasal drip, stuffy head, heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, bloating, migraines, inflammation, mental fog, depression, body aches and pains may all be attributed to other factors or just ignored altogether.
Traditionally these are treated as isolated symptoms and the underlying cause (certain foods) is never discovered. This person may think they are eating extremely healthy, when in reality the foods they are ingesting are causing an array of overall health problems.
How are food sensitivities determined?
At Caring Medical we offer tests for a variety of common food allergens. The results coincide with Diet Typing so that not only are patients placed on the correct “Hauser Diet”, they are eating the right foods within each diet. Unfortunately, food(s) which a person is sensitive to may happen to be their favorite. “I can eat a whole cheese pizza for dinner,” says a person with sensitivities to casein (milk products). “I add onions to almost all my cooking,” says a person with sensitivities to onions. Best to treat the underlying cause of the problem- avoid the offending food. This type of diet takes maximum dedication, but eliminating allergens from your diet can make astounding improvements in your life, even for people who consider themselves “healthy.”
The Case of J
A 50 year old female patient of ours, who we will refer to as J, has been coming to Caring Medical on and off for about 8 years. She wants to make sure as she gets older she’s not set up for new or increasing health problems. J’s symptoms this time around have been fatigue, inability to lost weight, and some menopause problems. To start with we had her do multiple lab tests, including Diet Typing, Food Allergies, and Hormones. Her and I sat down and got her started on The Hauser Otter Diet. We went over her current diet which was somewhat similar, but had a few slight changes. For instance, we cut her fruit intake back and her complex carb intake. On the subject of exercise, I suggested she increase her cardio. She was already meeting with a personal trainer twice a week, but I informed her that she needed more than that. J’s goal was to drop about 20 pounds, so a very moderate amount of weight. Seeing as food allergies take a couple weeks to get in, we decided to meet again at that point to see if anything came up and address it then.
The food allergies came in, and to her surprise a few things showed up. She was now going to have to add the task of avoiding dairy, eggs, and gluten (wheat) to her Hauser Diet. This isn’t easy because most foods that people typically eat contain at least one of these substances. I gave her all the handouts, information, and ideas she would need to get these foods out of her diet. She entered that appointment slightly frustrated because she had been doing most of what I initially told her to do, but hadn’t been losing any weight. I told her not to give up and really work on the food sensitivities.
When J was in the office for a doctor follow up I asked how she was doing. She said that she had completely avoided the foods for the past 4 weeks. After about 2 weeks is when she said she really noticed a difference. “I just feel cleaner, if that makes sense”, was one of her statements. Aside from feeling cleaner and better, she lost about 4 pounds since avoiding the foods she was sensitive to. Needless to say, she is little happier now and very motivated!
If you want to learn more about food allergy testing, and utilizing it to create a personalized nutrition program, reply to this newsletter or give us a call at 708-848-7789.