Food sensitivities can be a major contributor to countless health problems. When most people think of food sensitivities, they think primarily of hives, anaphylaxis, and digestive discomfort. But the truth is food sensitivities can affect any system in the body and compromise your health and vitality in powerful (yet often subtle!) ways.
Food sensitivities have been strongly linked to:
- Autism Symptoms
- Focus problems
- Joint pain
- Stomach pain
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Decreased libido
- Decreased exercise stamina
- Acid reflux
- and much more
Food sensitivities are difficult to uncover because effects are often delayed for hours or even days. Additionally, there are countless types of food sensitivities. Some food sensitivities are due to immune reactions (such as classic IgE allergy or delayed-type IgG hypersensitivity), while others are due to metabolic difficulties from genetics or nutrient imbalances (such as histamine or oxalate intolerances). This makes testing for food sensitivities a complicated proposition, but we are confident we can guide you to uncovering whether you have food sensitivities and, if so, which ones. This is done through a combination of consulting, food sensitivity education, and lab testing.
Testing for a classic allergic response (IgE-mediated immune reaction) is relatively straightforward. A simple blood test will usually do the trick. These are important to uncover, but most food sensitivities are not IgE mediated.
Testing for delayed sensitivities is important but less straightforward than many believe. Almost everyone develops IgG antibodies (associated with delayed sensitivity symptoms) to foods they regularly consume, but not everyone develops symptoms. Whether or not you actually develop symptoms or are affected based on foods identified in IgG testing is highly dependent on how much microscopic food is getting past your gut lining and getting into your bloodstream and how much of an inflammatory response ensues. Intestinal permeability (“leaky gut”) is a common problem, especially in those with food sensitivities. The factors that determine how much food is getting into your bloodstream are:
- Food type and quality
- Insufficient digestion
- Low stomach acid
- Insufficient pancreatic enzymes
- Insufficient brush border enzymes
- Gut permeability
- Chronic infection and/or gut dysbiosis
- Gluten and dairy are proven intestinal-lining disruptors
- Nutrient depletion
- Insufficient secretory IgA
- Intestinal permeability from above factors
All of the above can be assessed or tested.
Total secretory IgA is the one of the first tests one should order if you suspect delayed food sensitivities or other environmentally-induced immune reaction concerns. This simple saliva test measures the amount of protective secretory IgA your mucus membranes are producing. You need enough secretory IgA to “ward off” food particles and prevent them from entering your circulation where they’ll create immune complexes with antibodies and, later, cause symptoms. This test is only available to clients.
Complementing the secretory IgA test is the Mucosal Immune Reactivity Screen. This is an important test for reactivity to many of the most common and most damaging food sensitivities. More advanced testing is sometimes required, but we take your individual case into account so we can minimize unnecessary testing and save you money.
Besides the preliminary tests of Total Secretory IgA and the Mucosal Immune Reactivity Screen, we can guide you in purchasing more advanced tests and assessments to get to the bottom of your issues. At Tao of Venus, we understand food reactions and are expert at teasing out what foods are causing your problems. If you want a personal assessment with guidance for food sensitivities, we are happy to talk with you.