by Dr. Eric Muradov, ND
Acute allergic reactions such as throat closing in response to shellfish or peanuts are obvious and easy to recognize. We refer to these reactions as “IgE” mediated allergies. However there are allergic reactions which are delayed where it sometimes takes between hours to days for symptoms to manifest. These delayed food allergies are often referred to as “IgG” mediated allergic reactions. Because of delayed timing of these allergies, they are often difficult to identify. Furthermore, recognition of these reactions is further hampered because the symptoms are not generally perceived to be related to foods.
Symptoms and disorders we most often see that are either caused by or worsened by food allergies are: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Gas and Bloating, Eczema, Psoriasis and Acne, Migraines, Chronic Nasal Congestion and Asthma, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus. We’ve also seen Ulcerative Colitis, and the Crohn’s disease (which affects Jews of Ashkenazi heritage at an increased rate) benefit from identification and removal of food allergies.
As a Naturopathic doctor, I’ve seen hundreds of patients that have benefitted from food allergen identification and removal. Often rapid and dramatic changes can come from basic dietary manipulation. Usually, it’s just a few foods that are problematic.
Identification of the foods is done with either an exclusionary diet or with IgG allergy testing (which differs from standard Skin Prick allergy testing). An exclusionary diet involves removal of the most common allergens as well as any foods that have an allergic potential that are eaten repetitively in one’s diet. After a typical exclusionary period of four weeks, foods are re-introduced at a staggered interval to screen for elicited symptoms. Common offenders are dairy, wheat, soy and citrus. These diets are sometimes difficult to employ because of their prohibitive nature. Often, patients in my practice elect for allergy testing where a small sample of blood is used to test for reactivity to 100 – 200 foods. Although these tests can be cost prohibitive, they are excellent at providing a “snap shot” of allergic reactions occurring in the blood. These tests provide the backbone for appropriate person specific dietary changes.
Dr. Eric Muradov runs a general naturopathic medical practice in Edmonton. He often sees digestive concerns, fatigue, cancers and immune conditions with a food and vitamin based approach for treatment. Dr. Muradov is the Chief Medical Officer for MySafeFoods Food Allergy Testing.