You’ve heard the term “food allergies,” right? Who hasn’t as it seems to be something that is becoming more and more common these days. In fact, food allergies are now the FIFTH leading chronic illness in the U.S. and it is on the rise. In children, food allergies increased 18 percent from 1997-2007. Today, it is estimated 1 out of every 13 children has a food allergy.
Most people that have food allergies (or that have children with food allergies) don’t even realize it! Why? Because say “food allergies” and most people think of severe (anaphylactic) reactions…the kind that can even be life threating. But not all food allergy symptoms are as obvious. Even if they are noticed they are not always associated with food allergies.
Food allergies occur when the immune system “overreacts” and causes tissue inflammation, organ dysfunction, and an array of other symptoms. They typically trigger immediate antibody reactions in the bloodstream.
Although the terms allergy and sensitivity are often used interchangeably, some sensitivities are not true allergies. Sensitivities usually trigger a slower response with the cells and are more subtle to detect.
Food sensitivities affect up to 50 percent of Americans. At times more difficult to spot than true “allergies,” sensitivities cause a wide range of very individualized symptoms.
I have had patients that thought their allergy or sensitivity symptoms were “normal” for them. I have had some patients that suspected that they had food allergies but were too afraid to take the test as they just didn’t want to find out what they were allergic to. They thought it would be too hard to avoid the foods they love. While I won’t say that it is super easy, I have guided many patients to restoring their health and it is doable and ALWAYS worth it!
If you have never had a food allergy test or suspect that your health problems could be related to food sensitivities, I encourage you to schedule an appointment. We’ll review over your health history and your symptoms and discuss a plan. Don’t let your quality of life suffer and develop other health problems by continuing to live with food allergies!