Understanding Food Sensitivity: Is Your Diet Wreaking Havoc on Your Health?

Our bodies are unique and complex, giving way to varying levels of food sensitivities. However, a food sensitivity can be easy to treat and have minimal impact on your day-to-day routine. In this blog post, we will delve into the symptoms of food sensitivities and how to manage them properly. We will also provide resources and guidance to help you succeed in overcoming food sensitivities.

What is a food sensitivity?

A food sensitivity occurs when the digestive system cannot properly break down or digest a food. Unlike a standard food allergy, food sensitivity symptoms can be delayed for a few days after ingesting the trigger food. Research has shown that exposure to specific foods can create an immune response, triggering various unfavorable symptoms. While the symptoms of food sensitivities are not life-threatening, they can be extremely disruptive and have a negative impact on one’s quality of life. 

Symptoms of food sensitivity can include but are not limited to:

  • Joint pain
  • Bloating
  • Migraines
  • Diarrhea 
  • Fatigue
  • Rashes
  • Brain fog
  • Stomach pain
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Dry skin
  • Anemia 
  • Weight gain
  • Nausea and vomiting

How Do I Find Out If I Have A Food Sensitivity?

Typically, food sensitivities can be easily spotted via tracking symptoms and recording them in a food journal. An elimination diet is a surefire way to determine if you have a potential food sensitivity. However, there are also tests that can be run to determine whether or not one has a food sensitivity. A blood test, for example, can measure your immune system’s response to particular foods by measuring the body’s immunoglobulin E (IgE). For this particular type of blood test, a blood sample taken in your doctor’s office is sent to a medical laboratory for testing to determine which foods one may possibly be sensitive to. 

At OnePeak Medical, we are proud to partner with US Biotek. The Biotek 208 Food Panel is a comprehensive test that identifies food sensitivities you never knew you had. It is an excellent choice for people who eat a diet that is highly varied.

How do I manage my food sensitivity?

  • When it comes to both meals and grocery shopping, plan ahead. Keep a shopping list on your refrigerator to jot down healthy alternatives for meals and ingredients as you think of them. Reserve time to shop slowly and intentionally for groceries. Avoid shopping in a hectic rush or when hungry, as you are more likely to choose heavily processed foods. While grocery shopping, stock up on whole foods, such as fresh produce, lean meats, poultry, wild fish, and whole grains. 
  • Consider adopting an elimination diet. One of the best tools to identify a food sensitivity is a process of careful experimentation and observation. Removing certain foods believed to cause reactions from the diet for two to four weeks, reintroducing them one by one, and watching for symptoms is typically the best method of embarking on an elimination diet. This sort of diet is used to help those with food sensitivities identify which foods contribute to their symptoms. This way, an elimination diet may alleviate symptoms like bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, and nausea. An elimination diet is the gold standard for identifying food sensitivities, intolerances, and allergies. Your OnePeak Medical provider or a certified nutritionist can assist you further with pursuing an elimination diet in a way that is right for you and your individual wellness needs. 
  • Keep a food journal. Keeping track of the foods you eat and how you feel after eating them will help you understand the impact certain foods have on your immune response and overall health. 
  • Avoid packaged and processed foods and smoked and cured meats. These foods are oftentimes laden with preservatives, artificial flavors, sweeteners, and colorants.

Where can I find resources and support for food sensitivity management near me?

OnePeak Medical has locations throughout Oregon where you can meet with one of our Fitness and Nutrition Advisers or primary care practitioners to discuss ways to best treat your food sensitivities. Our practitioners can help you in various ways, from administering food sensitivity blood tests to creating a personalized diet plan. We aim to provide our patients with an innovative, personalized primary care experience that prioritizes optimal wellness and is tailored to the individual. You can book an appointment online at any of our locations. We look forward to seeing you and helping you cultivate a wellness routine perfectly suited to your needs and goals.