Food Sensitivity Testing
Food sensitivity is a very common, yet underdiagnosed, condition which is responsible for many symptoms and even disease processes. Many medical practitioners (as well as patients) are unfamiliar with this condition or fail to believe that it can truly be responsible for the problems with which their patients are suffering. It is important to understand the difference between a food sensitivity and a food allergy.
Food allergies are caused by the release of IgE in the body and will occur with even the smallest exposure to the causative food. The symptoms are hives or rash, lip or tongue swelling, or even difficulty breathing. These issues can be life-threatening.
In contrast, food sensitivities may cause vague symptoms which appear over a lifetime of chronic exposure and are often due to frequent exposure (favorite foods). While wheat or gluten is one of the most commonly seen food sensitivities, there are hundreds of other ones. Sometimes, patients are sensitive to additives such as colors, preservatives or even spices!
Symptoms of food sensitivity may include: migraine headaches, fibromyalgia, fatigue, inability to lose weight, joint pain, autoimmune conditions, interstitial cystitis, eczema, asthma, chronic fatigue, intestinal symptoms (gas, bloating or constipation), chronic cough, heartburn, or even autoimmune responses. Many patients suffer from autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and many other conditions and are often just told to take expensive prescription medications that may cause significant risks and side-effects without any significant improvement in how the patient feels.
While dietary therapy may not "cure" these serious conditions, most patients who make significant, guided changes in their lifestyle and diet will notice huge improvements in how they feel. To see if food sensitivities may be causing some of your health problems, please take Oxford Lab's Patient Tour. A food and symptom diary is often also very helpful in determining if food sensitivities are present. Click here for an initial symptom quiz.
Food sensitivities may be addressed without specific blood tests by doing a strict or comprehensive elimination diet with detoxification support. Other patients may request specific blood testing. We do offer blood testing for food sensitivities, but this testing is usually not covered by most insurances. Once results are available, we refer the patient to a dietitian specially trained to treat these conditions.