We recently aired a story on food intolerances where the lovely Tracy Moore was tested through a new test called the Hemocode (www.hemocode.com). You can check below to see what Tracy’s results were (and thankfully … she was NOT sensitive to chocolate – her absolute favorite food!).
After the show was aired, I had a ton of e-mails from Cityline viewers wondering if this test was right for them and if it could help with the symptoms they were experiencing. So….in response to the e-mails and questions (which I love – keep them coming!), I decided to write in a bit more detail on food allergies, intolerances and elimination diets.
What is a food allergy?
Allergies and food intolerances are completely different processes within the body. A food allergy is triggered by an IgE immune response, which triggers histamine. The reaction is often immediate and can be life threatening. Symptoms can include swelling of the tongue, shortness of breath or anaphylaxis reaction. This type of food allergy occurs in approximately 5-7% of the Canadian population. Strict avoidance of the allergen (i.e. peanuts) must be adhered to for a lifetime .
What is a food intolerance?
A food sensitivity or intolerance to a particular food can occur due to over-consumption of the food, environmental factors or genetics.. The reaction is not life threatening, is often delayed and can cause a myriad of symptoms such as;
Bloating or cramping
Inability to lose weight
Skin irritation or eczema
Irritable bowel syndrome (In fact, in 2004, the British journal Gut published a controlled trial on irritable bowel syndrome that showed the average sufferer has six to seven food intolerances. These intolerances were assisted by following an elimination diet).
If you suspect you have a food sensitivity causing your symptoms, one method of treatment your doctor may recommend is an elimination diet (i.e. eliminating the suspected food from your diet for a period of time to see if your health improves and your symptoms subside). Unfortunately, elimination diets can be quite difficult to implement and often feel like a “guessing game” deciphering which food is the culprit.
For this reason, many Canadians are now turning to a different test called the Hemocode test, which tests IgG anti-bodies (different than an immediate allergy immune response). The Hemocode test is a naturopathic supervised test that uses a single finger prick of blood to analyze your personal reaction to 250 various foods. Your food intolerances are classified as severe, moderate or acceptable. It is recommended that you remove your severe intolerances from your diet for a 6-12 month period and your moderate intolerances for 9-12 weeks.
Keep in mind that this is an emerging science and is often used in conjunction with a complete health history from your doctor.
I have had several clients use the test and have had much success (in regards to improvement in digestion and bloating) once their offending foods were eliminated. Depending on the severity of your food sensitivity, once a food is removed for a period of time, it can likely be introduced in the future on a rotation basis.
The test is not currently covered by OHIP but is covered by some insurance plans (cost $450). Visit www.hemocode.com or a Rexall pharmacy to learn more.
Stay tuned for some super healthy (and low calorie!) holiday recipes coming soon. I know you will love them!
If you have a question – I would love to hear from you. Just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get back to you.
Tracy’s severe food allergies:
Tracy’s moderate food allergies:
Almond Tuna Black tea
Chili Bib lettuce Cumin
Green tea Iceberg lettuce Nettle
Romaine lettuce Rosehip tea Sage
Broccoli Dates Scallops