What is a Food Sensitivity Test?

Food IgGFood sensitivity is not a disease. However, it may play a role in causing disease or worsening certain symptoms. A protein called zonulin regulates the permeability of the connection between cells in the digestive tract. Zonulin is up-regulated by gluten and pathogenic bacteria, leading to increased intestinal permeability; also called “leaky gut” [1]. With increased permeability in the gut, larger molecules that normally stay in the gut can cross into the bloodstream and induce an immune reaction. Chronic irritation to the digestive tract from a highly reactive food (IgG reactive food) can accelerate the inflammatory process in the gut wall and make matters worse.

 

Your body can react to different foods in a variety of ways. There is growing evidence to support both the short-term and long-term benefits of eliminating IgG reactive foods from an individuals diet. Migraine headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, fatigue, weight gain and eczema have all been associated with continued consumption of reactive foods. Undiagnosed food sensitivities can also present as:

  • Rashes
  • Mood and memory disturbances
  • Behavioural problems
  • Bronchitis
  • Asthma
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Gas
  • Bloating

 

It can be difficult to determine what specific food is responsible for a given reaction. An IgG Food Sensitivity test is an effective way of determining which foods are causing an individuals reaction. IgG food sensitivities can present hours to days after the consumption of a food, further illustrating the desire to test.

 

Upon receiving your individual test results, an elimination diet of the reactive foods along with a gut healing protocol are suggested to ensure proper healing of the digestive tract. Most people see improvements within a few weeks of their protocol, however as with any treatment results may vary from individual to individual.

 

References:

[1] Hanna Karakuła-Juchnowicz, Patrycja Szachta, Aneta Opolska, Justyna Morylowska-Topolska, Mirosława Gałęcka, Dariusz Juchnowicz, Paweł Krukow & Zofia Lasik (2016) The role of IgG hypersensitivity in the pathogenesis and therapy of depressive disorders, Nutritional Neuroscience, 20:2, 110-118, DOI: 10.1179/1476830514Y.0000000158

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 Reasons You Might Have SIBO

6 Reasons You May Have Sibo, Naturopathic Doctor Bloor WestGenerally when a patients comes to see me for digestive reasons, I consider the SIBO test. Specifically, many of those with stomach troubles like gas, bloating and abdominal pain have already tried taking probiotics to address symptoms.

9 times out of 10 a probiotic can help dramatically! However, there are situations where taking a probiotic doesn’t improve symptoms.

The problem: your gut bacteria are having way too much fun inside of you!

Small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO) is a common condition that affects roughly 50% of individuals diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Bacteria live throughout our body, from our mouths down to our colon. The further we travel down our gastrointestinal tract the more bacteria we see. Our colon is home to 100,000,000,000 bacteria. SIBO occurs when the bacteria that reside in our colon migrate upwards into our small intestine as a result of a malfunctioning migrating motor complex (MMC). Once in the small intestine these bacteria feed off carbohydrates from food and start to produce gas. This gas can be measured by a Hydrogen/Methane Breath Test.

Top Symptoms of SIBO

  • Bloating: bloating generally occurs within 15 minutes to an hour after eating and gets worse as the day progresses
  • Diarrhea, constipation, or both: there are 2 types of gas produced by the bacteria that make their way into your small intestine – hydrogen and methane. Generally, elevated hydrogen levels are associated with IBS-D (diarrhea). Alternatively, elevated methane levels are associated with IBS-C (constipation). The Hydrogen/Methane Breath Test is able to pick up hydrogen and methane-producing bacteria.
  • Gas: generally reported as smell gas that occurs daily
  • Abdominal pain & distention: often a result of constipation, however individuals with diarrhea may report that their stomach is so distended it “feels like I’m pregnant”
  • Gastroesophageal reflux: many people will experience “heartburn” or belching throughout the day, often brought on after a meal
  • Fatigue: one of the biggest symptoms reported by those experiencing SIBO is a lack of energy during the day

How To Test for SIBO

Currently, the test for SIBO is called a Hydrogen/Methane Breath Test. This test measures the amount of hydrogen and methane gas produced by the bacteria in your small intestine. There are 3 different tests available. Your naturopathic doctor can help choose which test is best suited for you.

  1. Lactulose: this test is best used to assess bacterial overgrowth in the distal portion of the small intestine.
  2. Glucose: this test is best used to assess bacterial overgrowth in the upper portion of the small intestine.
  3. Lactulose/Glucose Combination: comprehensive test that assesses bacterial overgrowth in both the upper and lower portion of the small intestine.

 

Keep in mind that we co-habit with billions of bacteria. In diagnosing SIBO our goal is not to kill off all of the bacteria that live within us. However, depending on the predominant symptoms and lab test results, a range of natural antimicrobials and prokinetic herbs can be used to re-balance the microbiome and restore your body back to health.

The truth about detoxing

Wherbs (1)e currently live in a time where toxin exposure is highest than it has ever been before. We are chronically exposed to toxic and unhealthy substances in the foods we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe. Our cells lack the essential vitamins, minerals and enzymes that they need to be able to communicate effectively between one another. In turn, our organs of detoxification and excretion are functioning on over-drive leading to an overburdened system that effects our entire body. So, what can we do about it?

 

How toxins affect our gut.

The main passageway from the toxic outside world to our sterile inside body is our gastrointestinal tract (gut). Our gut acts as a long tube with two openings to the outside world – one at our mouth and one at our bum. Anything that we put into our mouth has the ability to travel across our gut wall and into our body. Chronic exposure to toxins damages this protective barrier by creating holes in it. One of the main gut destroying toxins in our environment is glyphosate.

“Over 3,000 chemicals are added to our food supply with pesticide residues detected in up to 95% of our foods.”

Glyphosate is an herbicide used by farmers to ward off weeds that compete with food crops. It is absorbed through the stem of a plant, targeting an enzyme that is used in the growth of the weed. This toxic chemical has been shown to alter the composition of our microbiome and destroy our gut lining. As a result of this constant irritation we end up with an inflamed gut lining and an influx of pathogens, food particles and toxins into our bodies causing a wide array of symptoms. These symptoms include:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Migraines
  • Acne
  • Allergies
  • Eczema
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Brain Fog
  • Autoimmune Conditions
  • Weight Gain
  • Hormone Imbalances
  • Sleep Troubles
  • Infertility

 

The solution to a healthy gut.

Digestion starts in our mouth, continues into our stomach and ends in our small intestines. Food starts out as a complex molecule that is eventually broken down into smaller molecules which are able to enter our cells and cross our protective barrier. The vitamins and minerals extracted from our foods travel through our venous network to the liver where they are then redistributed into the blood stream for our cells to utilize.

An inflamed gastrointestinal tract dramatically affects this process. Our bodies are not able to efficiently break down foods into the proper micro-nutrients that our cells need to function. We can eat all the high nutritional value foods, however we aren’t able to properly absorb the vitamins and minerals from these foods as a result of poor digestion. So, now what?

Digestive bitters!

This is where bitter flavoured herbs come in. Bitter herbs help in the digestion of foods by triggering our body to produce more stomach acid. We need stomach acid (Hydrochloric Acid) in order to breakdown these larger food molecules into smaller molecules so that they can be properly absorbed and utilized in our body. Digestive bitters also support the liver’s natural detoxification process. Additionally, they act to help repair the gut wall lining.

Although they may not be the best tasting natural remedies out there, they do work wonders. Some of my favourite bitter herbs include Gentian, Hops, Globe artichoke and Chamomile.

 

Our bodies are much smarter than we think. We have the innate ability to clean up the toxins that are created from our normal functioning as well as those in our environment. However, when exposure to these toxins is greater than our bodies can handle, we need support!

 

The information provided here is not a substitute for medical advice. If you are pregnant or have any health conditions, please seek advice prior to making any dietary or lifestyle changes. Bitter herbs may be contraindicated if you have certain health conditions or are breastfeeding. Consulting with an expert is always your best option to find out what you need.