Making Sense of Food Allergies + Intolerance + Sensitivities | Switch2Pure

By Estela Cockrell

Making Sense of Food Allergies + Intolerance + Sensitivities | Switch2Pure
When Food Bites You Back!  Making Sense of Allergies + Sensitivities...

Listen, we are all 'allergic' to just about everything these days...or so it seems.  I have spent years, cleaning up my diet, microenvironment, and detoxing.  It has literally changed my life (more energy, less headaches, strength, peace of mind and no more food babies). 
My immune system was constantly taxed by foods it was allergic and/or sensitive to and chemicals it didn't like being exposed to (smelly quats from things like bleach based multipurpose cleaners and phthalate rich detergent).
The root cause of so many of my and many people's issues can be traced to food allergies and sensitivities.  Making sense of it all can be overwhelming and a questions I get from people most often.  I am not a doctor, but I know from experience that our body is so interconnected....our gut, emotions, immune system, skin (eczema and acne).  And, to get that autoimmune, acne, eczema, and parasympathetic system in check we must start in the gut!  This gives our immune system a much needed reprieve!  
So here is the scoop (the gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free scoop that is):
"Food sensitivities and food allergies are not one in the same despite many using the terms synonymously.  The human body has three typical reactions to food.  The first, a true Food Allergy, is a reaction from the immune system in which production of a chemical called IgE is secreted causing nearly immediate reactions that are potentially life threatening. These may include anaphylaxis, swelling, difficulty breathing, and hives.  The next reaction that occurs in humans is a Food Intolerance, which is more of an error in body mechanisms in which food is not properly broken down either due to lack of enzymes, intestinal dysbiosis, or inflammation. The most common true food intolerance is lactose intolerance in which lactase (an enzyme required to digest lactose in dairy) is not produce in sufficient amounts.  Finally, one can have a Food Sensitivity, which is a non-IgE reaction in which inflammatory mediator cells are released in response to exposure to triggering foods and chemicals.  This release can be small and produce subclinical symptoms, however, because sensitivities are often dose dependent, foods that are eaten over and over that your body is sensitive to will eventually cause symptoms which may include headache/migraine, joint pain, stomach pain, inflammatory conditions (such as eczema), autoimmune diseases, skin issues, and even mood swings.  Reactions can be delayed up to 72 hours, so identifying potential culprits through food journaling alone can prove difficult.  Blood testing using the Mediator Release Test (MRT Test) makes it possible to identify your non-IgE food sensitivities to help solve the puzzle behind your troubling symptoms."*
So, that is the basic scoop on the difference between food allergies, intolerance and sensitivities.  Determining what these are can help you begin to heal your gut.  That along with a diet rich in alkalizing greens, vegan organic (non cross-contaminated) protein, organic matcha and other antioxidant rich teas will help you nourish the body and help support your immune system.
*Nicole S. Fennell MS, RDN, LD
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist