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Is it a Food Sensitivity?

Is it Food Sensitivity_ (2) (1)

The Correlation Between Food Sensitivities & Potential Chronic Diseases By Chen Ben-Asher

If you already cut out some of the foods from your diet and have not seen any significant improvement – think Food Sensitivity. The Correlation Between Food Sensitivities & Potential Chronic Diseases is now taking place in medical literature.

The majority of food intolerance cases (15% to 20%) are due to non-immunological causes. These causes range from pseudoallergic reactions to enzymopathies, chronic infections, and psychosomatic reactions that are associated with food intolerance. The prevalence of a true food allergy, i.e., immunologically mediated intolerance reaction, is only 2% to 5%.

Food allergies and food intolerances are growing at the speed of an epidemic. FARE stats show that “Approximately 32 million people in the United States have food allergies.” While results from a 2015-2016 survey indicate that: “5.6 million children, or nearly 8 percent, have food allergies, i.e., one in 13 children, or roughly two in every classroom.”

A Food Intolerance Can Easily be Mistaken for a Food Allergy

The symptoms of both these conditions often overlap, and it is easier to mistake one condition for the other. However, they both differ in terms of their chemical reactions in the body and their impacts. The management response and treatment options also vary greatly for each one of them. It is paramount that you assess your condition clearly and minutely to find the severity of the problem, the possible nutrition response to cope with your condition, and adopt the food elimination strategies (if needed) for your lifetime.

Know The Difference

A food sensitivity or intolerance is related to digestive system disorder. Although some experts further divide the two terms, food sensitivity is broadly the same as food intolerance. It occurs when a person is unable to digest certain foods. The symptoms include bloating, gas, diarrhea, and stomach pain. Symptoms can start showing immediately after eating a certain food or after a few hours and can continue to persist for over a week.


A food allergy is an immune system response to food. When your immune system determines that a particular protein in your food is an invader, it builds antibodies to start fighting against it. The symptoms are broad, like skin reactions (including hives), swelling, itching, difficulty breathing, wheezing, dizziness, and digestive symptoms like gas, cramping, bloating, or even death.

Food Sensitivities Can Activate the Immune System Negatively

There is no universal law for food sensitivities. It is not about age or diet. Certain food nutrients can cause trouble to a person while they remain harmless for others. It is important to discover and manage food sensitivities on-time because certain foods may activate the immune system negatively.

Food Sensitivity can start at any age, even in kids younger than 1-year-old.

It typically starts 72 hours after the food was introduced into the body. 

Certain nutrients cause a reaction in the body, resulting in IgG production (Type 2 allergies, NOT IgE -Type 1 allergies), attaching to Mast cells, binding directly to the food substance. It then gets into the bloodstream, forming allergens. This produces a set of biological chemicals as a self-defense mechanism, creating inflammation that leads to tissue damage (mainly in the gut), and will affect other body sites based on your genes.

Potential Damage Caused by Food Intolerances

Food intolerances can stimulate a chemical response in the body, leading to inflammation and even tissue damage. Commonly, the damage caused by food intolerances are:

  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Overgrowth of bacteria, viruses, parasites, mold/fungus, candida
  • Mental/emotional stress
  • Memory deficiency
  • Gut challenges
  • Buildup of bio-toxins

Common Symptoms of Food Sensitivities

  • Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Achy muscles
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Runny nose
  • Skin rashes
  • Inflammation
  • Low-grade fever
  • Hair loss
  • Memory challenges
  • Anxiety/Depression
  • Sweat
  • Heart palpations
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Numbness and Tingling
  • Weight changes – Gain/Loss
  • General Discomfort

Limited Testing Leaves Food Sensitivities Unchecked

For most populations, food sensitivities go unchecked because conventional medicine doctors do not commonly test for food sensitivities. Although a food sensitivity is not a life-threatening, critical health problem, it can turn into one in the long term if it goes unchecked and unmanaged.

The testing for food allergies is insufficient to test for food intolerances.

Food allergy tests test for the IgE antibodies in the blood present for a certain nutrient. However, the food sensitivity tests measure the IgG antibodies. The difference in testing shows that food allergy tests cannot show food intolerances. Also, research around the testing methodologies for food intolerances is limited, leaving practitioners to resort to an elimination diet to determine food intolerances in their patients.

“Each year in the U.S., 200,000 people require emergency medical care for allergic reactions to food.”

If you are overweight, have diabetes, inflammation, heart disease, or cancer, identifying food sensitivities and food allergies is even more important because food helps you fight against all these other conditions.

Identifying Food Sensitivities & Food Allergies

Because the symptoms of food sensitivity often appear after 72 hours of eating the food, an individual may continue to consume the food several times a day. The immune system keeps combating the intolerant nutrients and ends up being overworked and bearing the damage repeatedly. This leads to chronic inflammation in the body that can also cause other health problems in the body. A low-grade food allergy can easily be mixed up with a prolonged food sensitivity and vice versa. Therefore, the first and foremost goal is to accurately identify the food sensitivity to manage it well. There are three methods used to identify food intolerances.

  • Blood Test: measuring antibodies and immunoglobin (IgG blood test) can show the specific nutrients that may cause food sensitivity. It is best to consult a professional nutritionist to discover your hidden food intolerances through a blood test.
  • Temporary food elimination: Avoiding dairy and gluten products temporarily for 6 weeks can give the gut time to heal, and to see if you feel any relief in the body.
  • Eliminating the top food allergens: There are 7 other top food allergens apart from dairy and gluten. These include corn, eggs, soy, nuts, nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, bell peppers, potatoes, and eggplant), citrus, and yeast (baker’s, brewer’s yeast, fermented products like vinegar). Avoid these foods for 6 weeks and notice if you feel any relief in the body. Reintroduce these products to your body one by one, consuming them 2-3 times a day for 3 days. Notice any changes in the body. If you feel any symptoms, eliminate that specific food for 90 days or consult your nutritionist about certain lifestyle changes to cope with it.

The testing for food allergies is insufficient to test for food intolerances.

Food allergy tests test for the IgE antibodies in the blood present for a certain nutrient. However, the food sensitivity tests measure the IgG antibodies. The difference in testing shows that food allergy tests cannot show food intolerances. Also, research around the testing methodologies for food intolerances is limited, leaving practitioners to resort to an elimination diet to determine food intolerances in their patients.

“Each year in the U.S., 200,000 people require emergency medical care for allergic reactions to food.”

If you are overweight, have diabetes, inflammation, heart disease, or cancer, identifying food sensitivities and food allergies is even more important because food helps you fight against all these other conditions.

Testing for Food Sensitivities

Food testing is immediately done for severe and immediate allergic reactions. Allergen-specific immunoglobulin IgE antibody testing can be done at your doctor’s office and can reveal which specific nutrients are causing allergic reaction in the body.

Delayed onset food sensitivities can be tested for with more investigative testing, including:

  • IgG, IgA, and IgM antibody levels 


Also, to rule out false-negative tests, the following tests are conducted:

  • IgA and IgM saliva tests 


Detailed testing helps nutritionists create an all-inclusive wellness plan for individuals with food sensitivities. 

  • Blood Test: measuring antibodies and immunoglobin (IgG blood test) can show the specific nutrients that may cause food sensitivity. It is best to consult a professional nutritionist to discover your hidden food intolerances through a blood test.
  • Temporary food elimination: Avoiding dairy and gluten products temporarily for 6 weeks can give the gut time to heal, and to see if you feel any relief in the body.
  • Eliminating the top food allergens: There are 7 other top food allergens apart from dairy and gluten. These include corn, eggs, soy, nuts, nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, bell peppers, potatoes, and eggplant), citrus, and yeast (baker’s, brewer’s yeast, fermented products like vinegar). Avoid these foods for 6 weeks and notice if you feel any relief in the body. Reintroduce these products to your body one by one, consuming them 2-3 times a day for 3 days. Notice any changes in the body. If you feel any symptoms, eliminate that specific food for 90 days or consult your nutritionist about certain lifestyle changes to cope with it.

The testing for food allergies is insufficient to test for food intolerances.

Food allergy tests test for the IgE antibodies in the blood present for a certain nutrient. However, the food sensitivity tests measure the IgG antibodies. The difference in testing shows that food allergy tests cannot show food intolerances. Also, research around the testing methodologies for food intolerances is limited, leaving practitioners to resort to an elimination diet to determine food intolerances in their patients.

“Each year in the U.S., 200,000 people require emergency medical care for allergic reactions to food.”

If you are overweight, have diabetes, inflammation, heart disease, or cancer, identifying food sensitivities and food allergies is even more important because food helps you fight against all these other conditions.

Self-Discovery of Food Sensitivities

The elimination method is the most-prevalent technique to determine food sensitivities. Checking yourself for food sensitivities is not difficult, but two factors may cause confusion:
Although you can perform this exercise yourself, consulting a nutritionist or dietician for the purpose is advised to observe any other underlying problem with your body’s reaction to food.
Also, since symptoms often overlap, you may not be able to identify by yourself if you are just sensitive to a food or if you are actually allergic to it. The management and support of both these conditions vary greatly.

Testing Kits
Self-help testing kits are direct-to-consumer lab testing kits. They are instrumental in measuring food sensitivities at home. For accurate results, you can always consult a nutritionist to guide you better.
You can save hours and extra cost from getting yourself tested at the hospitals or labs by purchasing this test: https://www.mor-nutrition4life.com/product/food-sensitivity-delayed/
(or simply call our Austin office to discuss this option).

The Benefits of Testing

Helps determine if food reactions are contributing to physical or mental symptoms
The removal of highly reactive foods from the diet is a non-invasive, food-based therapy that often mitigates a client’s symptoms
Research and clinical studies suggest that food intolerances and allergies identified by IgG and IgE testing can be a major contributing factor in many chronic health conditions
Food rotation and elimination diets can reduce stress on the immune system, lower gut inflammation, resolve food cravings, and reduce the potential for eating disorders

Order the FOOD SENSITIVITY DELAYED testing kit and book an online consult with Board Certified Nutritionist, Chen Ben Asher, to discuss your results: www.mor-nutrition4life.com.

Discovering food sensitivities on time is important in order to help avoid the long-term adverse effects of unknown food intolerances and any underlying food allergies and to help prepare an adequate wellness plan for a healthy life.

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Chen Ben Asher
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MEET CHEN BEN ASHER

CERTIFIED NUTRITIONIST, CLINICIAN, AND SPEAKER

Chen is a Functional Nutrition expert consultant,  leading authority on weight management, women’s health and gluten sensitivity. She is a clinician, public speaker, educator and Amazon Best Seller author of “What If Gluten Free Is Not Enough – The Balanced Diet”. Chen uses Functional Nutrition to help you find answers to the root causes of your illness and address the biochemical imbalances that may trigger your health and weight. She uses cutting edge lab testing and design the nutritional program to your specific needs as an individual. Food, supplements, lifestyle changes will have integrated to bring balance If you are looking for personalized nutritional support, we highly recommended contacting Mor’s Nutrition & More Wellness Center in Cupertino, California today.
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Chen Ben-Asher

Board Certified In Functional & Integrative Nutrition MA

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