Allergies & Food Sensitivities

Saturday, 24 December 2016 14:56

Food Allergy vs. Food Intolerance

Written by
Food Allergy vs. Food Intolerance
I remember as a child eating my cereal for breakfast and then developing a tummy ache.  This would happen every morning until I stopped drinking the milk that was added to it.  Eventually, while in college, my roommate told me I must be lactose intolerant as this was something she was learning about in her kinesiology class.  Glad to have something to go on, I proudly renounced dairy from my food choices.  I have since come to learn a lot more about food sensitivities and intolerances.  Read on.
There are two different kinds of food sensitivities – food allergy and food intolerance. Often times, they are confused because they are both reactions to foods that we eat and some of the symptoms can be very similar. However, it’s worth taking a moment to distinguish their differences.
Food Allergy and Food Sensitivities
It is an immune system response – the body thinks that the food you ingested (most likely a protein in the food) is a harmful substance and it creates antibodies to defend against it. Symptoms depend on where the antibodies and histamine are released, and they can include rash or hives, nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, itchy skin, shortness of breath, chest pain, swelling of the airway and even anaphylaxis. 
Our intestines are designed to be impermeable to large protein molecules that our body may mistake as “invaders” and launch an “attack” – resulting in allergic reactions. Our diet, lifestyle and medications often times compromise the permeability of our digestive tract, creating what is known as the “leaky gut” syndrome. When the intestine becomes permeable to larger protein molecules, these molecules can get into our bloodstream and trigger an immune response.
Food allergies/sensitivities can be triggered by even a very small amount of food and occurs every time the food is consumed. If you suffer from food allergy, you are most likely advised to avoid the trigger food altogether. However, if you work with a qualified professional, you may be able to resolve the root cause of the allergic reaction (e.g. leaky gut), allow time for the antibodies to clear up (usually 2 – 4 weeks), and then you may be able to ingest a small amount of the food every 3 to 4 days without triggering allergic reactions. 
Peanuts, tree nuts (such as walnuts, pecans and almonds), shellfish, milk, eggs, soy products, and wheat are the most common triggers for food allergies. People who are allergic to aspirin can also be allergic to foods that contain salicylates – such as many fruits, vegetables, nuts, coffee, juices, beer, and wine.
Food Intolerance
It is a digestive system response – the digestive system is unable to properly digest some substance in the food, or the food irritates the digestive tract. Most symptoms of food intolerance are confined to the GI tract, including nausea, stomach pain, gas, cramps, bloating, vomiting, heartburn, and diarrhea, with the exception of headache and irritability or nervousness.
In most cases, food intolerance is caused by the lack of certain enzymes and the body becomes unable to digest certain substances in the food. 
Food intolerance, in most cases, is dose related. For example, some people who are lactose intolerant can use milk in their coffee, eat a moderate amount of yogurt (in which some of the lactose is pre-digested by the probiotics) or hard aged cheese (which has a lower amount of lactose).
The most common food intolerance is lactose intolerance, in which the person is unable to digest dairy products due to the inability to produce the enzyme lactase. However, food intolerance can also be caused by chemicals such as food colorings and additives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) or sulfites.
If you think you might have a food sensitivity or intolerance, I can guide you through an elimination diet, or implement gut healing protocols.  Also, Food Sensitivity Screening is available at my office via Electro Dermal Screening.  Book your session now and eliminate those tummy troubles.  
Deanna Trask RHN
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Friday, 04 March 2016 18:22

Why Are Food Sensitivities So Common These Days

Written by

Since the mid-1990s food allergies have gone from being pretty rare to very common. An estimated 6-8% of children under the age of 3 in Canada suffer from food allergies, that’s approx 300,000 kids and the numbers continue to rise.

Why Do Food Allergies & Sensitivities Occur?
A lot has changed in our diets over the last 15-20 years, many of our food choices nowadays are very questionable as we tend to be eating more food like products rather than real food.
In 1996 Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) were introduced into our food supply and additives and pesticides are more prevalent in our foods than ever before. We also tend to over protect ourselves and our kids from germs – we can sometimes be too clean. The sterile environments, we put ourselves in mean our immune systems don’t come in contact with allergens so our bodies aren’t able to fight them.
Certain factors can also predispose a person to develop food allergies such as genetics (one or both parents are allergy sufferers).
Other issues are that we tend to lack variety in our diet and can eat an excessive amount of the same type of food leading to issues. A healthy immune system is also key here, if this system is compromised, it can lead to a number of food sensitivities and can include a lot of what the person eats.

What’s the difference between a food allergy and sensitivity?

Food Allergies

A food allergy happens when the immune system mistakenly identifies a food as a harmful substance and launches an attack against it. This triggers the release of antibodies whose main goal is to destroy and eliminate the food (bad guy) through different responses in the body.
It involves the excess production of an IgE antibody, which triggers the release of histamine from cells. This release of histamine results in symptoms such as hives, excess mucous, coughing, sneezing and vomiting.
An allergic response is fast and very noticeable. The reactions can change very quickly from mild to severe in the worse cases causing anaphylactic shock as you often find with people that have peanut allergies.

The most common food allergens are:
•Tree nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, pistachios, and walnuts)
•Sesame seeds

Food Sensitivities

Food sensitivities are more subtle and they produce signs and symptoms that are often delayed. They can sometimes take hours or even 2-3 days to show symptoms. They involve the excess production of the IgG antibody.
Food sensitivities are not as obvious, they are often called the hidden problem and detecting food sensitivities can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack.
When suffering from a food sensitivity, the person can exhibit a variety of reactions as he/she responds negatively to the food such as:
•Puffiness or dark circles around the eyes
•ADD – hyperactivity
•Constipation – diarrhea
•Reoccurring ear infections
•Runny nose
•Spitting up infants
If you suspect you or someone you know has a food sensitivity, an elimination diet is a great way to determine the culprit and start your journey towards better health. Another option is IgG Food Sensitivity Testing followed by a Digestive Clean Up and ReBoot.

Why Test IgG Food Sensitivity?
There is a growing body of evidence to support the clinical benefits of eliminating IgG reactive foods from the diet. IgG food sensitivities have been implicated in migraine headaches and irritable bowel syndrome (alternating diarrhea and constipation). Bloating and indigestion are also common food sensitivity reactions, as is fatigue. Continued consumption of reactive foods may contribute to weight gain and/or difficulty losing weight. Eczema is also commonly associated with food reactions. Because IgG food reactions take hours or days to develop, this makes it difficult to determine which food is responsible for the reaction without doing testing.


Electrodermal Screening is done on the spot in my office or Blood Spot Sensitivity Testing is also available.  Purchase your kit, mail in your sample and receive your results in approximately 3 weeks.