Don’t underestimate the power of food! Talk to Dr.Martin today about possible food allergies & intolerances and how well your digestive tract is working.
FOOD AS MEDICINE
One thing we do every day, and if we are lucky three to four times a day, is EAT! The importance of what you put in your body on a regular basis has a profound impact on your health. “You are what you eat” is a good thought to acknowledge and live by. Foods that are nutrient dense and higher in antioxidant status will improve your health and immunity. On the contrary, highly processed foods, trans fats, sugars, and overeating, will make you sick or create dis-ease. People ask me every day:
- What should I eat?
- What is the best diet for me?
- Body Ecology?
- Anti Candida?
- Blood Type Diet?
- Hi- Fat? Low fat? No fat?
Simply put there is no “real” diet that suits every person. We are all individuals with different backgrounds, different digestion absorption and assimilation, different stressors, different cravings, different relationships with food and different metabolic processes.
Using food as medicine and as a daily lifestyle not a “diet” is really where naturopathic medicine shines. In getting to know each of my patients in detail and all of their individual needs allows me to formulate the best strategies for them in health and wellness, weight changes and exercise endurance as well as to treat and or prevent chronic disease.
FOOD ALLERGIES, INTOLERANCE AND WHAT IT IS TELLING YOU
WHAT ARE FOOD ALLERGIES VS. INTOLERANCES?
Many people suffer from food allergies or intolerance and the numbers seem to be climbing by the day. Food allergies are well known by the child that is rushed to the ER with a swelling esophagus after eating peanuts. People with food “allergies” know they have food allergies and often don’t forget it or grow out if it. Intolerances are more common and less obvious. Millions of Americans suffer from the symptoms of food intolerance and don’t even know it. Symptoms of food intolerances don’t isolate themselves to the gastrointestinal tract they have free reign over the whole body. The food we eat is absorbed into the blood stream and becomes a systemic nutrient or nuisance. Obvious symptoms can be headache, constipation, diarrhea, cramps, gas, bloating, IBS or colitis, less obvious symptoms can be anxiety, depression, heart palpitations, sweating, eczema, psoriasis, acne and hyperactivity or ADD/ADHD in children.
HOW CAN YOU TELL IF YOU HAVE A FOOD ALLERGY OR INTOLERANCE?
The Gold Standard Method to assess food allergy/intolerance is elimination and reintroduction of each individual food over a 3-8 month period. You start with trouble foods or food you suspect and eliminate them one by one for 3 months then slowly reintroduce each food one at a time to watch for signs and symptoms or intolerance or relief of symptoms. This is a very effective but very time consuming process. The most common food culprits causing intolerance are dairy, wheat/gluten, eggs, corn and beans. Food allergy testing through blood work is the faster way to assess intolerances and look at your white blood cell reaction to food protein and see if they are stimulating an inflammatory reaction in the blood. (button)
Common Signs and Symptoms
- Gas and bloating
- Brain fog
- Red, itchy eyes
- Skin rash, eczema, hives
- Diaper rash
- Cradle cap
- Behavioral issues
LEAKY GUT: What is it?
Food allergies and intolerances can lead to leaky gut and go hand in hand with other dominating influences like stress and malabsorption. In leaky gut the foods we eat are not getting digested and absorbed properly so they irritate the lining in the intestinal tract causing inflammation and damage until the mucus membranes become porous. At this time the food proteins, intended to stay in the GI tract, leak into the blood stream and mount a response from the immune system to attack the foregin food protein, foreign to the blood stream, as if it were a virus or bacteria. This immune response produces the above mentioned symptoms that range from headache to diarrhea, asthma to anxiety. Physical, mental and emotional. This relationship then affects the acid in the gut needed to absorb nutrients and makes it very hard to bind and pull cofactors into the cells like iron, B vitamins and vitamin D leading to anemia and hypovitaminosis. Thorough patient intake, history, physical exam and food allergy testing is the best way to confirm leaky gut. The goal is to then remove offending foods/toxins, heal the gut and associated systems(stress, endocrine, thyroid, deficiencies) and reintroduce foods over time.