The Benefits of Taking a Food Sensitivity Test
We aren't born with user manuals for our bodies, so taking a food sensitivity test gives you insight to what your body needs.
Do you experience frequent stomach aches, intense bloating, acne, constipation, diarrhea, headaches, mood swings, mystery rashes or reactions? These could all be correlated with how your body responds to certain foods.
When I complained to my doctor about my stomach issues and acne, he recommended I do a sensitivity test. He took my blood and sent it to a lab to be tested for common food sensitivities and for Candida; a common yet horrible parasitic bacteria. When my results came back, they were off the chart for all forms of dairy (among moderate reactions to other foods), and I had an extreme overgrowth of Candida.
When my doctor explained my results, I learned that the Candida likely created a hole in my gut lining (called Leaky Gut Syndrome) and large proteins from foods, such as dairy, were leaving my gut and entering my blood stream and rest of the body, causing irritation. This can lead to acne, intense stomach problems and other health issues.
Food Sensitivity Tests
There are a variety of different food sensitivity tests available such as Everlywell, Check My Body Health, and even your local doctor/naturopath. Each form is different and tests for different foods or information. That's why I've actually taken two tests. The first one didn't test for everything but Check My Body Health tested me for 970 items. The more you know, the better.
It's also important to note that food sensitivities aren't exactly food allergies. Food intolerances are when your body can't properly digest the food. Food allergies occur when your body sees certain foods as a harmful threat and sends its antibodies to attack it.
Food intolerances/sensitivities have to do with digestion. Food allergies are connected to the immune system.
Benefits of taking a food sensitivity test:
1. You have a starting point
If you have a hunch your health issues are connected to your diet, take a test. You can try removing some of the more common foods that cause sensitivity (i.e dairy and gluten), but theres a chance you can also be reacting to foods you least expect. For example: I reacted to green beans, lamb and apples!
You'll be able to get insight into how your body reacts to certain foods and if some negatively respond more than others. With more information, you can start making changes to eliminate those foods and see how you feel. Depending on the test you take, you may also learn if you have vitamin deficiencies, poor gut health, and reactions to other natural things such as trees.
2. Thought provoking
When you get your results you may start asking more questions. Why do you react to certain foods? How do you heal your gut naturally? What foods have ingredients you are avoiding? How do you read a food label?
You can take these questions to your doctor (highly recommend a qualified naturopath), or start your own research. It's empowering to know more about your own body and how to best take care of it. My first food sensitivity test ignited my interest in learning about food, gut health and nutrition because I had so many questions.
3. Get some solutions
I think people under estimate how food really impacts their health and wellbeing. The digestive system is responsible for breaking down food into energy and nutrients for every part of the body. When we eat foods that our bodies don't know how to digest or react too, it can mess with our physical and even mental health.
Depending on what your health issues are, eliminating the foods you're sensitive to can help!
Speaking for myself, when I found out I strongly reacted to dairy it was a huge answer to my problems. My whole life I grew up with the most intense, unpredictable stomach aches and I had no clue what caused them. Then in my early 20's I started breaking out on my body and no acne treatment would work. Since removing dairy, many of my issues have dissipated.
Wrapping it up
When you get a food sensitivity test done it's common to feel a little overwhelmed seeing a list of foods you could be sensitive to. Don't feel like you need to live and die by that list or give up all the foods listed. As I mentioned, it's a starting point, a way to start asking more questions, and the chance at making helpful change.