Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Food Sensitivities: Are Everyday Foods Making You Sick?

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Food sensitivitiesAre you suffering from a stubborn health problem (for me it used to be migraines) that won’t go away no matter what you try? Do you feel like the medications you’re taking aren’t actually getting at the root cause of your illness, but you want something that will? 

If you feel this way, or know someone that does, here are some important facts to consider. Certain foods and food additives can be involved in a wide array of painful symptoms and chronic health problems. Food sensitivities are a common cause of many chronic conditions and affect an estimated 15-20% of the population. 

What Makes Us Feel Sick?

Symptoms provoked by food sensitivities occur when our immune system begins perceiving foods in the same way it perceives things which are truly harmful such as bacteria, viruses, or parasites. There are many reasons why this can happen, but this mistaken identity leads to the release of toxic chemicals called “mediators” (such as histamine, cytokines, and prostaglandins) from our immune cells. The inflammatory and pain-inducing effects of the mediators give rise to symptoms, which end up making us feel sick. Research has shown that patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), migraine headaches, fibromyalgia, chronic depression, and many other conditions have higher than normal levels of these mediators circulating throughout their bodies. For many, the “trigger” that causes the mediators to be released can be linked to foods or chemicals in their diet.

I’ve suffered from migraines since I was in middle school.  About 8 years ago, I got tested for food sensitivities.  I do not say this lightly, but it absolutely changed my life.  I used to get headaches almost every day, and after getting my results and changing my diet, I dropped to about 2 per month.  I found I was sensitive to broccoli, potatoes, pineapple, spinach---healthy foods!  But for some reason, my body had a reaction when I ate these foods, triggering a headache.  As soon as I followed the food elimination diet my life changed.

A Food Sensitivity Test

The food sensitivity test I had done is called LEAP. The LEAP program can help you overcome any food sensitivity problems you might have. LEAP will allow you to quickly identify what foods, additives, and chemicals are provoking your symptoms, and, more importantly, which foods have the highest probability of being safe.

LEAP uses a patented blood test named MRT (Mediator Release Test) to isolate a safe foods diet for each patient. MRT eliminates the guesswork to give you definitive answers.  Once the test is performed, an elimination diet and eating plan is tailored to the needs of each individual patient. Then, a trained LEAP dietitian can assist you in implementing your new, healthy eating plan. If you do have food sensitivities and you want to feel better, contact me today to get started!

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Tags: Nutrition Trends

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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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