Causes and Treatment for Food Sensitivities
Food intolerances are often caused by intestinal permeability (aka leaky gut). Our intestinal lining is vital to our health. It's designed to let needed nutrients into our bloodsteam, while keeping out everything that's harmful to our health. With leaky gut, our intestinal lining becomes too permeable, letting things into our bloodstream that don't belong there. Amino acids are a nutrient meant to be allowed through. They are the building blocks of proteins in our food, and the building blocks of cells in our bodies. With leaky gut, our bodies let proteins through before they've been completely broken down into amino acids. We're not talking big chunks of food – just molecules bigger than they should be, in a form our body can't recognize as food. So, the body mounts a defense by activating the immune system and ramping up inflammation.
Other causative factors for food intolerances include Gut infections, parasites, SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth), histamine overload, parasites and dysbiosis.
Food sensitivities which continue to go unrecognized oftentimes feed into many common chronic health conditions—such as IBS, autoimmune diseases, autism, chronic infections and leaky gut syndrome, among others—which often mask the root issue of food sensitivity or intolerance.
First it’s necessary to determine whether the symptoms you are experiencing are due to food intolerances. The gold standard testing is to guide you through elimination diets and food diaries to determine which foods you are reacting to. I also offer comprehensive food testing through an independent laboratory you prefer.
After a sensitivity is detected, your treatment options could include:
- Abstaining completely from the trigger food
- Gradual desensitization to the food in question
- Medication or supplementation (with probiotics or digestive enzymes)
- Healing an associated disorder (like leaky gut, imbalanced gut flora, enzyme-deficiency, etc.) and making attempts to reintroduce the food once underlying conditions have been addressed