THE MARKETPLACE ON TESTING FOR FOOD SENSITIVITIES: Another simplistic report
First of all, why would it be important to figure out what foods are causing reactions?
Answer: Whatever you cannot process does you harm e.g. causes inflammation. Inflammation has been identified as the culprit in many conditions.
We have approached determination of problem foods from many angles.
SKIN PRICK TESTS
Many in the group had had the traditional ‘skin prick’ tests, usually when they were much younger. Of course, access to this test is limited as a medical procedure. We came across information that said that modality was about 50% effective, no better than flipping a coin. Heads you shouldn’t eat tomatoes; tails you can. No doubt you could use the results as starting point as long as that is not the only strategy you use.
Dr. Doris Rapp, the great paediatrician (Is This Your Child?), recognized the inflammatory effects of problem foods on cognition and behaviour. She suggested a list of common problem foods – sugar, corn, peanuts, citrus, soy, egg, wheat, yeast, and dairy.
We recognized our own symptoms in her case studies and wanted to follow up. A trial of eliminating the foods one by one until symptoms improved was a way to discover the problem food. She also recommended the rotation diet as a strategy to prevent development of more sensitivities.
We first of all tried to identify our problem foods by the elimination method which we found very frustrating and inconclusive. It may be more successful for children. We also found the rotations suggested very complicated to follow – even for a short time.
In frustration, we turned to the new technology of IgG testing. I myself tried it. The test gives you a band of reactivity for each food with a possible 85% efficacy. This still does not purport to give you definitive answers. However, for many, this test did suggest starting points.
My favourite story is about P. A. who ended up with a very restrictive list of foods. Together we somehow managed to create a rotation diet. Three surgeons had told he that she needed to have part of her colon removed because it was so inflamed. Six weeks after P.A. implemented the rotation diet, she had a prescheduled appointment with one of the surgeons. He examined her and said, “You don’t need surgery now. I think it has something to do with food.”
Dr. Peter D’Adamo (Eat Right 4 Your Type) came along and linked problems processing certain foods to genetic factors, specifically blood type. He came up with lists of foods beneficial for each blood type with more and more qualifiers as he went along. We did find some correlation between the IgG results and the D’Adam suggestions. If you do not have money for or access to any testing, and you know your blood type, you do worse than following his suggestions as a starting point.
Long before all of this, Dr. Theron Randolph (An Alternative Approach to Allergies) had identified the food issue and came up with the rotation diet as a way of allowing the body to process out food proteins so they
would not build up and cause inflammation.
Dr. Randolph also noted that his own food issues arose during times of greater stress. That lead us to the role of the adrenals in immune system function.
Again, his rotation diets were complicated and hard to follow as a lifestyle.
SIMPLIFIED ROTATION DIET
We simplified the rotation significantly and that has been our best diet strategy for identifying problem foods and reducing inflammation.
Use all the strategies you can to speed up your process and then design a rotation that fits your culture, tastes, cooking skills and pocketbook. Post it on the refrigerator. Make a standard grocery shopping list for your rotation. Organize your cupboards, refrigerator and freeze to facilitate your rotation. Try out recipes until you find favourites for each rotation day.
You will find the variety of foods you eat will expand and refresh your taste buds. Your ability to cook the dishes will improve.
GUT HEALTH SIDE EFFECT
Since each food plant is associated with particular bacteria, a rotation diet with a wide variety of foods can increase the diversity of intestinal flora. This is being more and more associated with better health.
NOTHING REPLACES YOUR OBSERVATIONS AND ANALYSIS
As you can see, there are lots of tools for figuring out what you might eat for better health. They are only as good as your effort and skill in applying them.