Want to take a LEAP?

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Have you ever tried to cut foods out of your diet to feel better only to not feel any different? Or, only a little better? Or worse? A lot of people I talk to cut out gluten thinking that’s what’s causing the problems. And, they feel a little better. Or, they cut out dairy and get the same results.

Using an untargeted elimination diet is like using a shotgun to hit something tiny, say, a fly. You scatter your attempts over a large area and you might find the food or foods that are causing your symptoms. Or, probably not. If you were trying to shoot something small, like a fly, wouldn’t it be better to use something that you could aim at that small target? Like a laser?

Although there isn’t a gold standard for food sensitivity testing, I’ve started using Mediator Release Testing (MRT) in my practice. MRT looks at the mediators, or chemical messengers, your immune cells give off when exposed to food and chemicals. The test looks at 120 foods and 30 chemicals. These mediators then cause you not to feel good – headaches, migraines, fatigue, brain fog, or digestive issues just to name a few of the issues they can cause.

One of the reasons I like MRT is that the test quantifies the response of your immune cells to foods and chemicals. We can then develop an elimination diet based on how your immune system responds to the tested foods and chemicals. We start with the foods that have the smallest reaction. You eat those foods for a couple of weeks, until you start to feel better. Most people begin to feel better within a few days to a couple of weeks.

After you feel better, we add foods back in to your diet and start adding in untested foods. Before you know it, you feel better, know what foods to eat to keep you feeling that way, and know what foods cause you to feel worse.

So, what would you rather use – a shotgun or a laser – to shoot something small? I’d rather use a laser. And, with MRT I have a laser in my toolbox to help you feel better. If you want to know more, just click here to contact me.

It’s all so confusing! Is it an allergy, intolerance, or sensitivity?

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Our bodies don’t always like the foods we eat and beverages we drink. I’m sure this is no surprise. What can be confusing, though, are the different types of reactions to food and beverages that our body can produce. Understanding the differences can help figure out what is going on. However, even understanding the differences and labels for those responses can be confusing. There isn’t a standard definition of allergy, intolerance, or sensitivity that is agreed upon in the medical community. The definitions I use below are the ones I use with my clients.

The first type of reaction is a true allergy. With a true food allergy, there is an anaphylactic response. This means the person gets an itchy mouth, closing of the esophagus, swelling of the tongue, etc. These require an immediate response, usually with an EpiPen and a trip to the hospital.

Next, are food intolerances. These are when someone is intolerant to a food it is less serious and typically involves digestive issues. For example, lactose intolerance is a food intolerance. You are missing the enzyme lactase that is needed to break down lactose. Irritable bowel syndrome may be a cause of food intolerances. Stress and psychological can come into play – the thought of food can make you sick.

Food sensitivities are when your immune system releases mediators. There are about 100 different mediators that your immune cells can release in response to a food. Mediators can cause inflammation, edema (water retention), mucus secretion, and pain receptor activation among other symptoms. When you eat a food and your immune system responds by releasing mediators you feel a symptom from that food that may not necessarily seem to be related to the food. Some mediators are linked to migraines. Others to IBS. Others seem to be associated with arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.

There is no “gold standard” for food sensitivity testing. That’s another reason that is confusing. However, that doesn’t mean that food sensitivity testing shouldn’t be a tool you can use to figure out what is causing your problems.

Have you been tested for food sensitivities? If so, post your experience below. I’d be interested in hearing about it. If you’re interested in food sensitivity testing or seeing if it is right for you, you can contact me here.