You may be eating certain foods for years without realizing you have a food allergy.
Carolee Bateson-Koch, an author, and a doctor of chiropractic and naturopathy once said, “The greatest challenge with allergy is recognizing it.”
The most common food allergies are to milk, wheat, soy, shellfish, eggs, peanuts, fish, and tree nuts. There are also cases where people are allergic to cane sugar, chocolate, and coconut. Realistically, you could be allergic to any food, and how would you know?
Also, how would you know the seriousness of the food allergy? Food sensitivity is the common term used to describe food allergies, food intolerances, and other adverse food reactions. Typical allergies include hay fever, eye allergies, nose allergies, hives, asthma, angioneurotic edema, eczema, or an intestinal allergy. How do you know you have food allergies? You may experience symptoms such as circles under your eyes, red ears, red cheeks, or you may experience aggression or a lack of alertness. Some allergic reactions may even be fatal from anaphylaxis reaction.
You know you have a true food allergy when you ingest food and it acts as an antigen. Antibodies known as IgE (immunoglobulin E) bind the food antigen, which causes an immediate reaction. IgG and IgM are antibodies known to cause onset delayed allergic reactions.
Over 90% of all food allergies are considered delayed onset, which makes the cause difficult to determine. Medical doctors will use certain allergy tests such as skin-prick tests or the IgE RAST blood test, and they are not known to detect the majority of food allergies.
Here are five ways to help you detect food allergies.
The Single Food Elimination Diet
On this diet, you’ll eliminate up to four suspect foods from your diet to help detect your food allergies. This is the simplest way of detecting a food allergy that is easy and inexpensive. The method can detect one food allergen at a time and it can provide you with an answer to detect your food allergy in a few days. The downside is this allergy test may not provide full answers and there could be other foods that may cause allergic reactions.
The Multiple Food Elimination Diet
The next step would be to eliminate every common allergenic food from your diet, including milk and dairy products, wheat, soy, corn, peanut butter, eggs, nuts, gluten, citrus fruits, chocolate, fish, and shellfish.
You would also cut out alcohol, caffeine, and artificial food additives, food coloring, and preservatives, which can be found in many processed foods. The diet would typically allow food items such as rice puffs, oats, barley, any fresh fruits (excluding citrus), most fresh vegetables, potatoes, meat and poultry, pure fruit juices, honey, and homemade soups.
This method can take 21-28 days to complete. The next part of the multiple food elimination diet is to reintroduce one eliminated food item per day with a quarter to half cup of the item every four hours. Make note of any reaction or changes that occur.
The Practical Rotary Diet
On this diet, any food will only be eaten once every four days. Foods from the same family (such as the Brassica family) can be eaten together or in the same meal so they follow the four-day protocol.
The diet helps identify the food allergens, while also minimizing any exposure to them. Watch out for any symptoms from eating certain foods. When you rotate your diet, your body won’t struggle with repetitive food stressors. The practical rotary diet may be difficult to follow for some people because it requires you to listen to your body.
RECOMMENDED: 6 Food Substitutes for Common Allergens
Applied Kinesiology/Muscle Testing
Dr. George Goodheart developed applied kinesiology in 1964 which tests the strength of various muscles in the body by using bioenergetic feedback. Applied kinesiology/muscle testing is highly individualized and it focuses on an in-depth system of analysis and allows the practitioner to focus on the whole body to determine muscular imbalances. The practitioners require months of practice to perform these tests effectively. It is known to help determine the causes of food allergies.
Bio-analysis and bio-energetics is a method of applied kinesiology/muscle testing to help detect your food, chemical, or environmental allergies, or other sensitivities.
Bio-analysis can obtain information from the body to determine the energetic level of intolerance such as particular food substances. Bio-energetic practitioners use a state of the art instrument called the GSR-120 unit. It helps create a homeostatic state by directing energy onto specific points on the body. The process is known to alleviate your food allergies.
ELISA/ACT/IgG Blood Tests
Nutrition-oriented physicians will use blood tests to diagnose and detect food allergies. Some tests may be convenient; however, the cost will vary from $130-$1,200. The ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) test is considered to be the best and most used laboratory food sensitivity testing method available.
ELISA is considered affordable and can detect both immediate (IgE) and delayed reactions (IgG). One of the unique abilities of the ELISA test is it can measure IgG4 antibodies, which is a subclass blocking antibody that was originally thought to have protective effects against allergies. The test can also detect for IgM and IgA antibodies, which are less common. IgG antibodies are found in 80-90% of all reactions from food allergies.
When you use food elimination diets or receive practical tests from highly trained health professionals, you are taking the necessary steps to detect possible food allergies. You don’t have to suffer anymore. Take the right steps to recognize your allergies and eliminate them from your diet.
Scott, J., Ph.D., “Muscle Testing For Allergies, Part 2,” Be Allergy Free! web site; http://www.cureyourownallergiesinminutes.com/Muscle-Testing-for-Allergies,-Part-2.html, last accessed March 11, 2014.
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“What is Bioenergetic Analysis?” Bioenergetic Analysis web site; http://www.bioenergetic-therapy.com/index.php/en/, last accessed March 11, 2014.
Nelson, J., “What is the best allergy testing method?” Mother Nature Network web site, Sept. 25, 2013; http://www.mnn.com/health/allergies/stories/what-is-the-best-allergy-testing-method.