Chronic Condition? It Could Be a Food Sensitivity

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09/16/2013
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Interviewer: When it comes to healthy weight, what kind of a role might food sensitivity play in that, and we talked about that earlier, and what kind of conditions maybe can stem from that?

Dr. Joel Baumgartner: So food sensitivities, in general, can affect body weight because it creates an inflammatory state in the body, which it affects metabolism and it affects a lot of different things. But a food sensitivity also creates, it's interesting, it creates a craving for that food. For example, I just throw it out there, strawberries. So, say I have sensitivity to strawberries. It's different than a food allergy. That's a good kind of comparison to make, because a food sensitivity means when I eat a strawberry, I don't get bloated. I don't get short of breath. I don't get swollen and itchy. When I eat a strawberry, I may, 24 hours later, be just a little bit fatigued or a little bit sluggish or a little less motivated. Or I might have a headache or a dull pain, or my arthritis might be flared up. It's because, when you ate that strawberry, it's a food sensitivity, it means the body is not necessarily allergic to it, but it's very sensitive. And when I ate that strawberry, it goes into my stomach and actually creates a small inflammatory reaction there that spreads all throughout my body.

So if I had a vulnerability towards arthritis, that strawberry actually just made my knee achier. Or if I have a vulnerability to headaches, "Man I have these daily headaches." Well, I ate strawberries everyday and I didn't know it. So getting your food sensitivity is really for your food sensitivity tested, it's really for a lot of reasons. For weight loss it's really good. It's good for people's chronic fatigue, chronic pain. "Uh, I can't figure out why I have my headaches. I've had that MRI. The doctor said my head's totally normal. Oh. I've got a broccoli sensitivity, and I eat broccoli everyday because it's suppose to be healthy for me. So what's healthy for one person can actually be detrimental to another.

Interviewer: Talk about that test a little bit and how easy is that to get 

Dr. Joel Baumgartner: So the alki test is, basically it's a blood test. So a patient would come on it, and I know a lot of our patients, we see a lot of patients with chronic pain, fatigue, headaches, joint degeneration. We're an orthopedic clinic. We're also dealing a lot with people's energy levels and fatigue and motivation, so they come in, they have some of those symptoms, well that is definitely a sign of a food sensitivity. We order the blood test, draw a little bit of blood. It goes to the lab, comes back in about a week, and what the test will show us is about 150 different food sensitivities. Also a different environmental chemicals, like, say you read the back of that Gatorade. It has red, number 40 in it. So you could actually have a sensitivity to that ingredient. Aspartame, MSG, all those different chemicals come back as well, and you can tell if your body tolerates it or not. 

Interviewer: There's got to be a lot of people that have food sensitivities and have no idea.

Dr. Joel Baumgartner: Oh for sure. Yeah.

Interviewer: I would think. Because usually it takes upwards of 24 hours, maybe even to show signs. 

Dr. Joel Baumgartner: Exactly.

Interviewer: That's got to be pretty common, I would think. 

Dr. Joel Baumgartner: Most people are very shocked when the results come back, because the interesting thing about our food sensitivity too, is that you actually will crave the foods that you're sensitive to, because it creates that, that inflammatory reaction actually releases some endorphins. It's almost like a little food high, and so you can develop food addictions to food that you're sensitive to. So things that I crave everyday, like say I love pistachios. I'm always getting those pistachios out of the can. I just love them. They make me feel so good. You could be getting a slight little inflammatory reaction, which actually releases some good healthy endorphins, and then you crave it, so it creates this craving.
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Dr. Joel Baumgartner discusses food sensitivities and how they are different from food allergies. He describes why they might be hard to pinpoint without a test, but he also discusses the success of a certain test that might be able to help you out.

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