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How to Identify and Manage Food Sensitivities Around the Holidays with Naturopathic Medicine
Even though you may not have an allergy to a specific food or environmental agent, you may be prone to a food sensitivity. Sensitivities can cause some discomfort but with the help of a Naturopathic Doctor you can identify and manage sensitivities.
One major reason for this is the predominance of food allergies, and the more recent acknowledgement of food sensitivities. The immune system reacts differently to an allergy versus a sensitivity, and thus the repercussions of consuming the offending foods varies. If a food is not tolerated by the body, the established barriers of ‘self’ and ‘non-self’
The list is anything but limited in terms of the reactions the body can have when a food is deemed ‘foreign’ to the body. These allergies or sensitivities are not necessarily present at, or before birth, but can develop in childhood, and even well into adulthood. At any age, they are not a welcome occurrence. However, by knowing and accepting the impacts that any which food can have on the body, a person’s life can drastically change.
There are several foods that have made the top list of allergenic foods. Within that list, there can be allergies and/or sensitivities present to one or many. The list is as follows:
3. Wheat (gluten)
Aside from the commonly known immediate reactions to food, such as hives, rash, or anaphylaxis (throat swelling), there is an even larger list of greatly varied symptoms that can occur, hours, or even days after the consumption of a food. For some, a large amount of that food needs to be consumed for a reaction to occur, for others, only a miniscule amount, possibly hidden in a food, can be enough to set off a whirlwind of symptoms.
Possible symptoms include:
* heartburn, indigestion, stomach cramps, gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, excess respiratory mucous, blurry vision, allergic shiners (bags under the eyes), achy joints, chronic pain, itchy throat, itchy skin, candida eruptions, fatigue, poor concentration, irritability, difficulty sleeping, menstrual cramps, irregular periods, slow wound healing, depression, weak muscle strength, headaches & migraines, frequent colds & flu, ear infections, sinusitis, eczema, psoriasis, acne, asthma, arthritis, and autoimmune diseases.
Some of these symptoms can last for days after the food is consumed, and if the food continues to be consumed, further serious health concerns can develop, such as autoimmune diseases. The food that our ancestors consumed is far different than what is available to us in the grocery stores. Food is no longer just food, but what comes with it, is a multitude of hundreds of foreign pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, as well as the ever emerging presence of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which we have yet to learn the full, long term repercussions of in our food system as a whole, or in our bodies. Food has also genetically changed and mutated over the course of hundreds of years. Most land has grown the same crop year after year without the rotation of crops, which is intended to allow the soil to be replenished and give different nutrients to the foods it inhabits and births. The food industry has changed the way we eat. Thus it is imperative that we adapt and change the way we eat in order to ensure our bodies receive nourishment from the food we eat. For many, that involves the removal of some, or several, foods from the diet.
Symptoms of food allergies and sensitivities are a red flag from the body to listen to what it needs and what it cannot tolerate. Sometimes it can be hard to decipher what food(s) are at the core of the problem. That is where an elimination diet and/or allergy/sensitivity testing comes in. It may be that the removal of the food for six or more months (along with other dietary, supplement, and lifestyle alterations)
Any symptom produced by the body is meant to be heard and thus addressed. Naturopathic Doctors help clarify the issue of what to eat to ensure proper nutrient absorption. It is worth the effort to discover what foods your body is not able to tolerate, and to make the appropriate changes. A qualified licenced ND, such as Vancouver Naturopath Dr. Krista Moyer at Broadway Wellness, can help you to modify these changes in your diet as well as other lifestyle changes to best suit your body’s need for balanced health.
Broadway Wellness is a friendly and community focused Vancouver massage therapy based clinic, with additional focus on naturopathic medicine, and chiropractic care, offering services in a beautiful and expansive centre, conveniently located in the heart of Fairview – near Broadway & Oak, in Vancouver BC, Canada. http://www.broadwaymassageandtherapy.com/