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Food Sensitivities and Allergies

Allergies can be classified depending on the type of immune response that is triggered.

An IgE immune response is indicative of an anaphylactic or immediate immune response that can be potentially life threatening. Symptoms of an IgE reaction can include:

  • Hives
  • Closing of the airway leading to respiratory distress
  • Swelling
  • Itchiness
  • Vomiting/diarrhea
  • Sensation of heat take over your body
  • Death

An IgG immune response is indicative of a delayed hypersensitivity/allergic reaction. Typically patients experiencing this type of reaction are not at immediate risk of death. An IgA immune response is indicative of a hypersensitivity reaction that is particularly affecting mucous membranes…i.e. the mouth, GI tract and airways. The presence of both antibodies to a particular food can detect the extent to which a particular food is affecting the patient and disrupting the intestinal barrier. Since 70-80% of our immune system is located in the gut, when the intestinal barrier is compromised, so is our immune system. These responses may manifest as:

  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • In extreme conditions – severe abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea and constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Dehydration

What about Gluten?

Celiac disease is a hypersensitivity to Gluten, a protein commonly found in wheat and flour products, but also largely added to various types of processed foods. In this condition, gluten particularly damages the cells making up the small intestine. Impairment if the intestinal barrier creates inflammation, which further causes more damage to the body systemically. Celiac disease can manifest as extreme or mild, depending on the individual. Symptoms include:

  • Chronic Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Weight Loss
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Blood or mucous in stool
  • Skin rash – dermatitis herpetiformis

Our naturopathic doctors at the Nardella Clinic in Calgary use a variety of diagnostic tools and blood tests to help to identify an individual’s food sensitivities and allergies. Once triggers are identified dietary recommendations are made to help to avoid the allergens, and also replace any nutrients through diet and supplementation that may be missing when diet changes are made.