Northeast Wisconsin
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • July 2017
Written by 

Food sensitivities

In my last article I discussed gut health and the importance of the microbiome as it pertains to health, and the role in leaky gut or intestinal permeability. Today I would like to delve into food sensitivities as this can be a factor in pursuing improved gut health.

Food sensitivities are different than food allergies. Often times a food allergy can be much easier to uncover as the reaction to a particular food (think peanuts) is pretty quick and can be life threatening, requiring medical intervention. These patients often carry an EpiPen with them. This is an adverse reaction traditionally described as an IgE reaction, which is different than an IgA or an IgG reaction. One can think of the immune system like the armed forces, which has several branches like the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines like IgE, IgM, IgA, IgG, etc.

Unlike the quick responsive IgE reaction food sensitivities tend to have a delayed reaction, which can be more difficult to figure out. Some clinicians favor an elimination diet while others, like myself, prefer to use specialty labs to look at the body’s immune response to commonly reactive foods. Depending on which lab is utilized you can have several foods tested to help uncover some culprits that can be driving a negative immune response and creating inflammation in the body. Common inflammatory foods include gluten, dairy, corn, egg and soy to name a few. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease, which is triggered by ingestion of gluten. According to The New England Journal of Medicine, “Celiac disease is one of the most common lifelong disorders in both Europe and the U.S.” The American Celiac Society says, “The majority of celiac patients have visited five or more doctors prior to diagnosis… taking an average of five to 10 years, after initial presentation, for celiac disease to be diagnosed.” Approximately 87 percent of celiac patients are undiagnosed. Gluten sensitivity is much more common than celiac disease and involves a different process with the end result the same: avoidance of gluten. Some symptoms of gluten sensitivity include joint pain, muscle pain, skin rashes, fatigue, headaches including migraines, brain fog, reflux and IBS just to name a few. Often, traditional blood work will demonstrate low vitamin D and iron due to absorption issues accompanying the sensitivities.

One should question why these values are low and consider further evaluation including food sensitivity to uncover the cause. Specialty labs such as Cyrex and Vibrant Wellness in California have some of the best testing for gluten sensitivity and additional foods as well as leaky gut or intestinal permeability. Celiac markers can be tested with your family doctor. Children can also be tested for gluten through a blood panel or a finger poke. According to the Journal of Attention Disorders, “All children clinically diagnosed with ADHD or their parents report a significant improvement in their behavior and functioning after 6 months on a gluten-free diet.”

If you are looking to uncover potential food sensitivities your functional medicine practitioner can help you start your journey to feeling better. We are here to help you get started. 

Dr. Amy Nussbaum Schubbe

Dr. Amy Nussbaum Schubbe is a board-certified chiropractor who has been helping families achieve better health for 25 years. She is certified in functional medicine, nutritional counseling and is a certified gluten practitioner. She is on the Fox Valley Celiac Board and counsels newly diagnosed Celiac and gluten sensitive patients. She also has additional training from the Hashimoto Institute.Her office is located at Nussbaum Chiropractic, 873 N. Casaloma Drive in Appleton. Call 920-734-2400 to get started on a better path to health!

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