Hi, everyone. My name is Dr. Tom Rofrano from the Natural Medicine Clinic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and today, I’m talking to you about food allergies, food sensitivities, and how do you know if you have them. So these can cause all sorts of health problems.
Health Issues and Food Allergies
Everything from- starting from the head down, headaches, brain fog, lack of focus and concentration, fatigue, throat- sore throats, canker sores, sinus congestion, ear infections, digestive issues, constipation, diarrhea, IBS. Food sensitivities and allergies can also cause skin reactions, itchiness, eczema, psoriasis, acne. I mean, there are just- at almost any health issue you can think of, food sensitivities or food allergies can be involved.
Even in the heart- heart palpitations, fast heartbeat, lung congestion, asthma- I think one of the most common causes for asthma is food allergies- bronchitis, and muscle- overall body aches and pains, inflammation- rheumatoid arthritis is linked to food reactions and sensitivities, food allergies. In overall, fatigue, sluggishness, even hyperactivity related to food sensitivities. And weight gain is a huge issue with food sensitivities- inability to lose weight.
Patient with Food Allergies and The Free Diet
I had a patient recently. She was 35 years old, and she came in for a host of health issues but one was that she was unable to lose weight and she even- she went on a number of different diets- even the ketogenic diet which, as you know, is really popular right now. So she did that for an entire month and lost- she said, lost like two or three pounds at the most in a month’s time. And once we figured it out, we put her on the Free Diet which I’ll talk to you about in a little while and also provide you a free copy of phase one of the Free Diet. But anyway, she went on that and in the first two weeks, dropped ten pounds. But weight gain and losing weight, it’s not all about the calories per se, but food sensitivities are a huge part of inability to lose weight.
True Food Allergies
And we’ll talk about the basic types of food allergy. So one is a true food allergy- acute immediate reaction and this is something like for instance, if a child eats peanuts they’re allergic to, they can get- I don’t- you know, swelling, difficulty breathing, anaphylactic shock or you know, even cause death. That’s a true food allergy and there are different levels of it, from mild to severe.
Skin reaction types and breathing issues are the most common but also vomiting- vomiting and diarrhea- the digestive issues as well. But those are true food allergies and how do you know if you have them? Most people know because they have an immediate reaction that’s very easy to see. And also, there are skin testing- skin test for that, testing a number of different foods or environmental allergies. And secondly, blood test, you can do a panel of- a number of different foods to see if you have a true allergy.
Much more common than that is food sensitivities. Those are very common and probably, almost every patient that comes into the natural medicine clinic- and I’ve been practicing over thirty years now- and I would say almost every person that comes in with health issues has food sensitivities. And these are delayed reactions. You don’t necessarily notice something right away. It could take an hour or two, even the next day or two- two or three days later. Gluten is a common one where if someone eats gluten, they’re not necessarily gonna have very quick reaction, necessarily. But you know, within an hour or two or in the next day or day after, it’s a sense of food sensitivity, not necessarily a true allergy.
Finding Out if You Have Food Sensitivities
So how do you know if you have sensitivities? So this is two ways- for this also, there are food sensitivity tests you can do and there are a number of different labs that do food sensitivity test. I’ve used quite- I use quite a few different ones over the years and I found one recently that I like the best because it has a multitude of different factors, not just, say IgG or like IgG, IgA, IgM and two other separate distinct pathways. So that’s you know, very comprehensive blood test where you can check 150, 200 or more foods and even chemicals and preservatives, things like that- molds.
An Elimination Diet
So that’s one way to find out and another way is to do an elimination diet which- the elimination diet but like- typically, what that means is you eliminate one or more foods and see how you do and then you bring it back in and see if your symptoms clear up but that is very difficult. I’ve done it- again, followed with different ones over the years but I came up with a better option which I call the free diet because it’s free of not only gluten- gluten but also the most common- actually, the most common allergens and sensitivities- gluten, grains, yeast, soy, corn, legume, eggs, sugar, GMOs. So ten different main categories of foods and again, we’ll provide a link there for a complete copy of phase one. So typically, what happens, you follow the free diet for- phase one is four weeks. It takes about three weeks for your antibody levels for these particular foods to go down.
Clearing Up Health Issues
So phase one is typically four weeks and usually within that time, a lot of these health issues will start to clear up and then when we get into phase two, we start adding foods back one at a time to see if there is- to see what kind of reaction is and then we can gauge the certain way we add and back, you know, once- so many days, you know, one new food so you can really pinpoint what it is. So that’s a great way- an alternative to say, lab testing where you can identify what you’re sensitive to.
And we just saw an example that- I have a patient who’s 25 who ate- she actually had some- she was giving some gluten free cookies. She has a real strong sensitivity to gluten. You know, it caused a lot of health issues for her and she was doing great. And so she had these what she thought were gluten free gingerbread cookies for the holidays and then turns- come to find out, they weren’t though. So what happened is after she started eating, easily within an hour, she started getting headaches, nausea, and indigestion.
She’s just wondering what was going on. So she then looked at the package, at the ingredients and she’s like, oh my gosh, the first ingredient was wheat. So she just didn’t realize it. Not only that, this lasted for the next day and that leaded into other- like more long-term digestive issues for a couple weeks. Because like I said, your antibody levels can- it takes a few weeks for them to go down, when you eat a food that you’re sensitive to. So that’d be an example of a delayed sensitivity.
Another Patient’s Experience
Another example- well, speaking of the holidays, so you know, we just got through with Christmas. And so I had patients come in, just tell me different things. So one patient, she’s a 29 year old woman, and she gained five pounds over the holidays not from eating a ton of food but just eating foods that she was sent to. She had already gone through phase one of the free diet, lost a bunch of weight but with her was mainly sugar and gluten- those are the two big ones. And she gained five pounds within you know, over the holidays and another patient who actually- 49 years old- and she lost three pounds over the holidays because she’s stuck with- she was in phase one so and she’s stuck with it because she’s doing so well that she didn’t want to screw it up.
And actually, she’s actually into it for three months now and she has lost 28 pounds over three months. So she didn’t want to get off track which- so it is possible to yes, even during the holidays, to stick with something if you’re motivated enough and really encouraged about how great you’re feeling compared to how you used to feel.
An Extreme Case
I did have one extreme case where a patient told me about again, she’s very sensitive to gluten, yeast, and sugar and she had a slice of a cookie cake and by the next morning, was seven pounds heavier- after one slice. Now, it’s not the calories. It’s not the amount of food but when you eat a food you’re sensitive to, it can cause inflammation, watery tension, bloating, and you can really just get all swollen just literally overnight.
So on the plus side, you can also get phenomenal results if you identify what foods you’re sensitive to and then eliminate those. When you’re testing the Free Diet, you can really clear up a lot of health issues whether it’s energy. You know, literally having fatigue, or skin problems, or brain fog, anxiety, you know, lack of focus, you know, again, digestive aches and pains- just a whole- a whole lot of issues that we mentioned earlier can be cleared up when you eliminate foods you’re sensitive to. So if you have any questions or comments or have an experience you want to tell us about, you know, feel free to comment below. And if you want a copy of phase one of the Free Diet, just click on the link. And thanks for joining me today and look forward to seeing you next week. Take care.
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