Food allergies and food sensitivities are a central focus of my practice and my life. As someone who is Gluten and Soy intolerant myself I know quite intimately how impactful food allergies can be. For me, I was in constant pain until I finally figured it out Gluten in particular was the main offender, and when I stopped eating gluten it was kind of miraculous. All the cramping, diarrhea, gas and bloating just went away.
Not everyone who has food allergies or sensitivities has quite so dramatic an experience after testing themselves (I did a full Elimination Diet which you can read about HERE). Food allergies can cause a range of symptoms, from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) like I had or inflammatory bowel disease, to mild fatigue, headache, general malaise, even skin rashes and nasal congestion. So when you are trying to sort out a possible allergy or sensitivity, you have to pay attention to all of your symptoms, not just the digestive ones.
Allergies, Sensitivities and Tolerance Levels
Furthermore, its worthy to note that Allergies vs. Sensitivies are really a matter of degree. Whether you are allergic (meaning it will show up on a blood test) or sensitive (may or may not show up on a blood test) your experience of the symptoms can be just as dramatic and life altering.
You also may have a tolerance level for certain allergens and when you tip the scales, you see a reaction but not otherwise. I always explain it like this:
When you eat something you are allergic or sensitive to, your immune system responds but if it responds in kind, you experience little to no symptoms. This is your tolerance level. The reaction is happening and your body has it under control.
When the body over reacts or under reacts you experience the difference between your allergy tolerance level and the hyper-immune response, or lacking response as the case may, be but usually the immune system is hyper-reactive and this causes your symptoms.
7 Tips for Managing Food Allergies
Regardless of allergy vs. sensitivity or how far from tolerance your body and the allergens are taking you, there are many things you can do to manage food allergies. Here are my favorite 7 tips for how to manage food allergies today!
If you’re interested in knowing more about any of these suggestions or more about how Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can provide long term relief, please do not hesitate to contact me or book a consult in anytime!
Until next time,
Rebecca M H Kitzerow is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in La Center, Washington. With over a decade of experience she has won 10 Nattie consumer choice awards from Natural Awakenings Magazine since 2014.