Modern times see the composition of our food constantly changing. As nutrient content of our soils change and agricultural practices slowly influence the chemical structure of what we are eating, a trend is emerging that shows a rise in food based sensitivities that may encroach on the quality of our day both physically and mentally. In fact, food sensitivities are now considered a major causative factor in disease.
Senior Naturopathic Physician, Dr Benita Perch explains, "I see many clients, both adults and children, who find that when they move to Hong Kong all sorts of symptoms start to appear and they wonder why this is."
"Factors such as air pollution, antibiotic use and stress can add an accumulated functional load on the liver that inhibits the organ’s ability to manage the complex relationship between the immune system and the food we eat.”
Could the foods you eat on a daily basis be a sustaining or even a causative factor in your health condition?
Immediate food allergies (such as allergies to nuts or shellfish) are generally immediate and obvious and may even require hospitalisation in some cases. This involves a specific immune response mediated by IgE immune cells. Swelling, itching, hayfever, eczema, asthma, and even life-threatening symptoms such as asphyxiation can occur as a result of food and environmental allergies.
Food sensitivity (also known as food intolerance) is a more common form of immune response, mediated by the IgG immune cell. In contrast to the fast-acting IgE histamine response, this is a delayed response from food exposure that can last for up to 72 hours.
“This delayed immune response can then lead to a low grade form of inflammation that then shows up in many different ways from the more obvious digestive disorders such as irritable bowel and bloating to issues such as eczema, asthma, arthritic pain, IBS, chronic fatigue, headaches and poor concentration, and even depression and hyperactivity," explains Dr Perch.
Simple Yet Useful Tests For Food Allergies and Intolerances
IMI offers Functional Medicine Laboratory Tests to identify food allergies and intolerances. These tests are simple, yet potentially life-changing guides:
IgE Allergy Profile (Food and Environmental Allergens)
This simple blood test helps to accurately identify and measure the levels of antibodies of the common food and environmental allergens that trigger IgE immune response, such as eggs and dairy, fruits and nuts, pet danders, flowers and plants, dust and mould.
Once these are identified, you can adjust your lifestyle to avoid certain foods or remove the environmental allergens from your home. Desensitization is possible through individualized treatment programs in naturopathic medicine.
This simple dried blood spot exam is available at IMI to help accurately identify the problem foods that can cause IgG or delayed immune responses.
With samples drawn onsite by one of our professionally trained IMI staff members, the IgG test result includes a detailed report of 96 or 184 foods tested (depending on the test option that suits your symptoms, medical history, and budget), and the significance of how the foods may have contributed to your physical or mental symptoms.
For one inclusive package fee, the test results can be interpreted by one of our experienced natural medicine practitioners, saving you the further cost of a full consultation. This targeted consultation allows you greater insight into how your diet and environment might be affecting the quality of your health and how some simple changes based on the results can make all the difference.
Desensitization, removal of Candida and Yeast, as well as repairing the gut lining damaged by long-term inflammation and bacteria overgrowth are possible through individualized treatment programs in naturopathic medicine.
Your experienced practitioner may suggest other lab test combination and/or an elimination diet to further evaluate the root cause of your condition.