One of the questions I get a lot is "what's the difference between an allergy and a sensitivity?" This is such a great question!

As of now, I don't have any true food allergies that I know of, but I have a ton of sensitivities. My goal is to get to my doc when this pandemic declines a bit and get a food allergy test. I've never had food allergy testing because I don’t typically have a histamine reaction when I eat. The doctor wants to see if some of my inflammation is from food allergies.

Histamine reactions from allergies can include itching, sneezing, throat closing, hives, etc. Hence the term antihistamine when you are having an allergy attack. These are immune system responses from an invader that the immune system thinks is dangerous. Get. It. Out!

A food sensitivity is different. Most common symptoms are bloating and gastrointestinal upset, anxiety, headaches, migraines, cough, runny nose, joint pain, tiredness and fatigue. When I ate all the foods I was sensitive to, I had constant sinus infections and bronchitis, so it can affect your ability to fight off sickness as well.

For me, these symptoms come within hours to days of the time I eat the food. The bloat starts quickly, but the joint pain and fatigue is usually at day 3. I also get very angry for a day, which turns to anxiety. My poor husband. This is why I’m so careful with what I eat. It’s not just a half a day where I feel bad. It’s usually a week!

There are two kinds of tests you can get for allergies and sensitivities. Allergies are tested with the iGe test and sensitivities are tested with the iGg test.

iGe (immunoglobulin E) tests an immediate response to a substance in your body. You can get his blood test done at the doctor’s office for foods or external allergies. Many insurances cover this.

iGg (immunoglobulin G) tests something much subtler, food sensitivities. These reactions last longer than the iGe allergy. When you have food sensitivities, your body produces iGg antibodies which lead to the inflammatory process. A lot of insurance doesn't cover this test, and it's pretty expensive, which is why some companies have come up with some at home tests that are much more affordable.

You should see a doctor for the iGe test, but the iGg test can be done at home. Here’s a 15% off coupon for EverlyWell, one of the most popular sites for sensitivity testing these days.

Next week, I'm going to talk about some of the symptoms of food sensitivities.


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