Do You Have a Food Sensitivity? To Test or Not To Test


Food Sensitivity Testing

There has been a lot of attention in the last few years to food sensitivity testing.  I have watched Facebook and other social media outlets become inundated with the idea that food testing may be one of the most important pieces of the puzzle when trying to obtain a greater state of health.  There are many opposing views, and this often brings negativity and uncertainty about the validity of food sensitivity testing.  I have personally seen a shift for the better in many of my patients once tested for food sensitivities and after removing those foods from the diet.  Food testing plays a major role in diagnosing disease.

So just what is food sensitivity testing?Untitled design (74)

You must first understand one thing.  There is a clinical difference between a food ALLERGY and a food SENSITIVITY!  The difference between the two depends on the type of immune response your body makes when you become exposed to a particular food.  A true food allergy is one which elicits what is called an IgE response.  IgE is an immunoglobulin.  “Immunoglobulins, also known as antibodies, are glycoprotein molecules produced by plasma cells (white blood cells). They act as a critical part of the immune response by specifically recognizing and binding to particular antigens, such as bacteria or viruses and aiding in their destruction.” (1)  Foods also trigger these antibodies.   There are five major immunoglobulins, and these major immunoglobulins have a variety of subsets.   Being aware of these immunoglobulins is important because as the discussion of food testing grows, it must be clear as to which immunoglobulin which you are testing.  The five majors are as follows: IgA, IgD, IgE, IgG, and IgM.

IgA and IgM are the most recognized food sensitivity tests from my clinical experience.  A variety of labs exists that perform these types of testing.  It is often these same companies that bash one another to try and build their business reputation for being the most reliable and specific of the food sensitivity testing.  I also have spoken with many other professionals about whether or not they perform food sensitivity testing, and they don’t because they feel other triggers may be causing the health issue.  They point to triggers like stress and as being the cause of an individual’s issues with foods.  For example, we know that cortisol is a stress hormone.  Stress hormones activate the sympathetic nervous system which turns off the parasympathetic nervous system causing an issue with digestion. The digestive issue could be confused with a food sensitivity.  These may be valid points, but I feel that no stone be left unturned when evaluating the cause of one’s disease.

Research validates the efficacy of some food sensitivity tests to healing, but information about food sensitivity testing is everywhere.  If you decide to complete a food sensitivity panel, find a trusted practitioner to recommend what test to run, evaluate your results and to make the best treatment recommendation for you.

Dr. Andrew Kender III, DC
August 18, 2016

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. Andrew Kender, Dr. Robert Nichols, Dr. Jessica Eckman, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.

 Graphic: Image:

Do You Have Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Untitled design (45)

9 Signs that You Might Have A Leaky Gut!

Leaky gut has become a popular subject in health today.   What is it and how do you “plug” the leak?
I first heard of the syndrome back in the early 1980’s from my father, who was a phenomenal doctor of Chiropractic that did a lot of research, seminars, and reading.  Unfortunately, like most young college students, I did not pay much attention.  Now, I address leaky gut issues with patients daily.
The mainstream medical definition of “leaky gut” is very vague.   Typically, they conclude that if you do not have Crohn’s disease or IBS, then there is no problem. This view-point holds that if you do not have a food allergy that contributes to one of these medical problems, you do not have a problem at all.  It is true that conditions associated with a food allergy which can cause extreme pain and can cause you to go to the ER room due to your respiratory system shutting down, but it is also true that a food sensitivity can cause bloating, chronic inflammation, diarrhea, joint pain, disturbed sleep patterns and more.
So what is “leaky gut?” In your small intestines, there are tight intercellular junctions that prevent absorption of bacteria, food antigens, and other mid-size and large molecular structures. “During times of chronic inflammation or chronic stress, which increases cortisol production, the intestinal membrane may lose its tight junctions and allow the passage of antigens that are not small in molecular weight.”[1]  “This abnormal absorption will cause an inflammatory response to occur, which in turn will trigger an exaggerated immune response.”[2]  What this means is that if these larger particles can pass through junctions that are not tight, then your immune system releases antibodies that attack these particles and can trigger an autoimmune reaction causing these antibodies to attack specific areas of your body. Examples of this would be antibodies that can attack your thyroid (Hashimoto’s), antibodies that attack your joints (rheumatoid arthritis), antibodies that attach the sheaths that cover your nerves (multiple sclerosis), and so on.
So what are the indicators of a possible leaky gut issue?
  1. Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
  2. Seasonal allergies or asthma. [Click to Tweet]
  3. Hormonal imbalances such as PMS or PCOS.
  4. Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus, psoriasis, or celiac disease.
  5. Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia.
  6. Mood and mind issues such as depression, anxiety, ADD or ADHD.
  7. Skin issues such as acne, rosacea, or eczema.
  8. Diagnosis of candida overgrowth.
  9. Food allergies or food intolerances.”[3]
To heal leak guy, you need to balance the body’s chemistry.  In our clinic, we run a variety of tests to determine what has broken down in a person’s chemistry. We might n blood work to find out which inflammatory markers are high. We might run adrenal gland testing to measure the level of a patient’s cortisol production throughout the day. High cortisol level will weaken the tight junctions that lead to leaky gut. We also run stool and saliva samples that will let us know yeast levels, whether parasites are present, the level of the inflammatory markers in the gut, other infections in the gut, and hormonal levels, all of which could weaken these tight junctions if they are outside of the functional[4] range.  Of course, we also do food sensitivity testing.
So what do we do to fix these problems? We put people on individualize treatment programs depending on each person’s test findings. You can’t treat everyone the same. We will put patients on an individualized diet, implement various therapeutic protocols, and use different minerals, herbs, and vitamins.  The treatment of leaky gut MUST be customized.  No one vitamin or treatment protocol will work for everyone. [Click to Tweet]   The answer is to find a doctor who will spend the time to get to the bottom of your health issue, not just put you on a vitamin, medication, or tell you it’s all in your head.
I hope this helps answer some questions you may have to leaky gut. I wish you the best in your quest for better health and feeling better.
Dr. David Starkey D.C.
August 9, 2015
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians
To make an appointment, click here.

[1] Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis. Dr. Kharrazian, D.D., D.H.Sc., M.S., M.Neuro.Sci.,F.A.C.F.N., F.A.B.V.R., F.A.A.C.P., D.A.C.N.B.., D.A.B.C.N., D.I.B.A.K., C.N.S.
[2] Id.
[4] For more information on the difference between standard lab ranges and functional ranges, click here to read the Quick Guide to Functional Medicine.