If you’ve ever had an issue with certain types of food, your first thought might be that you have an allergy—but that's not always the case. Researchers have estimated that up to 15 million Americans have food allergies. Food-related issues like delayed sensitivity or intolerance may cause other problems such as IBS, migraines, and fibromyalgia which unfortunately affect 60,000,000 Americans, with roughly 2/3 of them being women.
Diet is typically the area that gets the least amount of attention, but in most cases, it's the key factor for finding relief for the patient. Unfortunately, conventional treatments (including pharmaceutical therapies) can be unsuccessful. Get to know all about food sensitivities, allergies, and Voyage Healthcare’s LEAP program to get your diet and digestive back in working order!
Sensitivity vs. Allergy: Are They the Same?
Food sensitivities are often physical reactions to certain foods, and, “food sensitivities are much more common than food allergies,” says David Goodman, MD, Allergy and Asthma Consultants of the Rockies in Wheat Ridge, Colorado.
Food Allergy: IgE immune-mediated reaction, which can quickly lead to severe consequences, such as anaphylaxis
Food Sensitivity: A different type of immune-mediated reaction, with symptom manifestation over time, such as bloating, headaches, GI distress, etc.
While being sensitive to certain foods may cause an intolerance, it’s not exactly a food allergy. In a true food allergy, the immune system produces antibodies and histamine in response to the specific food, according to the National Library of Medicine. There are roughly eight types of food that make up around 90 percent of allergic reactions to food, and they include milk, fish, eggs, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans. Beyond those eight, there are over 170 known foods that cause reactions, with sesame being an emerging allergen concern.
The subsequent symptoms of food allergies include:
- Anaphylactic shock (which can occur within minutes and result in death)
In contrast, food sensitivities produce delayed reactions—from a few hours to several days—and commonly affect the gastrointestinal tract, experts say. Other common signs and symptoms of intolerance include: bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, cramping, and nausea.
LEAP into a Healthier You
Voyage Healthcare is happy to offer the LEAP Program (Lifestyle, Eating, and Performance). LEAP is a strategic method of dealing with the dietary components of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), migraines, fibromyalgia, joint and muscle pain, fatigue, vomiting, chronic sinusitis and other symptoms caused by delayed food sensitivities.
The program uses a specific lab test for food sensitivities, Mediator Release Testing (MRT). MRT measures the reaction of the blood with 170 foods and food chemicals to determine the level of inflammatory response in the body. Using the results of the test, in combination with any history of comorbid food allergy or intolerance which may exist, a patient-specific dietary modification plan is developed.
The specific eating plan optimizes the patient’s diet over a period of approximately 90 days, removing all possible dietary provocation quickly, without guesswork. The goal is to strategically address a primary mechanism of symptom generation in a wide range of disease states.
When a patient’s clinical presentation is consistent with food sensitivity related illness, and they follow the LEAP protocols, three out of four people will adhere to the program sufficiently to experience a significant reduction in symptoms over the initial 30-day period up to and including 100% remission in highly compliant patients.
Assess Your Diet & Health Concerns At Voyage Healthcare
Gwenda Hill, MS, RDN, LD, looks forward to helping more clients with these health problems and encourages you to contact her for an introductory session to assess whether this program is appropriate for your health concerns. Schedule an appointment with Gwenda Hill today!