Health & Fitness

Food Sensitivity Here’s What You Need To Know

Food sensitivity kits have boomed over the past few years. Some food sensitivity testing kits are highly recommended by functional medicine practitioners and can be used by consumer in the comfort of their homes.

While the hopes are high with these kits testing food sensitivity, the results are inaccurate. In the end, consumers could end up spending hundreds of dollars on these kits and can still not be sure about their food sensitivities.

When weighed against actual tests that include people and their food sensitivities, the evidence shows that people do better and experience fewer symptoms when they eat healthier (eat less processed foods). In these cases, food testing sensitivity might prove to be more accurate. 

What causes food sensitivities?

IgG “Food-Specific immunoglobulin G” is a test based on a small blood sample. However, one can conclude that certain food sensitivities are caused by:

Gut Dysbiosis – Gut dysbiosis is a broad term used to define the imbalance of gut microbiota.

Maldigestion – Maldigestion is the condition for one cannot absorb nutrients. . Maldigestion can occur due to infection, gut surgery and celiac disease, to name a few.

Limbic system reactivity – the limbic system is responsible for smell coordination, pleasant memories and inducing emotional reactions. Certain foods may trigger limbic system reactivity in a negative manner.

Ingredients that commonly cause food allergies or sensitivities include but are not limited to:

  • Artificial colourants
  • Flavour enhancers (sodium glutamate)
  • Biogenetic amines (serotonin, histamine, tyramine)
  • Sulphates (found in alcohols and some medications)
  • Preservatives (benzoates, sorbates)
  • Sweeteners (aspartame)

Sometimes, even when foods may not contain these additives, the body, based on its unique “makeup,” can still experience allergic or food-sensitive reactions to foods consumed.

While food sensitivity test kits may incorporate various aspects, it mainly focus on how much IgG antibodies are found in the blood.

The test kit might not include specifics such as meal timing, intermittent fasting, meal frequency, fibre and histamine intake. In essence, if the gut’s microbiota is already unbalanced, the chances of having a food sensitivity reaction to a myriad of foods are significantly higher. 

Symptoms of food sensitivity

  • Food sensitivity symptoms manifest in various ways such as:
  • Hives
  • Rashes
  • Itching skin
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness, fainting, light-headedness
  • Tingling in the mouth

There are dangers to food sensitivity because when someone is severely allergic, it could result in anaphylaxis.

When anaphylaxis occurs, a person may experience these life-threatening symptoms and seeking a medical emergency is critical. 

  • Closing or tightening of airways
  • A formation of a lump-like feeling in your throat which prevents breathing
  • Swelling of throat
  • An extreme drop in blood pressure
  • The body goes into shock
  • Rapid heartbeat/pulse
  • Loss of consciousness

Prevent food allergies and sensitivity

If you live with food sensitivities or allergies, here are some ways to prevent reactions.

  • Check the ingredients
  • Avoid pantry mix-ups
  • Don’t contaminate your food by cross-using utensils and equipment
  • Always wash hands
  • Wash dishes thoroughly