Lactose intolerant, allergen-free, gluten-free, Celiac's Disease... there are a lot of terms being tossed around today. It seems as though every star in Hollywood is touting some new way of eating and it drives the masses to trying it out, whether they fully understand it or not.
I don't understand them all either, but it appears what many of them seek to do is limit your intake of foods that are often allergens or most often not tolerated by the general population. The problem with this, of course, is that eliminating a whole food group really is not wise unless you know for certain that it causes your body harm.
How can they harm you? One way is if the food is a true allergen to your system. Shellfish, strawberries, peanuts, these foods commonly cause true allergic reactions in some people. In fact, the reactions can be deadly. The second way is if there is an intolerance to a particular food. Most people who cannot eat dairy are lactose intolerant. A true allergy will produce an immediate reaction whereas the effects of an intolerance could delay for several days.
It is important to figure these allergies and intolerances out. True allergies are usually a little more obvious however there is a simple blood test that will test for the most common ones. It is called an IGE test. I have known a few people whose blood work showed a true food allergy they were not aware of. They may have noticed feeling a little bloated or migraines after eating that food and naturally steered clear of it but until it was confirmed by blood work they didn't know just how dangerous eating it was for their body.
How do you know if you have any food intolerances? Again, you can do the trial and error method. I have always steered clear of poppy seeds because historically they cause me to vomit (or other side effects) within an hour of eating them. But what about intolerances that have a delayed reaction? Besides some diligent sleuthing it can be difficult to figure out.
That's where the IGG Wallingford test comes in. It is not a new test, but few doctors know about it. This blood test checks your blood against a pre-determined list of common food intolerances. The results will show what foods/substances you are intolerant to and to what degree. These foods, the ones you are intolerant to, cause antibodies to build up in your system which in turn cause inflammation in your system. The more inflammation in your system, the more breakdown you will feel.
When I had my IGG test I was pretty sure my results would come back with an intolerance to wheat because I had problems with wheat when I was a kid. But there were also a lot of surprises: rice, bananas, beef, chocolate, barley and a few others.
So once you get your results back, then what? You have a choice to make: 1) simply avoid these foods as much as possible without completely eliminating them from your diet. This may help with the reactions you have to some foods and rid your body of some of the inflammation. But there is another option. 2) Do a complete fast from these foods for 4-6 months to allow the antibodies and inflammation to decrease. As with some childhood allergies, you may "grow out of" these intolerances and be able to occasionally add them back into your diet with little to no inflammation or adverse effects.
If you would like more information on IGG or IGE testing you can try this link here.
Today is Day 19 of 31 Days of Surviving Chronic Illness. You can start Day 1 here.