Food is not just fuel – it is information. Every bite of food we eat sends some sort of message to our body and our body responds accordingly. Our gastrointestinal (GI) tract is the interface between food and our body – stretching out as large as a full tennis court when measured end to end. The GI tract is responsible for converting our food into chemical messages through the processes of digestion and absorption. Further more, the GI tract has its own nervous system (the Enteric Nervous System), is rich in neurotransmitters, hormones, chemical messengers, enzymes, bacteria and is home to 70% of the bodies entire immune system. Given the amount of resources devoted to the proper function of our GI tract, a healthy body starts with a healthy GI system.
Food sensitivities can cause a wide range of unwanted symptoms. Research continues into possible connections between our health and food, including:
- ADD/ ADHD
- Autoimmune Disease
- Atherosclerosis and Cardiovascular Disease
- Kidney problems
- Mood Disturbances
- Skin Conditions
IgG food tests are very popular – especially since there are so many symptoms and people want answers. Food sensitivity testing comes back with very specific answers. But are they the right ones?
Food sensitivities are different from allergies. Allergies involve activation of the immune system (IgE antibodies) in response to a benign threat. This can result in severe reactions, such as anaphylaxis – a potentially fatal cascade requiring immediate emergency treatment. Food sensitivities, on the other hand, are not immune responses. That’s a problem for IgG tests, because IgG is an immune response. In studies on lessening allergic reactions to things like peanuts, researchers have found that IgG levels go up as the severity of an allergic reaction goes down. It’s thought that we produce the most IgG antibodies to foods that we eat regularly. That is why more common items like dairy, wheat and egg, will often show up positive on an IgG test. IgG testing is marking the presence of exposure and tolerance to a food – not intolerance.
The gold standard for diagnosis of a food sensitivity is The Elimination Diet consisting of oral food challenges. The Elimination Diet is designed to remove and systematically reintroduce the most common food sensitivities to determine whether a patients’ symptoms are caused by the foods they are eating. Your Naturopathic Doctor can help provide the resources for following the Elimination Diet including symptom tracking and the correct method for reintroducing foods. Many patients observe improvements in their health concerns, including skin healing, resolution of digestive distress, more regular
bowel movements, increased energy, weight loss, improved sleep, reduction of pain (headaches, body aches, joint pain), the list goes on!
If you’re interested in exploring the connection between food and health, book an appointment by calling 902.444.3303 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org