In our practice people come to us with a variety of issues and in several instances we are able to help them by altering their diet.
Regularly we hear patients complaining of painful and stiff joints. Sometimes these patients have already been diagnosed with osteoarthritis but they are not feeling any relief from the treatment. When we do a food sensitivity test and omit intolerant foods from the patient’s diet, their joint pain and stiffness goes away. Does that mean they don’t have osteoarthritis or does it mean that they have food sensitivities that are causing joint inflammation?
Not long ago I was suffering from swollen finger joints and I figured out that eating popcorn every night for many months was causing my finger joints to swell. My friend also was complaining of a single swollen pinky joint. I asked him if there was a food he was eating every day. He replied he was snacking every day on a lot of “almonds”. I told him to go off the almonds for a month and then let me know how his finger felt. His swollen joint disappeared.
We find that food intolerances can cause a variety of medical problems for people. When they go off their intolerant food, they digest better, abdominal pain goes away, joint pain and stiffness goes away, and they feel better overall. People are often intolerant to the foods they overeat. By overeating I mean that they may consume a particular food more than once a day and every day of the week.
Patients who have had an immune challenge such as Lyme disease or any other bacterial, viral, or fungal infection, have a tendency to become more intolerant to foods they are overeating. This is because the infection is causing a “leaky gut” where food proteins are leaking through the gut wall into the blood. The presence of the food proteins in the blood causes a reaction in the immune system and suddenly the patient becomes intolerant to many foods he or she could eat before. This reaction contributes to the sick feeling for the patient. Once they are off the food, they realize they feel much better.
The food intolerance test we run has two components. The first is a “delayed hypersensitivity” that is caused by overexposure (overeating the food) and the second is “complement” or a component on the inflammation cascade. If a significant intolerance score is reached, that means that the reaction is delayed (not immediate) and the food is causing inflammation in the body. Inflammation starts at the cellular level. There is no getting around it–inflammation is our enemy, no matter what condition you have. In other words, the significant foods are inflaming the patient, which manifests in a variety of ways.
Our bodies prefer a variety of food. It is never good to eat the same food every day for a particular meal or snack. Most of us do this so we don’t have to think about what to eat, but it is much better for our bodies to have variety. Eating a variety of foods requires you to plan and shop for the week. You need to plan all components of all your meals—protein, vegetables, fruit, and starches (potatoes, rice, pasta, etc.) before you go shopping to ensure a wide variety of food.
If you have not heard the saying, “rotate your foods”, perhaps you should write it on a note and place it on your refrigerator. Overeating a particular food causes intolerance! If you eat it all the time because you love it, pretty soon you won’t be able to eat it at all. ROTATE YOUR FOODS! And if you are sick and fighting infection, this rule applies even more.
Once people get the food out of their lives, they feel better. When they cheat, the reaction can be significant, much more than when they ate it every day.
Occasionally I have a young, college aged patient who is living on fast food and having difficulties digesting it. Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, gas, bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pain and cramping. Sometimes our body is trying to tell us something. If you vomit a food, it likely is being rejected by your stomach for some reason. It is up to you to listen to the wisdom of the body and try another food. Sometimes the situation warrants a stool test because there is an infectious agent causing the symptoms. Other times it is food intolerances and allergies that are causing the problem. If you eat fast food often, please watch the movie, “Supersize Me,” to learn the valuable lessons taught about eating fast food—it’s not good for you!
When people get their food intolerances out of their diet, they feel better physically and mentally, and they heal more quickly. Food intolerance can be a major contributor to feeling sick, which is usually multifactorial.
If you are interested in finding out if the food you are eating is making you sick, please feel free to call our offices Today. 203-264-2200. – You might be quite surprised by the results.