Discovering and managing food sensitivities…
Have you ever found that your gut is bloated, nauseous or you get a skin rash and you can’t quite pin point why? It could be IgG food sensitivity.
In my recent investigations around the short downturn in my health, I did a bunch of tests via my integrative GP. One of them was the ALCAT test, which checks for the reaction of your white blood cells against foods to see if you have any specific intolerance. It helps to determine the top foods to rotate out of the diet. As it’s a newer test, there some controversy out there about its efficacy. Note: It does not check for IgE allergies which are the immediate reaction of the body to an allergen.
In the time since in first went to the GP I discovered my very low Zinc and Vitamin D3 levels, and have since found a huge improvement. However, I have still noticed that I sometimes have small eczema flare ups towards the end of the day. So I thought it was worthwhile seeing if there was something else I was eating that might be triggering it.
The test gave me a list of foods in the high, medium and low Irritant category, as well as foods that showed no reaction. Coffee was second on the list in the highly intolerant category. Oh woe is me.
Coffee is one of my big loves. I love the taste I love the smell. I don’t even need the caffeine as I have a lot of energy now but it’s something I really enjoy.
The plan is to cut out the coffee (and other items in the high list) for 6 WHOLE MONTHS! Then gradually re-introduce, and look to relate specific symptoms as you increase the amount. In the meantime I will be working on gut healing as well. Irritants can aggravate and cause a leaky gut and a leaky gut will let more irritants into the bloodstream causing symptoms.
I’ve done something like this about ten years ago following the RPAH elimination diet under the care of a registered dietician. Elimination diets are much harder as you remove everything down to a very restricted diet and introduce foods slowly, one by one over months. That was before this type of testing is available so it’s great to have something that I can use to help narrow down possible causes. It saves a lot of time and deprivation. The plan for reintroduction with this involves reintroducing foods on a rotation after a period of elimination and then monitoring to see if the symptoms appear. They also recommend keeping all foods on rotation, daily habits of always eating the exact same meal or drink are considered to create a perfect storm for the body to start to react to once safe food stuff.
I don’t think we should deprive ourselves of something we love as long as it is not significantly harming us. It’s about having the knowledge, choice and options every time you put something to your lips. If you have a little bit and you can manage the side effects, great — go for it.
In the last week without coffee, I have found my energy levels soar even higher. and I can easily distinguish when I have a reaction after accidentally eating an irritant food. It has definitely been worth not eating some foods for a while, as the results are so worth it.
Now its time to focus on what I can have not what I can’t. Nourishing and healing teas, and a long list of wonderful foods in the “good” list. Natural weigh loss often occurs when you remove irritants from the gut. Awesome!