Dr. Jennifer Luis ND

Understanding the difference between food allergies and sensitivities

Sometimes headaches are due to food sensitivities
I am often asked about what it means to have a food sensitivity (or intolerance) versus a food allergy.  It is important to distinguish between the two as allergies have more concerning symptoms that may require medical attention or hospitalization if ingested.  The classic peanut response in a person who has a known allergy to peanuts can involve anaphylaxis and hence breathing difficulties, swelling of the face, lips, tongue or body and sometimes hives and itchiness.  Those that are sensitive to gluten and eat a gluten-laced muffin may feel any number of symptoms and up to 3 days after eating the offending muffin.  Bloating, abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhea, heartburn, headaches, fatigue, skin rashes or eczema and joint aches can all be symptoms of a food sensitivity.

In the article written for a new health-related website called Healthy Directions, an excellent look at food allergies versus sensitivities is examined.  It can be found here.  Naturopathic doctors have the ability to diagnose both allergies and sensitivites as is mentioned in the article.  The test is performed in-house and sent off to a lab usually the same day.  Results are available within 1 week to 10 days and the road to recovery starts quickly.  My personal journey with food sensitivities came with a diagnosis of multiple food sensitivites around 6 years ago.  With a change in diet and proper supplementation, I am now back to eating most foods and feel great.  Take a look at the article above and contact me using the contact form if you would like more information.

– Dr. Jennifer Luis ND

Dr. Luis is a Naturopathic Physician practicing at Downtown Wellness Centre in Vancouver. Educating her patients on nutrition and lifestyle is part of every treatment plan and is combined with supplementation, acupuncture, IV therapy and/or homeopathy to help achieve optimum health.