Food Allergy Action Plan
Many people are unaware they have food allergies causing general health symptoms. Effects of long-term exposure to food allergies can be significant and may involve every system in the body. Some allergies are easy to notice. These include immediate hives or rashes, shortness of breath, wheezing/asthma, migraine headaches, and more. Yet most food allergy symptoms are difficult to identify as the effects are subtle and manifest 24-72 hours after eating. This makes it hard to ‘connect the dots’ and correlate foods with symptoms, so we keep eating them, totally unaware. Typical symptoms are (not limited to) fatigue, joint pain, post-nasal drip, dark circles under the eyes (allergic shiners), poor immunity, rashes, eczema, behavioral changes, gut pains/gas/bloating, brain fog, and more.
There are different forms of food allergy testing. These include:
1) Trial & Elimination diet. Avoid all potential reactive foods for 2 months then reintroduce one new food every few days and look for symptoms. Since you don’t know which foods may be the culprits, this requires the most time and patience, as the initial avoidance list is extensive and re-introduction is tedious. This typically takes 6 months or more.
2) Biofeedback, muscle testing, or pulse analysis. All these have merit, but have significant drawbacks, as the findings can vary from day to day or week to week.
3) The skin ‘scratch test’. A micro amount of allergens is injected into the skin, then observing any redness or swelling. This test involves mainly an IgE (Immunoglobulin-E) reaction, an immediate response. Anaphylactic, life-threatening allergies are mediated via this response.
4) Blood test using IgE may also be used. Both of these tests are also good for environmental allergies (molds, pollen, dander, etc) as well as limited foods. Most traditional testing relies on this method or the scratch test.
5) Blood test using IgG. Evidence has shown most food allergies are mediated by IgG (Immunoglobulin-G), which typically is a delayed response, and more sensitive for finding hidden food allergies. We use Meridian Valley Labs (www.meridianvalleylab.com) or Diagnostic Solutions (www.diagnosticsolutionslab.com). The latter is an in-home finger stick blood test, which is convenient for most people. We use 'combination' panels, which test for BOTH IgE and IgG antibodies, using the most accurate technology.
Causes of Food Allergies
A number of factors contribute to food allergies, including poor digestion, compromised lymphatic drainage, excess cellular acidity, leaky gut, chronic infection, stress, toxins, medications, genetic predisposition, and repetitive/excessive eating from a limited food selection. If your testing results revealed food allergies, the following information and steps will help your outcome.
How to Correct
If you completed an allergy blood test, ALL FOODS IN THE MODERATE OR AVOID CATEGORIES must be strictly avoided for 90 days, the lifespan of the antibodies. If you’re allergic to gluten or gliadin, avoid ALL gluten grains, even if other gluten grains are normal. Same with whey or casein, which require eliminating ALL cow dairy foods from the diet. BE A LABEL READER!!! After 90 days, re-introduce one reactive food on a ‘rotation basis’ every 3-4 days to identify any possible reaction until all are back in the diet. Some can bring back all allergic foods without reactions (see above symptoms), others need to avoid foods another month or so then try reintroduction again. Occasionally there are permanent’ allergies requiring lifetime avoidance. In the end, listen to your body and see how you feel. If in doubt, leave it out. ‘Mostly eliminating’ typically does not give good results.
1) If you have many food allergies (over 10), you most likely have increased intestinal permeability, or ‘leaky gut syndrome’, causing larger food particles to enter the blood cause excessive immune response and reactivity, whether regularly eaten or not. In my clinical experience, although there are tests more sensitive for leaky gut (zonulin antibodies, presence of zonulin in stool, etc), the combination panel food allergy test, when interpreted correctly, can essentially provide similar gut permeability information. There are specific protocols for addressing this and underlying causes that require an office, phone, or Zoom appointment. We are here to help complex cases, or simply guide you through the process if needed. Call or email us to schedule an appointment.
2) Optional: I recommend a time-tested support we've used for years. It involves taking our AllerTox I and AllerTox II homeopathic remedies. They often help the body to 'reset' and desensitize to both foods and environmental allergens.