Each system in our body is imperative to the general functioning of the entire body. However, the digestive system comes at the core of the all systems in the sense that it provides the other systems with nutrients to ensure that they function optimally. If the digestive system is not functioning well, the other body systems will suffer as a consequence. Food allergies and sensitivities are one of the primary factors causing a myriad of health complications. Naturopathic medicine is a unique basic health care system that combines modern scientific knowledge of medicine with the traditional and natural forms of medicine to stimulate the healing power of the body and treat the main cause of a particular disease. Food sensitivity testing is a tool that many naturopathic doctors will use to determine the underlying cause of various illnesses in the body.
How is naturopathic food sensitivity and allergy testing done?
There are a number of methods naturopathic doctors use to test for food sensitivities. Some of them include:
1. Diet elimination
Diet elimination is a safe and economically friendly way to determine food sensitivities. This involves eliminating all potentially allergenic foods from the diet and consuming an anti-inflammatory diet for 6-12 weeks. The patient monitors their symptoms/condition in question during this time, looking for any changes or improvements with the elimination of the foods. After the initial period of restriction, food are then reintroduced one at a time until when the symptoms will arise again and food sensitivity will be suspected. This is a very subjective way to test for food sensitivities and has no diagnostic value. This method is also not suitable for people who have had severe allergic reactions or anaphylaxis. In the case where a true food allergy is suspected, referral to an allergist is necessary where they can perform an allergy test such as a RAST test, patch test or scratch test.
2. Electro dermal Food Allergy Testing
This is a skin testing method used by some alternative practitioners to detect ostensible sensitivity to allergens. In this kind of testing, the patient is told by the practitioner to hold a machine and electrical frequencies of food are tested against the body’s reaction to those foods. This works by the brain interpreting those signals and eliciting skin resistance responses that are read by the machine. One of the advantages of this testing is the fact that it is painless and ideal for children. Secondly, the food being tested does not have to have been consumed recently for it to work, but more accurate results can be expected if the food had been consumed recently. However, this method of allergy has not been tested extensively and there is limited research backing this food sesitivity testing method.
3. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) Sensitivity Testing
Food sensitivities are a result of a delayed reaction that is mediated by the IgG antibody. Production of this antibody by the immune system results in a variety of symptoms.
Why should I have naturopathic food sensitivity testing done?
Firstly, the digestive system is one of the most important organ systems in your body. If you are suffering from a food allergy or intolerance, understanding the way your body reacts to the foods you consume can provide you with valuable information on the way your body functions.
Secondly, it is the best way to cure intolerance in the sense that when you consume the food that your body is intolerant to you are creating inflammation in your digestive system. However, if you give your body time to heal the damaged tissues, you can resume eating the food in certain moderate quantities.
Naturopathic doctors take a practical approach to health and apply all of the principles to help in the prevention of disease. In case you are suffering from any food sensitivity or have suspicion of a possible food sensitivity, a consultation with a Naturopathic doctor will help determine if food sensitivity testing is an appropriate choice and will help guide you through the testing process and provide a treatment plan.