Exposure to toxins and challenges or stressors to our one body is inevitable. The trick is to limit modifying aggravating factors as much as possible so your body will be better equip to tackle those unfortunate, but inevitable exposures.
The food we eat can either harm or heal. On the grand scale we can comprehend this when it comes to a twinkie vs. broccoli. But in keeping with the theme of acknowledging and honoring bioindividuality, certain foods that may be optimal for one body, may be harmful to another. Rather than a general, one size fits all approach to dietary guidelines, discovering what type of diet, all the way down to the individual foods, that is best for you is an intricate piece of the puzzle, especially if you are struggling with any health challenges.
One way to take a closer look at this is through food sensitivity testing. This differs from food allergy testing (tests for immune cells call IgE; immunoglobulinE) in that we are looking at cells involved in a more delayed reaction (even days later) to food exposure (testing for various forms of IgG & sometimes IgA, and something called compliment: CD3). Food sensitivities are way more prevalent in today’s world, and due to the potentially delayed presentation of symptoms and variety of different foods we consume, can be very difficult to pinpoint.
A food sensitivity test can assist in helping hone in on unique to you, potentially problematic foods. At that point, further investigation can be done by eliminating the items for a month or two and, if desired to, reintroduce to monitor symptoms. This is the optimal marriage between food sensitivity testing and an elimination-provocation diet in order to formulate the safest diet for you.
The advantage of the food sensitivity test over simple eliminating, reintroducing and monitoring symptoms is that often times there are no notable symptoms, but yet an internal immune response and destruction is taking place. (The first phase of autoimmunity is actually referred to as “silent” auto-immunity, where there is an identifiable immune response, but not enough tissue damage to be diagnosed and prescribed for. If we can stay out in front with tests like this and autoimmune reactivity screens which identify any elevations of antibodies to specific tissues in the body, we have the potential to avoid the decent into full blow auto immune disease.) Over time this unnoticed immune response can lead to increased inflammation, propensity for autoimmunity, organ dysfunction and an all around bad situation that one may have been able to avoid had they identified and eliminated that damaging food demonstrated by the food sensitivity blood test
This is one of the most popular tests we run with people for a variety of reasons. People frustrated with chronic, seemingly inexplicable symptoms often find relief when an identified food is eliminated. People who eat “healthy,” but are mysteriously plagued with a reoccurring skin “rash,” or headaches and joint pain that leave dermatologists and neurologists scratching their heads and offering a bottle of symptom silencing drugs, only for the exposure to and thus internal dysfunction to continue to manifest and potentially effect additional organ systems within, are amazed when we discover that all of this was being caused and/or exacerbated by cashews, eggs or even zucchini.
This is never the end all be all and we can endlessly debate which test is best as far as markers and amount of food tested. However, even with some of the more straight forward, perhaps limited food sensitivity panels, we’ve seen patients empowered by the information gleaned in order to decrease the stress and immune irritation to the body, leading to downstream symptom relief and better choices.
Lastly, we’ve also witnessed and personally experienced, the lessening or elimination of an immune reaction to certain foods that tested high, when addressing proper gut health and then retesting. One potential explanation for a high or increasing number of food sensitivities is due to compromised gut wall integrity. All of the sudden things that shouldn’t get into the blood stream do, causing a reaction. Additionally the immune system can he so up-regulated at that point that it starts to overreact to normally benign foods that you have no genetic predisposition to. Things really get worse when the overzealous and defensive immune system now goes beyond attacking friendly foods, and takes aim at our own tissues.
And now we’ve painted the picture of how compromised intestinal permeability (aka leaky gut) can lead to increased and more intensifying, immune driven food sensitivity reactions, which can perpetuate and escalate to an auto immune attack on virtually any tissue in the body. Bottomline is once again we circle back to optimal digestive health being the foundation of true health, and that includes properly evaluating and potentially rectifying any inappropriate food reactions.
Heal and seal the gut.
Eliminate immune stimulating problematic foods from the diet.
Sounds like one of the most logical starts to your journey to me.