Food Sensitivities: An undiagnosed cause of illness
Many patients come in complaining of digestive and other health issues and when we review their diet it appears they are eating a healthy diet. They are often confused by the fact that they seem to be reacting to foods that should be good for their body. Often what is causing this reaction to healthy foods is that they have developed a food sensitivity. A food sensitivity is different from a food allergy. These foods can cause an immediate reaction similar to a food allergy but the reactions are often delayed making it harder to track. The underlying issue with food sensitivities is a condition called “leaky gut syndrome”. The intestinal lining becomes too porous, allowing larger than normal food particles to get absorbed and pass into the blood. Due to their large size the immune system sees them as being foreign to the body, rather than a source of nutrition, and it mounts an IgG mediated immune response. This immune response triggers a chemical cascade that leads to inflammation locally in the gut as well as other areas of the body like the joints and skin. We don’t always know what causes leaky gut to develop but it may be caused by stress, poor diet, or chronic use of NSAIDS or antibiotics.
Food sensitivities can cause a variety of symptoms including but not limited to digestive issues, allergies, eczema, joint pain and headaches. The first step in figuring out if this is a problem for you is do a Food Sensitivity test to see if you have any reactions to foods. This is a simple fingerstick test that can be done by your naturopathic doctor at Arizona Natural Medicine. Food sensitivities are easy to diagnose and treat, allowing you to eat all of your favorite foods again.