Understanding our body’s unique reactions
Did you know that each individual has a unique reaction to different types of food? Do you want to know if your favorite might be causing your discomfort? These questions were uttered by registered nutritionist dietitian Jasmine Suiza during our recent interview on food intolerance and sensitivity.
“Food you are intolerant to may hinder you from being at your optimal health. Food intolerance occurs when an unhealthy gut lining has cracks or holes, allowing partially digested food and toxins to penetrate the tissues beneath it. This causes inflammation and other chronic symptoms like weight control issues, acne, bloating, brain fog, migraines, chronic fatigue, anxiety, and more,” said Suiza, also the product, service, and training development officer of Romlas Health Group, a company that has been advancing the health of Filipinos with root cause medicine through LifeScience Center, Global Medical Technologies, Skin+Nutrition, and Neuro-Fit.
According to her, people who are experiencing discomfort and chronic symptoms from weight problems, skin problems, stomach problems, to mental issues will benefit from taking a food intolerance test. The FoodPrint200+, commonly known as the Food Intolerance Test, analyzes 222 food items to determine which food items are causing adverse reactions to your overall health. It will help you determine exactly what your body is reacting to, and the results can also help you have a personalized diet for your needs.
To prevent any confusion, Suiza explains that food intolerance or sensitivity is different from food allergy. Which condition could be more serious?
“Some people interchange the IgG Food Reaction Test with IgE Food Allergy Tests. Both tests determine immune-mediated reactions to food,” she says. “The main difference is the antibodies that they detect. IgG Food Reaction Tests detect IgG levels in your blood, while IgE Food Allergy Tests analyze IgE levels. Aside from that, these are some of the distinctions between the two adverse food reactions. IgG food reactions appear after several hours, even up to 72 hours upon ingestion of the food item, where they cause non-life threatening but many symptoms affecting any part of the body, making it hard to diagnose. But don’t worry, IgG food reactions can be reversed or reduced by elimination of food items. On the other hand, food allergies appear immediately, and may cause life-threatening classical ‘allergic’ response like itching, swelling, rhinitis, or even anaphylaxis for some. IgE food allergies can last a lifetime, and are often self-diagnosed.”
Symptoms of anaphylaxis include, difficulty of breathing, confusion, fast heartbeat, and loss of consciousness. This can be a fatal condition.
After a registered medical technologist gets the patient’s blood sample (around 0.5 to 2ml of blood), a system is used to generate the test results for the Food Intolerance Test. The results will come in two formats. First is according to the Order of Reactivity. This is color coded red, yellow, and green while the second format of test results is according to Food Groups. Food items are grouped into Dairy/Egg, Grains (Gluten-containing and gluten-free), Fruits, Vegetables, Fish/Seafood, Meat, Herbs/Spices, Nuts/Seeds, and Miscellaneous. It may seem too technical, but you do not have to worry because a registered nutritionist dietitian (RND) will guide you in understanding your results.
‘By knowing my clients’ IgG food reactions, I can identify which food items are causing symptoms so that they can look forward to a happier and healthier life.’
Suiza recommends for the food items in the red zone to be eliminated from the diet for at least three weeks to three months. Those in the yellow zone must be reduced or rotated and can be consumed once or twice a week for three months. Lastly, food items in the green zone can be eaten freely, unless you have IgE food allergies.
“Since there are certain food items that have to be eliminated, the RND will help you select healthy food alternatives, so as to make sure that you are still supplied with a balanced diet (protein, fat, carbohydrate, minerals, vitamins, and phytonutrients), for optimal nutrition. After following the IgG-guided diet for three weeks to three months (or six months for some disciplined souls!), and monitoring of symptoms, food items in the red zone are reintroduced or brought back to the diet gradually,” said Suiza
As a registered nutritionist dietitian, Suiza believes that nutrition is not one-size-fits-all. It should be personalized for each client. In the advent of personalized nutrition, genetics, environmental, and lifestyle factors come into play. She further adds: “To help my clients achieve their tip-top shape, a properly functioning digestive system is critical to good health. This is also emphasized by a Functional Medicine framework called the 5R Framework for Gut Restoration.
According to this, removing stressors that negatively affect the environment of the gastrointestinal tract, and food that causes negative reactions should be eliminated.
“By knowing my clients’ IgG food reactions, I can identify which food items are causing symptoms so that they can look forward to a happier and healthier life,” Suiza adds.
If you have any unexplained symptoms that cannot be diagnosed or have been treated yet unresolved, consider the possibility of having food sensitivities and get a food intolerance test done.