The American Medical Association1 announced in June, 2013 that they have now classified obesity as a state of disease. Obesity leads to many of the nation’s most devastating and preventable health issues, including cardiovascular and an increased risk of type-II diabetes. Weight gain and obesity are overwhelming precursors in regard to premature death and disability, decreased productivity, social stigmatization and is also linked to food sensitivity. While food sensitivity is only one of a hundred factors that can cause obesity, recognizing it can yield phenomenal benefits. Published research reveals that elevated IgE (an antibody) correlates to systemic inflammation, causing weight gain due to food sensitivity2.
In my practice I am the detective, studying the relationship between food and health - the science of how nutrients are digested, absorbed, transported, metabolized, stored and eliminated by the body. I also look into environmental factors such as the quality and safety of foods, supplements and medications. Our body is a giant system with all parts being equal.
Understanding the lifestyle of the individual encompasses stress, sleep, and state of mind to determine overall health.
During a client interview or reviewing a food diary, I would suspect a sensitivity to dairy when it is ingested at every meal. With statements like “It’s the only way I like to get protein,” “I hate meat,” or “You said that I should be eating protein”, a red flag appears as clients tend to crave foods to which they are allergic . Therefore, eliminating dairy and giving several alternatives to dairy-based foods will reduce IgE and inflammation. If the client then experiences weight loss, reduced bloating and gas, and decreased anthropomorphic measurements (bodyweight waist-to-hip ratio) it would be correct to assume that this course of action was a positive choice. Another common allergy is to gluten, causing sensitivity or Celiac disease. Celiac is triggered by the protein (gluten), which is found in barley, wheat, rye, spelt and oats. Celiac disease is on the rise, which can be complicated by the synergistic effect of several environmental prompts.
Considering an elimination diet could be a useful tactic in determining a food sensitivity or allergy. The diet works by removing all of your suspect foods for two weeks - then begin to add these foods slowly and one at a time. Introduce the first food for an entire day and wait two days without eating that food, or others that you suspect cause irritability. If symptoms appear within two days, assume that you’ve found an allergen. If this food does not cause symptoms, wait to add it back into your diet until you’ve tested all suspected foods.
- Farouk A. Obesity as the state: it’s about patient health. American medical Association, JAMA network 6/25/2013. Available at: http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/ama-president-blog/road-dr-hoven.page?plckController=Blog&plckBlogPage=BlogViewPost&UID=a0ab4522-eadf-4594-808e-508e4fa2e811&plckPostId=Blog%3Aa0ab4522-eadf-4594-808e-508e4fa2e811Post%3A13a0adac-b70d-431d-a262-999a7a6b427d&plckScript=blogScript&plckElementId=blogDest 6/30/13
- Visness CM et al. Association of obesity with IgE levels and allergy symptoms in children and adolescents: results from the national health and nutritional examination survey 2005 – 2006. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2009 May; 123(5):1169. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19230960 6/30/13
- Enterolab. Pricing and information about test. Available at: https://www.enterolab.com/StaticPages/TestInfo.aspx#PanelAC 6/30/13