San Antonio nutritionists will tell you that good, nutritious food has a tremendous effect on our lives, positively and negatively. Most people have been taught about the positive effects, but very few realize how many negative effects result from the everyday decisions that we make about the foods that we eat. Not everyone likes or eats the same foods. We begin developing our tastes at a very young age, and because of our environment, there may be foods that we are never exposed to at all. In some cultures, foods are limited by tradition and/or availability.
No matter the reason, most of us exist on a diet that could, and should, be much more varied than it is. Just like many things that we enjoy more than we should, we occasionally develop sensitivities to the foods that we eat. When most people think about food allergies, they think about anaphylactic reactions, similar to those that occur due to well known allergens like peanuts and shellfish. These reactions are usually severe and immediate, but there is a completely different type of reaction that can occur due to a different type of food sensitivity.
Some food sensitivities do not occur immediately, nor are they as apparent or severe. These sensitivities may take as many as three days to become apparent. For this reason, they may be much harder to pinpoint. For example, it is sometimes hard to associate the migraine headache you get on Wednesday, to the meal you ate last Sunday.
Another problem is that the symptoms that you might experience are so many and varied, that you may not associate them with foods at all. A complete list would be much too long to include here, but in broad terms food sensitivities can cause many kinds of digestive issues, emotional problems, energy and activity issues, problems involving the eyes, ears, nose, heart or lungs, memory and concentration problems, muscle and joint problems, skin problems such as acne, rashes, hives or hair loss, weight gain, water retention, insomnia, headaches and many more.
Food allergies can be generally broken down into 4 major groups, from Type I to Type IV.
Type I – IgE mediated – immediate to within a few hours
Tests – pinprick or blood draw
Reactions – type I can include, for example, itching, histamine reactions and anaphylaxis, such as hives and difficulty breathing.
Treatment – desensitization, allergy shots, homeopathics,TBM, NAET, etc. These cause a type I, IgE, to convert to a type II reaction.
Type II – IgG and IgM mediated – delayed sensitivity, also known as an Arthus reaction or cytotoxic. Usually from 30 min. to two hours later.
Reactions – Graves’ disease, idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura, myasthenia gravis, swollen joints, gas, belching or migraine headaches.
Treatment – avoidance of food that triggers the inflammatory tissue response. This is identified by ELISA IgG testing. Treatment can also include reducing the subluxations caused by the offending foods. Example: migraines can be triggered by chocolate, coffee, eggs, etc. The treatment would include avoidance of the foods followed by chiropractic adjustments to the occiput, T5 through T9 and L1 of the spine.
Type III -IgA, G, M and complement – these delayed reactions, also known as immune complexes, can manifest many hours later.
Reactions – These humeral reactions trigger most autoimmune responses like, rheumatoid, lupus (SLE) and glomerulonephritis.
Treatment – much more intensive, including IgG and IgA testing, balancing of blood with nutritional/functional medicine and overall body detoxification
Type IV – cell mediated – also known as cytolytic
Examples – contact dermatitis like poison ivy, Addison’s disease, transplant tissue rejection, AIDS.
Treatment – always involves looking for the root cause.
If you suspect food sensitivities are slowing you down, a simple blood test is all it takes to know for sure. Call a San Antonio nutritionist that can help. In San Antonio, the number is 210-490-9169 to schedule an appointment with nutritionist Doreen A. Lewis, D.C., CCN, DABCI, DACBN!