The functional and integrative medicine aspect of our practice continues to grow, as does our client’s success. It is often that we find the source of our client’s concerns is rooted in their diet in spite of many already making very healthy food choices. Other practitioners may even have recommended a gluten-free or diary-free diet but symptoms persist. The issue is that one person’s organic and nourishing food may be a source of inflammation for others.
Each of us have an individual body chemistry which responds differently to the various foods, even dyes and preservatives, in our diet. When clients can obtain a very objective list of food sensitivies specific to their own chemistry, compliance with limiting those foods from the diet is greatly increased. It can be exceptionally challenging to avoid gluten or diary, and for many this only offers partial improvement.
This past year we’ve had a number of clients undergo IgG testing which identifies the body’s sensitivity to these foods, as opposed to an IgE response which is allergic. Some may be sensitive to the corn the cow has eaten rather than the milk itself. Others are sensitive to the nightshade family of vegetables (tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, and peppers) or the oxalates in foods such as spinach, Swiss chard and beets. Gluten isn’t as prevalent of a sensitivity among our clients as one would expect and the literature suggests less than 10% are truly sensitive. Interestingly, some can be sensitive to bananas, avocadoes and chestnuts because they cross react with latex.
This past year, we’ve also discovered clients with paprika sensitivity and another with turmeric, who admittdly, I had recommended turmeric for reducing inflammation. We also discovered clients with various dye sensitivities, some of which were actually in their pharmaceuticals and yet others even with sensitivities to various preservatives – one a client found in her pickle juice!
We are blessed to have the resource to not just identify these foods, but to provide a six week plan for eliminating them and then reintroducing them into the diet. Sometimes, as I think we all appreciate, knowledge is wonderful but application can be the challenge that keeps us from success. Having this resource is incredible and while many can simply cut down on their intake to their higher sensitivity foods, some have found they aren’t able to tolarate even a smaller amount. Having said that, those clients are not overly tempted because they know that endulging will mean return of headaches, cystic acne, or even anxiety attacks.
It has been suggested by nutritional experts that anyone of us can not tolerate anywhere from ten to twenty foods. Overall, allergies haven’t impacted our family what-so-ever. Not one person I’ve ever known in all the various lines of our family tree has ever suffered from asthma or the more obvious allergic reactions, but many of us have central obesity, bowel issues and anxiety. Our responses to our sensitivies can be as diverse as our biochemical make-up. Personally, I realized more than a decade ago that Splenda causes me severe migraines and it has thus far been the one and only reason I have ever had a headache! There is nothing appealing to me about foods that contain Splenda.
The reality is that some people can eat what seems like just about anything and have great vitality, while others eat seemingly well and are generally rather exhausted or anxious. Infertility is another area where we have seen great success with IgG testing, but like many conditions, this is a very complex issue that often extends beyond nutrition. The pillars of health should not be ignored however. Pharmaceuticals are not the best go-to strategy, particularly as you hope to grow a fetus within the most optimal environment. We work hard to establish a firm foundation when clients have any chronic issue and then implement integrative medicine strategies that can enhance success. We feel this is a perfect blend of the art and science of healing.
It’s ironic to me that each and every healthcare provider is taught about the importance of a healthy diet and adequate exercise, yet when we work to address those issues there are enough that share their opinions with our clients that the diet is rather irrelevant and pharmaceutical management is and always will be absolutely necessary. I suppose this might somewhat stem from the fact that most clinicians aren’t familiar with the great difference between allergies and intolerances. It of course is also related to the pervasive nature of the marketing success of our pharmaceutical industry.
Allergies create a rather immediate response, often local, and reactions are well perceived by the client. Some have numb and tingly lips, while others get profuse nausea or even diarrhea. Food intolerances are less clear-cut than food allergies. They are not dependent on interactions between food antigens and our immune system. It is less predictable and less consistent. Lactose intolerance might be a familiar example.
Today we received IgG results for a client who has long suffered from brain fog and debilitating anxiety, even PMDD, and she has an otherwise seemingly perfect diet. However, on her list was avocado and apples. I can’t wait to meet with her for her follow-up visit because these fruits are known to have cross-reactions with those who have latex sensitivities. The rubber tree has a similarly shaped protein molecule and can be involved in a number of issues that have been described as latex-fruit syndrome. She has never shared before that she has an issue with latex so I wonder if she has ever recognized it herself, and ironically, her symptoms largely presented after the birth of her hospital-born daugther (where latex is bountiful).
Sulfites, nightshade alkaloids, oxalates, purines, and goitrogenic substances are also issues for many clients – goitrogenic specifically for those with thyroid conditions and it amazes me how many of our clients didn’t know this even after suffering for decades with hypothyroidism. Why aren’t they being educated by their doctors!?!
Yes, I agree. This is all too exciting. Why anyone of you continue to suffer without joining us on this exciting journey is beyond me. We really couldn’t be more excited to guide our clients towards optimal healing and take such joy in teaching them about their individual needs. Keep reading. Join one of our free talks. Call the office. Make an appointment. Invest in yoursef.