**I need to preface this post by saying I have zero medical training, authority, or expertise on this topic. The purpose of this post is to share my experience in the hopes that it will inspire you to seek guidance from a medical professional if you are in the same boat I was in**
Hi, I’m Laura and I’m a gluten-free-dairy-free-soy-free-vegan-paleo-pescatarian.
In all seriousness, eating in this era can sometimes feel like a complete joke. Everyone is deeming everything “bad” for our bodies. While I do firmly believe that diet determines so much of our well-being, I’m not going to do anything extreme and start raising cattle in my own backyard. I do care about my body, which is what led my to food sensitivity testing.
I was diagnosed with acid reflux, gastroparesis, and irritable bowel syndrome in my late teens. The gastroparesis subsided in my mid-twenties after years of taking a medication to speed up my digestion. This medication, Reglan, is now rarely prescribed due to some common and extreme side effects. It is also never prescribed longterm as it was to me. I was on 40mg per day for 5 years. Fast forward to two years ago, when I decided to visit a naturopathic doctor. You can read more about that here. We’ve worked hard over the past two years to get rid of SIBO- the root cause of my IBS. While I was feeling great, I still wasn’t 100%, which is why she recommended a simple food sensitivity blood panel.
She drew a vial of blood in her office and sent it off to the lab to run an IgG ELISA 96 Food Panel. The test cost $180 and only $20 of that was covered by my insurance. In my opinion, that is a small price to pay for the information it provides. I already knew that I’m lactose intolerant, which is why I avoid dairy. She explained to me that a dairy sensitivity is different from being lactose intolerant. If you’re just lactose intolerant, you can take a lactose support supplement (like Lactaid) and digest the dairy just fine. If you’re sensitive to dairy, Lactaid won’t do you any good.
The panel tests for everything under the sun- specific meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, dairy, egg, herbs, grains, and legumes. I showed minor sensitivities to a few fruits, grains, and almonds, but the results weren’t high enough for me to commit to completely eliminating them from my diet. I did find out that everything in the dairy and egg category was off the charts sensitive. The panel is scored on a 0-3 system, and I tested 3 for every cheese, yogurt, and both egg whites and yolks. (Major bummer, since I love eggs so much!) This also explained why I was so sick during Whole30- all I ate were eggs.
So, what now? I will cut out eggs completely for 6 weeks and then challenge them back into my diet to see what I can tolerate. (Although my naturopath suspects not much.) I will try and bake with eggs and see if my symptoms return. I don’t think I will be eating scrambled egg whites for breakfast anymore, and I’m okay with that. After these six weeks, I don’t think I will become a crazy person when we’re at restaurants. If there is egg in something while we are eating out or at a friend’s house, I probably will eat it. It is one of my pet peeves when people make a fuss. I grew up with a sibling who has severe food allergies, and I always get annoyed when people treat sensitivities like allergies. It is not the same things. (Don’t argue this with me :)) The tiniest fragment of a treenut, shellfish, or peanuts will send my sister directly to the hospital. While they can cause serious havoc on your body, food sensitivities are not the same. At all. Period.
People have asked if I’m glad I had the testing done, and my answer is- without hesitation- yes! Many people are afraid to get food sensitivity testing for fear of what they might find out. To me, any knowledge about my health is power. I now have the power to feel great. Also, I have an understanding why, if I’m doing something society deems “healthy”, I feel like crap. Hello, Whole30 and all the eggs I ate.
Pictured above is one of my favorite gut support supplements. I put a scoop of GlutAloeMine in a glass of water each morning to support overall gut health.