Deciphering Food Sensitivities
Mar 10, 2014 04:51PM
By Deborah Bain
The immune system is very complex and not completely understood. No discussion of food sensitivities, which are a result of many compounding factors that include gut dysbiosis (microbial imbalance), malabsorption, nutritional status, genetics, medications such as antacids, ibuprofen and antibiotics, and stress would be complete without considering the root of the problem. Other elements in the environment, from foods to topical applications and inhalants, may mitigate or worsen someone’s response.
The classic food allergy includes theIgEmediated type I immediate immune system responsethat has the potential for life-threatening anaphylaxis and requires previous exposure and memory cell activation. This type of reaction affects less than 5 percent of the general population. Common examples are allergies to peanuts and shellfish.
This is much different than the IgG mediated food sensitivity response,which is a delayed reaction to a food. It has been related to nonspecific symptoms such as migraines, chronic fatigue, recurrent otitis, chronic congestion, eczema, brain fog, behavioral problems and other vague complaints. This form is controversial and often misunderstood. Some authorities say IgG antibodies are measuring “tolerance” to a food, not “intolerance”.The IgG4 subclass is thought to be a “blocking antibody” and is used in immunotherapy. Research has found that as IgG4 antibodies rise, the IgE antibodies decrease, thus conferring some protection from anaphylactic reactions to a food.
A five Rs healing program is designed toRemove (offending food), Reinoculate(start probiotics), Replace (vitamins, omega-3 EFA, minerals), Repair (digestive enzymes, HCL, bile acids) and Rebalance (the system). Then we can then safely reintroduce the food that has been suspected as causing trouble. If a patient has an IgE antibody positive test and has had severe allergic reactions when consuming that food, the allergist decides whether to continue avoidance of that food.Most of the time there are just a few foods that the person just cannot tolerate, but most of the other foods originally tested “sensitive to” come off the avoidance list.
A rotation diet is key, as well, to find out what the patient is eating daily that may be causing the problem. They should keep a diary of what they eat and choose to eliminate top offenders to figure out what is causing symptoms. They do not have to do a fancy blood test to figure out sensitivities. The usual top inflammatory foods include dairy, soy, eggs, nuts, wheat, corn and shellfish. Clean the slate of all potential foods causing bad feelings and replace them with whole food nutrients and an anti-inflammatory Paleodiet. The body can only heal if we offload the system of inflammation.
As with any healing program, supporting detoxification is key,using activated charcoal, probiotics, aloe juice, Epsom salt baths, bentonite clay, castor oil packsand key nutrients to help with detoxification and overall rebalancing of a person’s health.
Deborah Bain, M.D., FAAP, ABIHM, is a doctor of pediatrics and owner of Healthy Kids Pediatrics, in Frisco. For more information, call 972-294-0808 or visit HealthyKidsPediatrics.com.