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Are Food Sensitivities the same as Food Allergies?

People often confuse food sensitivities as being the same as food allergies. But it’s important to distinguish that these two things are very different reactions that occur in the body. Our bodies commonly produce two types of antibodies in response to foods: IgE (Immunoglobulin E), and IgG (Immunoglobulin G), and the resulting symptoms can look very different.

Food Allergies

Food allergies are triggered by IgE antibodies. They can appear very soon after eating a food that you react to and can be potentially very serious health conditions. Reactions to food allergies can include: Anaphylaxis, swelling, hives, breathing difficulties, itchy skin, etc. People with known food allergies typically carry around an Epi-pen for emergencies. And this is the reason why many schools banned children from bringing peanut-containing foods for lunch.

Food Sensitivities

Food Sensitivities are triggered by IgG antibodies, and typically take months to develop. Although the release of IgG antibodies to specific foods is considered normal, when the body is not able to remove all of the IgG/food antigen complexes, these leftover complexes deposit in the tissues and can promote inflammation in the body. The more regular these are a part of your diet, the more these complexes form, and can result in more inflammation that contributes to a wide-range of symptoms.

Food sensitivities can contribute to a wide variety of symptoms, including:

- Gas

- Bloating

- Fatigue

- Constipation

- Diarrhea

- Difficulties digesting food

- Headaches, migraines

- Troubles losing weight

- Skin rashes (eczema, etc.)

- Mood disorders

- Joint pain

- and more.

Food Sensitivity Testing

Determining which foods are contributing to the IgG reactions can be difficult to pinpoint. Elimination diets can be difficult to follow without knowing which specific foods are responsible for the reactions. Food Sensitivity Testing is a fast, specific way to identify these food sensitivities. It is performed by a simple finger prick or blood draw, and typically results are received within 2 weeks. Food sensitivity testing can help take the guesswork out of your diet, and really help identify any hidden food sensitivities that are causing your symptoms related to your gut.

If you are interested in determining whether Food sensitivities are contributing to your symptoms, book a consultation with a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) to see whether Food Sensitivity Testing may be right for you. Your ND will create an individualized treatment plan to address the inflammation that food sensitivities may cause in the body.

In Health,

Dr. Daniel Min, ND

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