Dr. Brody’s Natural Approach to Food Allergies
Food allergies and/or sensitivities can be a difficult thing to deal with. When you eat something that does not agree with you, it can cause migraines, loose stools, gas, bloating, sweating, and other uncomfortable symptoms.
We can do two things to help manage these symptoms – avoid those foods altogether (which doesn’t fix the problem) or, you can learn to listen to and understand your body.
Lets clear up some terminology to better understand whats happing inside your body when you eat something that causes digestive symptoms.
- Food Allergies–Think of these as reactions that cause a life and death situation. Think of a child in first grade allergic to peanuts. If they accidentally eats a peanut their throat will start to itch, they might develop hives, their throat can start closing making it difficult to breath, and they might need an Epi-pen. These are quick IgE food reactions that produce a lot of inflammation and activation of the immune system in the short term.
- Food Sensitivities–Think of these as long term low grade immune reactions that are not life and death. These usually have to do with a different part of your immune system (IgG) that produces a long term low grade reaction in your body.
- Food Intolerances--Think of your friend who is sensitive to dairy. If they eat dairy you will know or better said you will smell it. These intolerances might cause a lot of bloating, gas, and diarrhea. This specific reaction has to do with the body no longer making the enzymes to break down certain types of foods and in this case a lack of lactase to break down dairy. They do not have an allergic response, rather their body is not equipped with the tools to properly digest this food.
- Lectins–These are carbohydrate binding proteins that are found all over your body and in different foods. Lectins are part of a very specific area of your immune system that can cause low grade inflammation leading to many digestive issues. If you think of tennis balls and velcro you can get an appreciation of lectins. If you take ten tennis balls and place them in a box and then cut up strips of velcro and place it in the same box, and shake it up you will come to find that the 10 tennis balls rolling around eventially all stick together. This is essentially what happens in your body when you eat a bad lectin. You have this big glob of food/cells that stuck together that isn’t supposed to be, so your body activates your immune system to get rid of it. This activation leads to inflammation and digestive symptoms.
Food Sensitivities are Not Set in Stone
Many patients who come to my clinic have had food sensitivity testing done before and they are always surprised when they find out they are sensitive to a foods that they have never had before. The best way to explain this reaction is via an analogy. The perfect storm. Picture your digestive
tract as a bucket of water, if you start placing large stones in it until it’s just about to overflow and then add a pebble in the bucket, even though it’s so small, it will cause the water to spill over. This same analogy makes sense if you apply it to food. You might be sensitive to a particular food at a given time but that might go away once your immune system calms down. If we take away some of the bigger stones, when the little pebble comes around, your reaction may not be so severe anymore. This is a really important concept since most people enjoy eating, and being able to have treats every now and then.
Not All Fruits and Vegetables are Created Equal
We have a belief that if something is a fruit or vegetable then it is good for us but sadly this is not always true. There are certain natural foods that are simply not good for you but may be good for someone else. Take lima beans for example, If you are a blood type A, they are really bad for you as they can cause severe digestive issues. This is because of a lectin found in these legumes kindles a low grade inflammatory lectin response with the sugar (GalNAc) that makes you a Blood Type A. This lectin from lima beans is the exact chemical still used today to test for blood typing. And there are many more of these different lectins that will respond to different people and not others. This is the world of glycobiology and is a very complicated study. But simply put we can use this information about lectins along with other data to determine what foods you will react to and which ones you will not to fix your digestive symptoms.
Services and Tests To Help You Heal Faster:
- Personalized Nutrition Plan
- Hydrogen Gas Testing
- Indican Testing
- Utopia Microbiome/Microbiota Testing and Analysis
- Opus 23 Pro DNA Analysis
Free Discovery Session
A free Discovery Session includes analysis of your blood type, receiving dietary advice, and supplement suggestions with no obligation.
To schedule a free discovery session, please contact Meaghan at the Personalized Natural Medicine Clinic, located in a beautiful Victorian house in the heart of Newtown, Connecticut.