Category Archives: Leaky gut syndrome

Omega 3’s- why are they anti-inflammatory?

Omega-3’s are polyunsaturated fatty acids that the body derives from certain foods. They are considered essential because they are critical for good health and the body cannot make them on its own. There are two main types of omega-3 fatty acids: Long chain (EPA and DHA) and short-chain (ALA).

Although they have many vital effects on one’s health including anti-blood clotting effects, reducing blood pressure, and lowering cholesterol, they also play in important role in fighting inflammation and are considered anti-inflammatory.

Inflammation is a critical mechanism your body possesses to help protect you from pathogens, irritants, and heal injuries by sending proteins and white blood cells to the affected area. While inflammation is very essential process, uncontrolled regulation can result in consequential tissue damage and contribute to many disease formations including cardiovascular disease and even cancer. That is why consuming anti-inflammatory foods, like Omega-3 essential fatty acids, is so imperative.

Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in several foods. These foods include:

• Grass fed beef

• Fresh deep water fish

• Raw flaxseeds, hemp seeds,

• Soybeans

• Shrimp

• Cauliflower

• Brussel sprouts

As you can see, there aren’t many foods that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and it is difficult to obtain the amount of Omega-3 that your body needs. Most people require a supplement to get this essential amount. Many health conditions require additional Omega-3. There are many types of supplements that are abundant in Omega-3’s. The most common and beneficial are:

• Fish oil

• Krill oil

• Cod liver oil

• Flax oil

• Hemp oil

Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) are abundant in fish and shellfish, and short-chain omega-3 fatty acids (ALA) are typically found in plants, such as flax and hemp. It is possible for the body to synthesize DHA and EPA from ALA, but conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA is extremely limited. Therefore, fish oils are usually the most efficient source of Omega-3 fatty acids.

If you are experiencing signs of inflammation or are interested in having an analysis of your Omega-3 intake, please contact Dr. Lee at Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center or call 206-319-5322.

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Where you get your food allergy testing matters!

The problem with the standard food allergy tests, run by most doctors, allergists, and dermatologists is that they missing out very important food allergy reactions in the testing methods. Most clinics tests for IgE reactions only, which is only found in a small population. Most food allergies are not IgE mediated but are rather IgG reactions or sometimes IgA reactions, such as in celiac disease.

 

IgE hypersensitivity immune response is commonly known as a food allergy.  This reaction typically occurs very quickly (minutes to hours) after eating an offending food and symptoms are generally severe.  Many are aware of food allergies causing anaphylaxis (the most common example being peanuts and kids) but they may also experience itchy lips/tongue/throat, stuffy nose, headaches, belly ache, diarrhea, gas, bloating, skin reactions, and sudden fatigue.  This test is typically done through the blood or a skin prick test. However most adults have their ‘trigger food’ figured out because the reaction is so quick.  If ice cream causes immediate diarrhea, or strawberries create lip swelling, and peanuts close your throat – one does not easily forget. It’s usually fairly obvious because the symptoms occur so quickly to the offending food.

 

IgG and IgA food allergy response is different from an immediate IgE food allergy response in that symptoms may not show up for hours or days after ingested offending food allergens. This makes it very difficult to pinpoint exactly what foods are causing what reaction in the body especially as people tend to eat the same foods over and over.  Symptoms of an IgG and IgA response include: sore throat, stuffy nose, congestion, headaches, belly aches, constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, hormone issues, foggy head, headaches, weight gain, fatigue, joint pain, depression, behavior changes, anxiety, and skin issues (particularly acne, eczema, psoriasis).  How do you know if dairy products cause your mental fogginess or gluten causes fatigue or almonds increase your acne if you eat them everyday?


Testing for IgG and IgA food allergies is confusing for many healthcare providers as they are not typically trained on these types of reactions as they are neither obvious nor life-threatening. However food allergies, intolerances and sensitivities are gaining public awareness as people are removing offending food groups in order to help support autism/spectrum disorder treatment plans, chronic diseases, and reduce inflammation in the body with success.

 

For more information about food allergies, intolerances and sensitivities, please contact Dr. Lee at Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center or call 206-319-5322

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Filed under Allergies, Arthritis, Digestion, Eczema, fatigue, Food allergy, IBD, IBS, Inflammation, Leaky gut syndrome, Skin Conditions, Weight Loss

Identifying the problem: food allergy vs. food sensitivity

Knowing the difference between a food allergy and a food sensitivity can better help you determine the type of testing best suited to the problem. A food allergy is when the immune system targets a specific food protein as an allergen. The body attacks it and as a result produces large amounts of immunoglobulin E (IgE). The release of IgE causes the release of histamines and other chemicals which cause what is known as an allergic reaction. Food allergies symptoms range from mild to severe such as hives, swelling, dry cough, intestinal problems, eczema, headaches, etc. Only about 4-5% of the population has a true, immediate food allergy; some common allergens are peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish. A delayed response in food allergy is more frequently seen. Instead of the production of IgE, the body produces IgG. The result of IgG production can lead to symptoms such as asthma, eczema, headaches, joint pain, fatigue and more. Delayed response to food allergen generally takes about 48-72 hours for symptoms to occur.

On the other hand, sensitivities to food are not caused by an immune response but instead an unpleasant reaction to certain foods commonly in the form of stomach upset, acid reflux, and nausea. Nearly 70- 80% of Americans have a food intolerance; common foods include dairy products and gluten rich foods.

Ways to tackle food intolerances is through an elimination diet method to first detect the suspect foods. If this alone doesn’t eliminate symptoms, getting a food sensitivity blood test such as an ALCAT test can match what types of food one is sensitive to. Two common ways to test for food allergies are a blood test that measures the amount of IgE and or IgG present for certain types of food. A basic skin prick test which tests for immediate IgE immune reactions to foods is also used.

For more information about food allergy and/or food sensitivity testing, please contact Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center at 206-319-5322 or info@seattlenaturopathiccenter.com

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How food intolerances affect your health?

The relative frequency of food intolerance and food-related complaints in the general populations is very high. Many food intolerances produce minimal symptoms, yet the long-term consequences are astonishing including thyroid disease, neurological disorders, increased cancer risk and accelerated aging.

 

Food intolerance is caused by a food substance that triggers a toxic reaction on contact with our intestinal cells. Contact with susceptible cells produces inflammation that can result in intestinal damage. The inflammatory cells release chemicals that cause our immune system to release antibodies against the offending food.


Some misconception of food intolerance

 

Food intolerances are diseases of childhood. Intolerances are more likely to be symptomatic in children but are found in adults of all ages. Food intolerances are perpetrators of ongoing intestinal inflammation, which may eventually exhaust the body’s defenses.


Food intolerances are only present in symptomatic patients. Food intolerances can be subjectively silent in many individuals. Nonetheless, they continue to drain our defenses and weaken our intestinal immune system. Food intolerance occurrence is underestimated in our symptom-driven health care system.


Food intolerances are simply intestinal irritations. Food intolerances can be more than a local intestinal problem, and may increase the risk of autoimmune diseases and cancer as well as accelerated aging.

 

Manifestations of Food Intolerance

 

  • Diarrhea or soft to loose stools are the most common digestive tract symptom
  • Constipation
  • Acid reflux
  • Changes in intestinal wall integrity
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Skin: hives, rash, eczema
  • Respiratory: asthma, nasal congestion, sinusitis
  • Brain: headache, migraine, sleeplessness, irritability

 

For more information about food intolerance and/or food intolerance testing, please contact Dr. Lee’s office at 206-319-5322 or visit us: Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center

 

 

 

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Elite athletes turning to Food Allergy testing for Better Health

PR Newswire

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla., April 18, 2012

Many professional athletes are turning to a new coach.  It’s not a conventional coach, it’s not even a human coach; rather, it’s a coach that instructs them in personalized dieting, a coach to help increase strength and normalize weight.  It’s a simple blood test for food and chemical sensitivity called the ALCAT Test.  Proponents claim that the ALCAT identifies adverse cellular reactions to foods and chemicals associated with inflammation. Experts agree inflammation causes chronic health problems including obesity.

 

So why is this of interest to elite athletes?  According to Roger Deutsch, test co-developer and author, Your Hidden Food Allergies are Making you Fat, “…avoidance of reactive foods might unblock insulin receptors, so food is burnt for energy and not stored as fat; decrease immune mediated muscle degradation and fatigue, and increase overall metabolic and respiratory function.  The results will be individual but all these things can arise from incompatible food triggers.”

Two of the most notable athletes to have taken the ALCAT Test are Minnesota Twins’ First Baseman Justin Morneau and Boston Red Sox’s Designated Hitter David Ortiz. Morneau is a former American League MVP and four time MLB All-Star.   Morneau’s experience was chronicled in the StarTribune wherein he states he was planning to ‘do everything I can humanly do to make myself feel better.’ The StarTribune also states: “While making the medical rounds last fall, Morneau also took the ALCAT Test to see if he had food allergies. He learned his body was sensitive, if not allergic to, sugars, gluten and dairy.” Morneau then lost 14 pounds in just a few weeks by following his new diet.

Athletes are always seeking new ways to enhance performance, and diet plays an essential role in their ability to do so.  Morneau states, “It’s not like I’ll choke or die from eating those things, but my body reacts poorly to them. It treats them as something I’m allergic to and fights the inflammation instead of the inflammation from an injury.”

The Red Sox David Ortiz was recently featured in a separate article titled, The Skinny on Big Papi’s Diet featured on ESPN.com. Even though Ortiz took the ALCAT Test for different reasons than Morneau, he had a similar experience, dropping 20 pounds in two months. Ortiz took the test because his “cholesterol had risen to dangerously high levels.” Since taking the test, and following its dietary guidelines, Ortiz said, “The results have been almost immediately noticeable.” He goes on to say, “I feel great” and “I can feel the difference when I swing a bat and when I work out, I don’t get as tired.”

Studies have shown dietary modification and food sensitivity testing to be a viable treatment modality for a number of chronic health problems.  Major League Baseball isn’t the only professional sport that has utilized the ALCAT Test.  Joe Rowgowski, Strength and Conditioning Coach for the NBA’s Orlando Magic, has been quoted as saying, “I’ve seen very good results with the ALCAT Test and often recommend it to the athletes I work with.”  In addition, Elite European Soccer Club, Juventus, was recently featured in a study titled Rational Management of Food Intolerance in an elite soccer club. This study was presented at the International Society of Sports Nutrition: 8th Annual ISSN Conference and Expo in 2011.

 

So what does all of this mean? This means your fork may actually be the best tool available for maximum performance. For the elite athlete, with all the available supplements, PEDs (performance enhancing drugs) and training methods perhaps it is indeed as simple as Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine.”  For the elite athlete or the occasional weekend warrior the best medicine may actually be finding out what foods are right for you.

ALCAT testing is available at Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center. Please call 206-3195322 for more information. 

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How Food Sensitivity Affects Weight and More!

For certain people struggling with headaches or joint pain, the food they’re eating may not only be keeping them from getting better but from also losing weight. Now a simple test can pinpoint food sensitivities and help some people improve their overall health.

Gabi Rose, weight loss and fitness expert, explains how the ALCAT test pinpoints food sensitivity and how being sensitive or allergic to certain foods can cause weight gain and other health issues.

ALCAT test is available at Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center. Please call 206-3195322 for more information.

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Food allergies may affect nearly 6 million children in U.S.

A study published in Pediatrics, 2011 suggests that food allergies affect a significant number of children in the US. This study, the largest of its kind, surveyed nearly 40,000 US households with one or more children less than 18 years of age.  Based on the data collected, the researchers found that food allergies affect 8.0% of US children or about 6 million. Of those children, 30.4% had multiple food allergies and 38.7% had a history of severe reactions. The most common allergies reported in the survey were peanut (25.2%), milk (21.1%) and shellfish (17.2%).

A well-known hallmark of food allergy is the production of IgE or IgG antibodies to a protein of the problem food. An allergy of this type develops when food-specific antibodies, bound to mast cells and basophils, present in the skin, gut and respiratory tract, come into contact with, and bind the circulating allergen. This binding activates these cells to release inflammatory mediators. This results in discomfort associated with allergy including stomach cramping, diarrhea, vomiting, hives, itching and swelling.

The prevalence of food allergies has shown a remarkable upswing over the past 10 to 20 years across all ages. There can be a genetic influence to developing allergies. Allergic parents are more likely to have allergic children. But certainly this cannot account wholly for the epidemic rise that we have seen over the decades. The manifestations of allergy are the result of the complex interaction between genetics, nutrition, immunity and environmental exposures such as tobacco smoke and pollutants that can increase the antigenic response.

Sound laboratory testing remains an essential clinical tool to identify food sensitivities, which may be the underlying causes of many conditions. For more information on food allergy testing, please contact Dr. Lee at 206-319-5322 or visit www.seattlenaturopathiccenter.com

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