Many people go for decades without realizing that foods they consume on a daily basis are harming them. I’m not only talking about fast food here. I’m referring to nutritious and healthy foods, such as the boiled egg you had this morning, or the tofu you had in your vegetarian burger.
A food sensitivity is not as severe as a food allergy. Because of this, most people dismiss the idea that their symptoms of gas, bloating, diarrhea, fatigue, irritability, headaches, recurrent infections, or skin rashes could be related to the food they consume.
In response to a regular food allergy, the body produces an antibody (IgE), which causes extreme and immediate symptoms which are hard to miss. On the other hand, food sensitivities cause the production of a different type of antibody (IgG), which leads to milder symptoms which can take as long as 72 hours from the time of ingestion to be noticed.
The most common food sensitivities are to gluten, dairy, yeast, eggs, corn, and soy. If I suspect a patient has food sensitivities, I give them one of two options. The first is to follow a hypoallergenic diet for 2-3 weeks, and then systematically re-introduce the suspected foods one at a time and watch for a reaction. The other is to do a blood test which will detect the level of IgG antibodies produced in response to different foods. Your naturopathic doctor can help you decide which approach is best for you.
Dr. Tamar Ferreira is a Naturopathic Doctor in Brampton, Ontario. Her areas of focus include digestive health, hormone balance, and skin conditions.