Why You Need Food Sensitivity Testing
When it comes to discovering the root cause of many ailments, as integrative practitioners, we investigate the pillars that affect your everyday life: sleep, lifestyle, environment, stress, and nutrition. And, when it comes to nutrition, further disseminating the root cause of inflammation and imbalance is not always simple and obvious. Food sensitivity testing can be a good way to corroborate the fact that some of the foods you are consuming are, indeed, problematic.
Finding Food Foes
We usually recommend removing gluten and dairy from a diet because, more often than not, those two offenders cause the greatest inflammation over a short period of time. Patients also notice the greatest improvement in symptoms with their removal. But, what if gluten and dairy are already not a normal part of your diet? In fact, maybe you are careful about what you eat and adhere to a mostly clean, whole-foods diet. How do you then begin to tackle the food puzzle when you still experience a myriad of symptoms and nothing is helping?
The gold standard in determining what foods may be causing your body more harm than good remains the elimination diet. However, food sensitivities have increasingly become more common in recent years, affecting 50% of adults and children. And, food sensitivities cause a wide variety of illnesses ranging from headaches and skin conditions to chronic gut diseases and inflammatory conditions throughout the body.
It Takes Time
What makes food sensitivities so hard to pinpoint is that the reaction is not instantaneous. In an allergic reaction, we know that it is the body’s immediate immune response (IgE) to an item it deems dangerous. Symptoms are usually fast (and can be deadly). When it comes to food sensitivities (IgG), reactions may look/feel very much the same as an allergic reaction (sans the anaphylaxis), but they can take hours to days to show up. Who can remember what they had throughout the day Monday when they are feeling yucky on Thursday? Then, it becomes especially useful to be able to test for food sensitivities.
Enter KBMO Diagnostics’ FIT Test, a patented, multi-pathway delayed food sensitivity test. The test uses technology that measures both IgG and Immune Complexes, the most common food-related pathways in the body. The FIT Test measures sensitivities to up to 132 different foods spanning all major food groups, and coloring and additives, including Candida. This is a finger prick test that you can do at home or in our office. Results are sent directly to us. We then spend time reviewing your FIT test results with you and designing a menu plan that reflects the removal of the reactive foods for at least 8 to 12 weeks. After that, we guide you in assessing if there has been a reduction of symptoms.
The Leaky Gut Connection
Anywhere between 50 and 100% of patients with food sensitivities also have increased intestinal permeability (“leaky gut”). Just several years ago, if a practitioner mentioned intestinal permeability they were scoffed at. Today, intestinal permeability is widely recognized in scientific literature as a very real biological phenomenon. It has been associated with a long list of chronic inflammatory conditions, such as autoimmune disease, Type 1 Diabetes, celiac disease, IBS, liver disease, autism, and eczema. If your test shows a reaction to many foods or a reaction to yeast, you may want to consider an additional test to reveal your zonulin levels.
What Does Zonulin Tell Us?
Zonulin is a small protein produced in the gut that has emerged as a potential biomarker linked to an increasing number of chronic inflammatory diseases. The best way to test for elevated levels of zonulin is through a blood sample, as there is evidence of tissue damage and loss of intestinal function if zonulin can be measured in a patient’s blood. The basic idea is that zonulin should not be able to pass into the bloodstream under normal conditions. Thus, its recovery in plasma or serum likely reflects the degree of intestinal permeability. The zonulin test can be done separately or as part of the food sensitivity testing.
If you suffer from chronic symptoms related to digestive issues, infertility, skin conditions, arthritis, or other conditions, and you are wondering if food sensitivity testing is right for you, call us to learn more.