Food Allergy VS Food Sensitivity

Food Allergy

  • Very specific immune response that is measurable by a conventional allergy doctor

  • Elevated IgE levels

  • Histamine release from mast cells

  • Obvious symptoms immediately after eating the food:  sniffles, tongue swelling, hives, anaphylaxis

Food Sensitivity

  • You feel better when you don't eat the food, and feel worse when you do.

  • Can be any symptom:

    • Gut:  gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea​

    • Systemic inflammation:  feeling puffy, brain fog and fatigue; Skin rashes or headaches

    • Arthritis or muscle pain

How do you develop a Food Sensitivity?

Let's start with the food.....

  • All food has protein, even vegetables.

  • Protein has amino acid sequences.

  • Immune cells recognize self vs not self by reading the amino acid sequences on the surface of every cell, microbe or compound.

  • I call these "name tags"

Name Tags on Food

  • All the cells in your body have name tags ("self") that your immune cells recognize.

  • This is good so you don't attack yourself.

  • Any foreign name tag will cause an immune reaction.

  • Every food has a name tag, too

  • Your digestive system is designed to destroy the name tag on the food and prevent it from entering your body.

Health Gut Scenario

  • Food is completely digested in the stomach

  • All of the "name tags" that make the food recognizable by the immune system are destroyed by enzymes and acid

  • Healthy intestinal lining and barrier:

    • The immune cells inside your body are not exposed to the "name tags" from the food​

  • Low risk of developing food sensitivity​

Problem:  Weak Intestinal Lining

  • The cells that line the intestines are supposed to be connected tightly together

  • Instead the "glue" is destroyed and spaces open up between the cells

  • Large pieces of food, microbes and toxins can get into the body

  • Called Leaky Gut Syndrome or Increased Intestinal Permeability

Leaky Gut Syndrome Scenario

  • You have poor digestion

  • You have a leaky gut

  • Large pieces of food, with name tags intact, leak through the intestinal wall into your body

  • Immune cells react to these name tags

  • Symptoms typical of a food sensitivity

Treating Food Sensitivities

  • When someone has multiple food sensitivities, assume they have Leaky Gut syndrome

    • Restore healthy intestinal flora​

    • Support digestion of the "name tags"

    • Remove problem foods for at least 6 months, usually longer because immune cells have memory

Food to Heal the Intestinal Lining

  • Cultured foods:  yogurt, kefir

    • With live active cultures of lactobacillus, bifidobacteria and saccharomyces boulardii​

  • Fermented foods:  kimchi and sauerkraut

  • Prebiotics:  vegetables and fiber

    • Fructo-oligo-sacharides (FOS), which are compounds found in onions, garlic, leeks, rye, chicory, blueberries, and bananas.​

    • Inulins, which are found in chicory and artichokes

    • Ghee and Coconut oil

    • Glutamine:

      • Can be found in all animal protein, such as chicken, beef, and dairy​

      • Also in beans, cabbage, beets, spinach, and parsley, so don't focus only on animal sources.