The Difference Between Food Sensitivities, Food Intolerance, and Food Allergies:
IgG food sensitivities are different from IgE food allergies in several important ways. Food sensitivities are developed, are often symptomatically easier to tolerate (which is also a reason that they go undiagnosed), and they can be reversed. IgE food allergies are often something children are born with, they cannot be reversed, and their symptoms can be severe and even life-threatening. By contrast, a food intolerance is due to an individual’s underproduction of a certain enzyme needed to break down a component of food. Symptoms of food intolerance are initially limited to local GI discomfort, are not life threatening, but can eventually lead to leaky gut.
While the symptoms of IgG food sensitivities are not as dramatic as those of IgE food allergies, they can lead to other medical conditions over time and compromise an individual’s long term health and create a dramatic loss in their quality of life, or in the case of a child, in the entire family’s quality of life. Conventional medical education generally does not cover the diagnosis and treatment of leaky gut syndrome and the resulting food sensitivities because neither condition is considered acute. Integrative practitioners, particularly Licensed Naturopathic Physicians, are taught to look at how the systems of the body interact and overlap, so the diagnosis and treatment of leaky gut and food sensitivities has an important place in their holistic training.
Diagnosing Food Sensitivities:
There is a constellation of symptoms to look for if you suspect your child has food allergies. If you see any or all of the following—unusually high level of irritability, atypical inability to focus, hyperactivity, GI symptoms such as constipation or diarrhea, rashes, or excessive respiratory symptoms such as mucus or coughing—see a licensed Naturopathic physician for a diagnosis and treatment plan.
During your appointment we will take a full medical history, discuss the symptoms your child has been experiencing, do a comprehensive physical exam, and in the case of a young child, perform a minimally invasive finger prick blot test which can be done in our office.
Once the lab results are back, which usually takes two weeks, we write an individualized treatment plan based on the findings. In our office, we like to keep the plan manageable so that it feels sustainable for both children and caregivers. In the case of multiple food sensitivities, we advise 100% elimination of only one food at a time over a six-month period. While undergoing food elimination, we prescribe herbs and nutritional supplements that have been scientifically proven to heal the digestive tract and we source them in doses that are adjusted for the child’s weight and easy to take. We also educate both caregiver and child about health habits and lifestyle choices that can assist in breaking down proteins more efficiently during meal time and help prevent recurrence of leaky gut.
In the vast majority of cases, we have seen complete reversals of symptoms when our treatment protocol for leaky gut and food sensitivities is precisely followed and patients come for follow up care throughout the process. For example, symptoms such as extreme diaper rash, psoriasis, sinusitis, ADHD, anxiety, and chronic fatigue have gone away in just a matter of weeks. In the case of clinically diagnosed psychiatric conditions that require medication, our protocol has decreased defiant and self-destructive behaviors by improving the way the individual’s body responds to the prescribed pharmaceutical.
If you would like your child to be evaluated for food sensitivities in a gentle, non-invasive manner, please call our office at 802-989-7669 to schedule a consultation.
Some Useful Tips to Help Break Down Proteins at Mealtime:
- Take deep breaths with your child before a meal: The stress response interferes with digestion. Taking deep breaths helps to stop the stress response and relax the body, aiding in digestion.
- Remind your child to chew slowly and thoroughly: this helps mechanically by physically making the food smaller but also helps the mouth make more amylase, the enzyme in saliva that starts digestion and triggers the stomach to be ready to receive and work to break down the protein in food.
- Encourage your child to drink water before or after their meals, but not during: we often use water to wash down large chunks of food before they are thoroughly chewed, and water dilutes the hydrochloric acid that breaks down protein in the stomach.
This article is not written to provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or to any other individual. The information written in this article is intended for general purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or professional care. You should not use this information in the place of the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider. Dr. Matthew Perchemlides is not liable or responsible for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis, or any other information, services, or product you obtain by reading the information in this article or through this site.
Post copyright 2017 by Minibury and Dr. Matthew Perchemlides.