Have you ever wondered if something you are eating is contributing to your health problems, but you just cannot pinpoint the exact foods because your symptoms come and go? Or have you been to see an allergist and your scratch test results indicate that you do not have any food allergies, but you are still convinced that your symptoms are somehow diet related?
Conditions and Symptoms Associated with Adverse Food Reactions:
- brain – behavioural problems (e.g. ADD/ADHD), poor concentration “brain fog”, memory disturbances, mood changes (e.g. depression), sleep disturbances, headaches, migraines
- digestive complaints – bloating, cramping, pain, gas, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, food cravings
- gastrointestinal conditions – oral allergy syndrome, celiac disease, IBS, IBD (Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis), SIBO, GERD (acid reflux)
- musculoskeletal – “food allergic” arthritis, pain, stiffness, swelling
- respiratory complaints – asthma, “food-induced” bronchitis, recurrent upper respiratory infections, ear infections, frequent throat clearing, sore throat, nasal congestion, sinus infections, mucous production, lip/tongue/throat itching and swelling
- skin – acne, eczema, psoriasis, hives, rashes, itchy skin, swelling, dark and puffy skin under eyes (“allergy shiners”)
- systemic – anaphylaxis, fatigue, weakness, chills, sweating, weight gain and inability to lose weight, fluid retention
- urinary symptoms – bed wetting, recurrent vaginal infections
What is the difference between food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities and how do they develop?
- Food allergy and sensitivity testing
Adults: Skin prick or “scratch” testing is the method of choice, performed in allergy clinics. However, this method of testing is only designed to assess for food allergies and therefore cannot test for food sensitivities and/or intolerances. In addition, certain conditions caution against scratch testing (e.g. pregnancy, generalized skin disease, anaphylactic reaction to a previous skin test, and current use of antihistamines or beta blockers). In such situations, blood testing is considered to be a better method in order to assess for adverse food reactions.
Children: Food allergy and sensitivity testing via serum or dry blood spots is a simple and preferred option.
“When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.”
– Ayurvedic proverb