Went Gluten Free But Still Having Problems?
Did you know that almost all people with a Gluten Sensitivity (also called Gluten Intolerance) will have intolerance to other foods? Some of the most well known “offenders” are gluten, grains, dairy, and sugar. Aside from being common “offenders,” they can other health effects if consumed. Grains are associated with cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Dairy consumption can be correlated to mucous production and ear infections. And one of my favorite sayings is “the only thing that loves sugar more than your taste buds is cancer.” When we think about food, we should be asking our selves “how does this improve my my body’s ability to heal and function? What nutrient does this provide me?” It can be your best friend or your worst enemy!
The health of our “gut” (digestive system) is even more important than we imagined! Not only is it responsible for digesting our food, absorbing nutrients, and eliminating waste….. but it also houses 80% of the immune system. It has researched strong ties to the brain. It affects 20% of our thyroid’s ability to function. And so much more!Let’s discuss a few of the most common questions I am asked in the clinic regarding reactions to the foods we consume.
Q: “How would I know if I have Food Intolerances?”
The most common “red flag signs” of having Food Intolerances are:
- headaches / migraines
- digestive complaints (such as constipation, diarrhea, discomfort)
- skin problems (such as dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, acne)
- fatigue, low energy and foggy memory
- achy joints or other autoimmune conditions
- recurrent sinus and ear infections
Remember, a Food Intolerance reaction doesn’t always occur immediately after consuming the food!
Q: “Is Food Intolerance Testing the same as Food Allergy Testing?”
No. Food Allergies are a different type of immune reaction than a Food Intolerance. Therefore, they are tested differently. A Food Allergy is commonly tested using the “skin prick test” or perhaps blood work. There are many options to test Food Intolerances, ranging from “muscle testing”, simple blood work, complex bloodwork, trial-and-error, symptom charting and others. In my experience, there’s a time and place for science…. especially for those that have been suffering for years and haven’t yet found answers! The most effective way to get conclusive answers on the immune reaction that foods cause the body is by using the right type of lab that tests the maximum number of items.
The specific immune reaction that is caused by Food Intolerances is INFLAMMATION. When food enters the digestive tract of a “healthy” person the body will break it down, absorb the nutrients to heal and build new cells, and then eliminate toxic waste. When food enters the digestive tract of a person with Food Intolerance, the body is confused. It isn’t sure if the food is friend or foe, so it produces inflammation. As a “side effect” of that the body won’t absorb nutrients or eliminate waste as well.
Q: “I’ve already tried eliminating Gluten from my diet, and I know I feel better when I do. But why haven’t my problems resolved?”
It’s likely that you have more intolerances than just gluten! Gluten is also very sneaky – for example, did you know that gluten is found in soy sauce? in toiletries and cosmetics? used as a filler in nutritional supplements? as a thickener in condiments?
Q: “What can I do about it?”
Many natural options may exist for you!
- Food intolerance testing with the right lab and methods for measuring the inflammation caused. The testing I use in my office tests the maximum number of items possible (320).
- Acupuncture improves digestive symptoms (like constipation, stomach pain)
- Heal the gut by using the right kind (and quality) of high powered nutritional supplements
- Some may benefit from nutritional counseling, detox programs, or others.
There’s a unique solution for each person. If you’re ready to get conclusive answers and feel your best, call our office to schedule a Comprehensive Consultation to find out which natural options are right for you!
About Kristen (Bobik) Halland
Dr. Kristen is a Functional Medicine Physician specializing in lifestyle change and utilizing high powered, targeted nutriceuticals to reduce (or eliminate) dependency on medication. Eating the right foods will reduce inflammation and chronic disease, help you maintain healthy body composition, and keep you functioning well!