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Screening for Food Sensitivities

From a severe outbreak of itchy hives to trouble breathing, when we think of food intolerance we often think about these more serious side effects; however, it can be a bit more confusing when your symptoms are minor. Sometimes it can take up to 48 hours for symptoms to arise, leaving someone rather confused as to what might be causing their symptoms. If this sounds like something you are currently dealing with then you could be dealing with food sensitivities.

Unfortunately, this means that food sensitivity is rather misunderstand and often goes undiagnosed. It’s important that you are aware of any food sensitivities you might be dealing with. This is where an osteopath can help.

What is an osteopath?

An osteopathic physician is a doctor that focuses on the musculoskeletal system, from the joints and muscles to the spine. We focus on preventing, diagnosing, and treating conditions that affect the nervous, circulatory, and lymphatic systems of the body.

Most people think of osteopathic medicine as complementary to their general medicine and treatment. While our goal is to help you prevent health problems, we are also here to provide comprehensive care that focuses on improving how the body’s different systems work together.

What are the signs of food sensitivity?

Symptoms of food sensitivity are often delayed, but can be immediate too. Common symptoms of food sensitivity or intolerance include:

  • Headaches
  • Hives
  • Rashes
  • Diarrhea
  • Acid reflux
  • Flushed skin
  • Bloating
  • Malaise
  • Cough
  • Abdominal pain
  • Irritable bowels

Is food sensitivity the same as a food allergy?

These two issues are a bit different. While they both may cause the same symptoms, an allergy stimulates the immune system to treat the food as if it’s a foreign invader like an infection or bacteria, while food intolerance will not trigger the immune system. Furthermore, symptoms of intolerance tend to take a bit longer to show up than allergies. The most common food intolerances are:

  • Gluten
  • Dairy
  • Caffeine
  • Salicylates
  • Fructose
  • Sulfites

How do you screen for food sensitivities?

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above after eating certain foods it’s very possible that you’re dealing with a food sensitivity or intolerance. In this case, when you come in to see your osteopath for a food sensitivity screening we may perform a simple skin prick test, specific blood tests or breath test (often used for detecting fructose and lactose sensitivities).

An osteopathic physician may also place you on an elimination diet for several weeks to help figure out what food or foods to avoid. You’ll keep a diary of the foods you eat during this time, and as you slowly incorporate certain foods back into your diet you’ll want to keep track of any symptoms you experience.

If you suspect that you might be dealing with food sensitivity then it’s time to schedule a consultation with our osteopathic physician who can perform the proper diagnostic testing to see what food or foods could be impacting your health.


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