Everything You Need to Know About Food Allergies & How to Treat Them

Food allergies can be difficult to deal with and navigate. At Sage Integrative Medicine Clinic, our naturopathic doctors in Edmonds, WA, can help you identify your specific food triggers and create a personalized elimination diet that can help you heal and reduce inflammation.

Food allergies are characterized by a negative immune response to certain types of foods. While this can occur immediately after eating a trigger food, it is more common for symptoms to develop over time.

With our vitamin infusion therapy, our naturopathic doctors can help you bypass your digestive system and improve your overall health by getting you the nutrients you need.

Outside of nutrient assistance and food allergy diet plans, our naturopathic medicine clinic offers a variety of treatments that can help your overall health. From anti-aging treatments in Edmonds — such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections — to bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, we have everything you need to feel your best.

If you are struggling with food allergies and want to improve your overall health, talk to our naturopathic doctors today and check out the podcast below!

Podcast Notes: August 18, 2022 

Health concerns that have failed to respond to other treatments may improve after completing a food allergy Elimination Diet. 

What symptoms can be related to food allergies?

Specific foods may be related to a long list of health conditions, including digestive problems, headaches, chronic sinus drainage, low energy, depression, mood swings, eczema, skin irritations, joint aches, asthma, weight gain, and others.

Many suffer from these symptoms for long periods of time without realizing the connection to food. It isn’t until the food is eliminated from the diet, that the connection with symptoms can be made. IFM’s Elimination Diet removes common food triggers and helps you identify specific foods that may be causing ongoing symptoms through a personalized food reintroduction.

What do you eat on the diet?

  • Dairy and gluten-free
  • Healthy fats and oils
  • Dairy-free milk/cheese substitutes
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Gluten-free grains
  • Teas, broths, water
  • Spices
  • Grass-fed meat 

How long do you eliminate foods?

After the three-week elimination period, a personalized food reintroduction is the next step. Reintroduction involves adding back one food at a time to observe whether that food causes symptoms. Foods that continue to cause symptoms (physical, mental, or emotional) are avoided for an additional three to six months, then

reintroduction is attempted again. Once the body has healed, some foods which initially caused symptoms may be tolerated and added back into the diet.

The Elimination Diet is a short-term food plan. Healing the gut and being able to eat a wide variety of whole foods are the ultimate goals of the Elimination Diet. A diet with a wide variety of whole foods helps ensure that your body gets all essential nutrients, and this is especially important for anyone interested in improving their overall health.

Your functional medicine practitioner will advise you on the duration of the Elimination Diet. Typically, the Elimination Diet is followed for three weeks. Shorter time periods may not yield the same results, as the body needs time to clear its reactivity to foods that are triggering symptoms. 

Can your symptoms worsen with food allergy elimination?

Initially, symptoms may worsen for a short time (rarely more than a few days) due to withdrawal from foods commonly eaten. Transient reactions may be experienced in the first four to seven days as the body adjusts to different foods. These reactions can include changes in sleep patterns, fatigue, lightheadedness, headaches, joint or muscle stiffness, and changes in digestion. Such symptoms rarely last for more than a few days and will vary from person to person.

Benefits of the elimination diet:

  • Identifies food triggers
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Encourages healing of a leaky gut
  • Improves the microbiome
  • Increased levels of food antioxidants
  • Decreases toxin exposure (as organic foods are highly recommended — and no processed foods/chemicals)

How do you reintroduce foods?

-One by one, each one being eaten three times in one day, then avoiding again the next day. Basically, one food is reintroduced every 48 hours. Note how you feel off and on the food. 

Long-term: Rotate food in or avoid?

  • With severe reactions, avoidance is best
  • With mild to low-moderate reactions, rotation can be used
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Dr. Angila Jaeggli