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Food Allergies And Intolerances

Food Allergies And Intolerances

Food allergies and intolerances are a major cause of poor health and weight gain in America. Common medical issues like fatigue, joint pain, food cravings, migraines, GI disorders, eczema, and hyperactivity have been linked to food sensitivities and intolerances.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that over 30 million people suffer from food sensitivities.  It is important to understand the difference between a food allergy and food intolerance or food sensitivity. Food allergies can be immediate, like a person who eats peanuts or shellfish and has lip swelling or difficulty breathing. These reactions can be life threatening.  Food intolerances and sensitivities are more chronic in nature and can be delayed and, at the same time, subtle in the bodies response to the offending food. For purposes of this discussion food intolerances and food sensitivities are the same.

Food intolerances are caused by negative reactions our bodies have to certain foods and food additives (colorings, molds and environmental chemicals like formaldehyde phenols, and ammonium chloride). Major food groups include vegetables and legumes, fruits, meat, dairy and eggs, seafood, grains, herbs and spices, nuts, oils and miscellaneous foods (coffee, tea, sugar, vanilla, black pepper, etc.). Eggs, soy, wheat, dairy, and nuts are common foods that cause sensitivity reactions. Any food can cause a sensitivity reaction of intolerance. Food sensitivity testing can further break down foods and how our body reacts to them into three categories:  mild, moderate and severe intolerances. These food reactions can become chronic in nature and can stress the immune system by causing over activation, which left unattended, can cause leaky gut (inflammatory reactions in the GI tract that allow toxic molecules to enter into systemic circulation). 

This leaky gut condition will upset metabolic functioning in the body and lead to changes in fluid retention, mood swings, cravings, fatigue and weight gain. It is important to note that asthma can also have a food intolerance component to the condition.  Most people only eat 10 to 15 foods on a regular basis. Food testing is not complicated.  It requires a blood test for basic foods (fifty or a hundred). An additional food panel can be done to test additional foods, additives, colorings, molds, and environmental chemicals in foods. We provide this service. Insurance may cover food allergy testing.

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