Naturopathic Labor Induction

Naturopathic perinatal care includes supporting the spontaneous onset of labor, which helps to prevent the use of a cascade of medical interventions that may compromise the overall birthing experience for mother and child. “Naturopathic induction” involves strategies that support spontaneous, efficient labor by respecting and working with your body’s and the baby’s natural timing. Perinatal naturopathic medicine is safe and very complementary to the care you receive from your midwives or obstetrician.

If you and your unborn baby are healthy you can choose to do one or more of the following from 36 weeks’ gestation to help bring about spontaneous labor:

1. Have sex!

2. Walk frequently

3. Nipple stimulation

4. Communicate positively and reassuringly with your unborn child

5. Relax or meditate

When desired, women can also choose the following in-office treatments to further encourage spontaneous labor beginning at 36 weeks:

4. Acupuncture (points specific to promote the energy of labor)

5. Botanical medicine (herbal preparations that encourage efficient labor)

These strategies are traditionally used to encourage labor to begin spontaneously and progress healthfully in its own right time. With naturopathic care, we understand that women’s bodies know how to give birth and we aim to work with these inherent rhythms and wisdom.

Naturopathic care is helpful for women and families from preconception to pregnancy, labor, the postpartum period and pediatric health care.

Dr. Elizabeth J. Cherevaty BScH, ND is a registered naturopathic doctor specializing in perinatal health and is an executive member of the Association of Perinatal Naturopathic Doctors (www.apnd.org).

Sticking to It: Tips for Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions to Exercise & Lose Weight this Winter

Beat the Winter Blahs with Outdoor ExerciseMy number one tip for beating the “winter blahs” is to get outside into that winter weather with some outdoor activities that you enjoy. Cold weather exercise helps our bodies adapt to the lower temperatures so that we don’t suffer as much through cold winters. Outdoor exercise also ends up reducing that winter chill factor because it promotes good circulation and muscle tone to increase the body’s core temperature, which means a lowered susceptibility to feeling cold.Winter in Guelph offers us many outdoor exercise opportunities from a simple 10-20 minute walk, to skating, cross-country skiing or tobogganing with your family.  As a bonus, getting out for some winter exercise during the day gives us some much needed UV light exposure, which allows our bodies to produce vitamin D, a vitamin that’s becoming increasingly recognized as being important in regulating mood and maintaining a healthy immune system during the winter months. Exercise has also been shown in a recent study to be more effective than the flu shot in preventing seasonal influenza, so a great source of motivation right there!

Know the Nutritional Superfoods that Can Help You Reach Your Goals

Protein – we can’t underestimate the power of protein in helping you stick to your exercise goals. Increasing your protein intake when you’ve begun or increased your exercise routine will help keep you motivated because protein increases our body’s ability to respond to exercise and tolerate an increase in exercise. It’s especially important to increase protein intake at the beginning of your exercise program to help your body adapt. Protein is the key nutrient that rebuilds our muscle tissue and gives us stamina for our workouts. Any exercise program should aim to maintain or increase your muscle mass while decreasing fat mass. If your diet provides inadequate protein, you’ll feel more easily fatigued and you’ll lose motivation because you won’t see the results you’re looking for. One easy way to make sure you’re getting enough protein is by making a protein shake, providing at least 20 grams of quality protein, whether whey-, pea-, hemp- or soy-derived, along with a good dose of carbohydrates as a post-workout recovery meal or snack. The carbohydrates help trigger an insulin response to drive the protein into your muscle cells.

Green tea – has been shown in a number of studies to support weight loss, specifically fat loss (which is the kind of weight loss we’re aiming for). We know that caffeine if taken just before an exercise bout will increase exercise performance and endurance, but green tea also supports weight loss independently of the effective of caffeine; green tea antioxidants like EGCG, epigallocatechin gallate, are considered to provide this benefit. As a bonus green tea is also a nice hot beverage to enjoy in the winter and has been shown to be antiviral with activity against various cold and flu viruses that can otherwise zap our energy.

Focus on Health, Not the Number on the Scale

So much of the weight loss industry is focused on pounds and kilograms and fitting into a schedule for losing them. What we know clinically is that there are naturally going to be peaks and valleys as you follow your exercise program and plateaus in your weight that don’t necessarily reflect your true progress in terms of health. This is because exercise changes your physiology and the relative proportions of fat to muscle in your body. So don’t be discouraged from exercising if you see that your weight isn’t changing rapidly. You’re probably increasing muscle mass while decreasing fat mass, and slow weight loss is more sustainable in the long term. If you’re exercising and you want to track numbers, I encourage patients to pay closer attention to their waist-hip ratio (think pear-shape vs. apple-shape) and the relative proportions of muscle, fat and water in their bodies, rather than the absolute number on the scale. A healthy waist-hip ratio is <0.80 for women and <0.95 for men.

Be Supported

When taking up a new exercise program – or making any other positive change in your life for that matter – you’ll be more successful if you have social support from your friends, family and health care practitioner backing you up. In particular, communicating your goals to others has a strong impact on making you more successful in achieving your fitness and health goals. As well, be sure to get individualized advice from a health or fitness professional who can help you establish and reach your goals safely and effectively.

Let’s Get Soupy

Soups and stews are a mainstay for fall and winter meals. Easy on the digestion, warming, hydrating and oh-so-nourishing, soups and stews are also a great way to get a quick and healthy mid-week supper made with the help of leftover veggies, beans, lentils, meats and grains you’ve got in the fridge.
Great soup begins with great stock. Tonight, I’m making homemade chicken stock with a bone-in, skin-on quarter chicken (including the neck). Bones are key for great stock, as they add alkalinizing, easy-to-absorb minerals and collagen, a protein that supports the immune system as well as younger-looking skin – and makes for a richer tasting broth.Here’s how I make my super-easy homemade chicken stock:
1. Rub raw chicken with 2-3 tsp sea salt.
2. In large soup pot, heat 2 tbsp grapeseed oil over medium-high heat.
3. Place chicken in pot and sear for 30-60 seconds per side.
4. Add 2 peeled, whole onions* to the pot and cover chicken with filtered water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 1-2 hours.
*Additional veggies, herbs and spices are optional: try simmering in some black peppercorns, garlic, sliced ginger root, marjoram, or a few immune-boosting shiitake mushrooms.

You can use the stock and cooked chicken to make tonight’s soup right away, and freeze what’s left. This stock will cool to that gel-like consistency that tells you you’ve got a good, nourishing broth. Freeze the leftover stock into ice cube trays then add a few to your next soup or stew recipe for enhanced nutrition and flavour.

Healthy Hallowe’en? 3 Survival Tips for Parents

It’s that infamous time of year again: Hallowe’en. Forgive me for sounding goulishly doctor-ish with this post…..but from an immune system perspective, Hallowe’en is “the perfect storm”: the perfect costume designed to scare (but not to keep you warm) + cold weather + late nights + SUGAR = et VOILA!  Down come their defenses…and down come the kids with colds and flus. This pattern recurs every year, so what’s a fun-loving naturopath to do? YES you can have a fun Hallowe’en and here are a few suggestions for parents to help see your kids through the candy holiday with their health intact:
1. Warm it up. I remember being 4 years old and CRYING because it was actually snowing on Hallowe’en and my parents were insisting I wear my snowsuit on top of my costume (that year I was dressed up as…of all things….a strawberry). At 4 years old, after all that anticipation and excitement preparing for the big tricking-or-treating night, the mere thought of showing up on my neighbours’ doorsteps in winter boots dressed up as “a kid in a snowsuit”, my strawberry-ness all covered up with windproof this and waterproof that, bordered on mortifying. And I know you want to avoid both (1) tantrums and (2) a mortified child (WAY too sad!!)
So why not plan on Hallowe’en being cold (’cause it usually is) and think of costumes that easily accommodate some extra insulation? Think costumes that involve scarves, gloves, capes, hats….you get the picture! Getting a “chill” – which represents a lowering of the body’s core temperature – weakens the body’s defenses and makes trick-or-treaters more susceptible against whichever little bugs are around at any given time.
2. Ration that sugar like it’s the Great Depression. Really, this one is important because sugar not only gets kids bounding off the walls one hour, then cranky and crashy the next hour, but it also depresses their immune function for a period of hours after each sugar ingestion. Not to mention they way refined sugar aggravates behavioural and learning difficulties and decreases their ability to focus at school and disrupts their sleep patterns. To help minimize the effects of sugar, take charge of the candy bag when trick-or-treating is done. You’ll be sorting through the candy to look for risky things anyway…so help kids pick out a few (I’ll leave the interpretation of “a few” to you) favorites to enjoy in moderation throughout the week, and throw the rest away. There, I said it. Phew!  And remember….it’s perfectly OK to explain to your kids why they only get a few pieces of candy per week (i.e. so they don’t get and stay sick right through to Christmas holidays) and why the rest is going into the junk can – i.e. because it IS junk!
3. The balancing act. There are a few nutritional tricks that help buffer the negative effects of eating sugar. Have your child eat a meal or snack containing some protein and vegetables before the candy. Because it’s more slowly digested and doesn’t raise insulin levels, protein and fiber help to blunt blood sugar dips and spikes that can turn your child from Jekell into Hyde if he or she eats sugar on its own. Another tip is to have the serving of the select (see Ration, above) Hallowe’een candy all at once, with a meal, and followed immediately by brushing teeth. This beats spreading the same number of candies by themselves and spread over the course of the day, in terms of the impact on your child’s dental health and blood sugar. Be sure to send them out trick-or-treating on a full stomache so they won’t be tempted to sample their goodies before you’ve had a chance to check and sort.All that said…I am really not into the idea of becoming a Dr. Debbie Downer of Hallowe’en, so…get out there and enjoy the creativity and fun of the event and if the kids get sick….well….that’s OK once in a while, too.

For more on keeping your child healthy through cold and flu season, join our upcoming educational seminar!

Happy Hallowe’en!

Dr. Elizabeth Cherevaty BScH, ND
Guelph Naturopathic Doctor

Healing PMS Naturally: natural relief from premenstrual syndrome

Many women come to my office for help with premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Naturopathically speaking, the good news is that PMS is treatable.  If you have moderate to severe PMS symptoms almost every month, or if your PMS symptoms interfere with your ability to enjoy your relationships or activities, please know that this is “common”, but not “normal” – meaning that menstrual-related difficulties represent imbalances in the body that can and should be corrected with gentle, naturopathic therapies, and there is no need to endure troubling PMS symptoms every month. You can start naturopathic treatment before, during or after using conventional medical therapies for PMS such as the oral contraceptive pill.What is premenstrual syndrome (PMS) anyway?

PMS is a group of symptoms that many women experience in the 7-10 days before the menstrual period. Women may experience physical symptoms such as cramps, bloating, breast tenderness, acne, headaches or migraines, as well as emotional or mood–related symptoms, such as feelings of weepiness, depression, increased tension or irritability. You may have difficulty concentrating, crave certain foods like chocolate, sugar, alcohol or coffee, or you may experience changes in your sleep patterns. PMS symptoms typically get better soon after your period starts.

Various effective naturopathic therapies are available to treat PMS, including dietary modifications, acupuncture, herbal medicine, homeopathy and physical treatments. We’ll work together to identify ways to improve your hormonal, reproductive and overall health – keeping in mind that women who are in an optimal state of health will likely experience only mild or no PMS symptoms each month. That’s right, it is possible to have a PMS-free life! It’s my role as a Naturopathic Doctor to identify and remove the underlying causes of your symptoms to provide you with both short-term and lasting relief from the suffering of PMS.

What can I expect when I see my naturopathic doctor (ND)?

When you visit my office with a concern of PMS, I will invite you to tell me about your menstrual cycles and how you feel at different times throughout the month. I may recommend that you have certain lab studies, such as an abdominal or pelvic ultrasound, or blood work done. I’ll take the time to explain my assessment and answer any questions that you may have about how your individualized treatment plan will help you start feeling liberated from the symptoms of PMS.
For more about what to expect when visiting your naturopathic doctor, click here.

TIPS for a healthier, happier period:

  • Increase intake of fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy fats like omega-3 fish oils and cold water fish, hemp seeds and ground flax seeds to decrease inflammation that contributes to cramps, acne, headaches
  • Add a few teaspoons of freshly ground flax seed to a smoothie or cereal – these are a source of fibre and phytoestrogens, which combat excess estrogen levels in the body
  • Reduce your intake of inflammatory foods like fried vegetable oils, peanut oil, trans fats, coffee, sugar and refined carbs like white flour products, which can increase inflammation and pain
  • Iron deficiency can worsen menstrual cramps and fatigue. Include iron-rich foods, like grass-fed beef, free-run poultry, blackstrap molasses, dark green vegetables, raisins and use cast iron cookware to optimize your iron stores
  • Keep hydrated with at least 8 glasses (2 litres) pure water daily, and eliminate caffeine and alcohol which are dehydrating and contribute to breast tenderness
  • Get enough sleep, exercise and rest, especially during the week before your period

I’m doing all of the above and still having PMS symptoms. Where can I get more information?
Not to worry. Your ND will help you identify an approach that is effective for you, as a unique individual.
Contact your naturopathic doctor
 with any questions that you may have about natural ways to treat PMS. We are here to help.

Elizabeth Cherevaty ND
Naturopathic Doctor in Guelph, ON

Last day to give feedback on Ontario’s Naturopathy Act regulations

Dear patients,
It’s not too late!!! TODAY is the final day to give feedback on the regulations that will govern how your naturopathic doctor cares for you in the years to come. Please consider providing your feedback to the Transitional Council today if you have not already done so. The draft regulations can be found here
Email your comments, questions and concerns to info@collegeofnaturopaths.on.ca or fax to (416) 874-4095.
Thank you for your support in optimizing the way naturopathic doctors can serve you toward optimal health care, today and in the generations to come. 
-Elizabeth Cherevaty ND

OPEN LETTER TO THE TRANSITIONAL COUNCIL OF THE COLLEGE OF NATUROPATHS OF ONTARIO
Dear Transitional Council,
I have reviewed the proposed Naturopathy Act regulations and commend you on the hard work you have put in to develop them. I have the following points of feedback on the proposed regulations:
1. I would like to see the regulations better reflect the scope of training that naturopathic doctors have, including:
(a) protecting their ability to prescribe any natural/non-prescription substance that is within their training (without the use of lists of nonprescription substances, which will undoubtedly restrict naturopathic practice in the near and distant future) – please request that the Ministry dismiss the request for restrictive lists on the non-prescription substances that we recommend to our patients. It will be terribly restrictive to naturopathic practice from the day after the regulations become law. I suggest using categories of substances (if at all) – as an example, the Natural Health Products Regulations define non-prescription self-care substances by classes, e.g. whole or part of a plant, fungus or non-human animal material or extract thereof; an isolate or synthetic duplicate of a substance found in the latter category; a homeopathic medicine, etc. etc.
(b) respecting the general regulatory clause that allows practitioners to work only within the scope of their training and ability according to their own professional judgement, without having to have specific certifications for parenteral or other therapies.  NDs have the appropriate professional judgement and adherence to the oath of “first, do no harm” to know whether and when to use a certain treatment or practice a certain modality with their patients.
(c) providing for the use of basic primary care drugs like antibiotics and birth control for NDs who take the appropriate pharmaceutical upgrade training, as those with identical training as Ontario NDs have upgraded in B.C. The ability to receive a prescription for a required pharmaceutical from the patient’s ND will not only allow for more complete patient care but could alleviate hundreds to thousands of MD. Nurse Practitioner and emergency room visits annually for these basic drugs. We would only have to follow B.C.’s template to implement this type of approach. At the same time, providing for the ability to prescribe basic primary care drugs need not mandate those Ontario NDs who do not wish to undertake this aspect to do so.
2. I would also recommend removing the requirement for NDs to indicate “Naturopathic Doctor”, “ND” or equivalent after every instance of their name when preceded by “Dr” as this will become cumbersome and redundant in any written or audio materials which include one’s name more than once. The “threat of breaking the law” or “professional misconduct” charges when the qualifier is not placed after one’s name is truly unfair. The argument that an ND could misrepresent themselves as another type of doctor is truly patronizing to our profession as well as to the public, who do not appear to be confused by the use of the title “doctor” for PhDs, veterinarians, dentists, etc. Other professions do not have to use such a qualifier and a legal requirement to do so is demeaning to naturopathic doctors, is unreasonable and quite unnecessary.
3. I suggest the removal of the requirement to qualify “inactive” ND’s as such – members of other professions do not have to do this and it is demeaning to our elders or those on maternity leave, etc.-the quality assurance approach proposed in the regulations does not appear to be affordable, sustainable or necessary and could instead be approached through the existing types of mechanisms – when a complaint is made to the College against an ND, an investigation is then performed. There is no need to increase the administrative and financial burden on NDs as a whole through adversarial practice assessment. Third-party or College practice assessment only needs to occur if problems or concerns are identified by a complaint from the public or fellow professional.
4. I suggest the removal of provision 29 that prohibits the use of internet marketing/testimonials, as this is outdated in today’s world and to a large extent outside of an ND’s control e.g. if a patient remarks on a social media platform about the good work of his or her ND, the ND risking professional misconduct charges is absolutely inappropriate. Further, NDs should be allowed to use tasteful testimonials if desired – without paying patients or otherwise compromising integrity or doctor-patient relationships, of course-I suggest that we remove restrictions on delegation to other NDs, ND students and other professionals. For practice efficiency and quality of patient care, NDs who practice parenteral therapy or administer B12 injections must have the ability to delegate this task to a registered nurse or other professional with this controlled act within their scope.
5. I would like to see the terminology “naturopathic doctor” be the preferred way to refer to our professional designation in the regulations, rather than “naturopath”, which is less professional and credible in the views of the public and other health professionals. Title protection should be for “Naturopathic Doctor” or its alternate terminology and our college would be more aptly named, “College of Naturopathic Doctors of Ontario”.As Premier McGuinty has recommitted his support for NDs to work to their full scope of practice in the province of Ontario, I suggest requesting an appropriate extension beyond January 1, 2012 from the Ministry of Health in order to allow the Transitional Council to adequately review the feedback on these draft regulations, make the necessary revisions to ensure the Naturopathy Act becomes a robust and comprehensive piece of legislation that protects the naturopathic doctor’s scope of practice, protects the safety of the public and allows Ontarians to receive the best possible naturopathic health care today and for generations to come.

Thank you again for your hard work and service in drafting these regulations, and I so look forward to the robust, comprehensive and modern legislation that will take the practice of naturopathic medicine in Ontario into the future.

Yours truly,
Elizabeth Cherevaty ND
Naturopathic Doctor
Guelph, Ontario

Patients: have your say on the Naturopathy Act regulations

The Naturopathy Act will govern the quality and scope of care that Naturopathic Doctors can provide to patients in Ontario.  You can find the draft regulations here. Unless certain changes are made, the Naturopathy Act will make Ontario one of the most restrictive places to practice Naturopathic Medicine in North America and will limit the ability of your Naturopathic Doctor to provide the care that they are trained to provide, and can provide in other regulated jurisdictions such as British Columbia.

As a patient, your voice matters. Contact the Transitional Council of the College of Naturopaths, the group appointed by the Ontario Ministry of Health to draft the regulations, and provide your feedback on changes that you think should be made to the draft regulations, before they become law, to ensure you can receive the highest possible quality and broadest possible scope of care from your Naturopathic Doctor. The deadline is October 14, 2011. Email your feedback to info@collegeofnaturopaths.on.ca or mail to the address indicated at the top of the sample letter below – go ahead and modify it with your own thoughts on why protecting Naturopathic Doctors’ scope of practice to the full extent of their knowledge and training is important to you and your health.Remember to provide your comments by October 14, 2011.

SAMPLE LETTER TO THE TRANSITIONAL COUNCIL OF THE COLLEGE OF NATUROPATHS:

Mary-Ellen McKenna ND, President
Transitional Council of the College of Naturopaths of Ontario
163 Queen Street East, 4th Floor
Toronto ON
M5A 1S1

Dear Madame President,

I’d like to thank you and your colleagues for your work so far to further the naturopathic profession in Ontario.

I’ve been a dedicated patient of naturopathic medicine for years and I welcome the chance for ND’s to bring their services to more patients in a greater capacity.

I have a few questions around the limits to scope of naturopaths in the upcoming transition – I hope you can share them with your fellow council members and respond.

  • My Naturopathic Doctor has been able to successfully help me eliminate my need for my prescription medication for a chronic health condition. Why can he/she not modify my prescription to help me gradually wean my use of the drug safely and comfortably?
  • I see my Naturopathic Doctor for the primary care of acute issues. I prefer to not use antibiotics as a first line of therapy, but they are at times necessary. Naturopathic Doctors practicing in British Columbia with the same training as my Naturopathic Doctor have full prescribing authority for primary care drugs such as antibiotics. When my ND has the training and the expertise to prescribe antibiotics as required, why must I visit the emergency room, or a walk-in clinic?
  • I see my Naturopathic Doctor for my yearly gynecological visits. Why can’t I get a prescription for birth control from them?

With the passing of the Naturopathy Act, my Naturopathic Doctor enthusiastically informed me that my access to primary care from the provider I wanted was going to improve. I was told that the government was committed to ND’s working to their full scope and potential. I think this should include fuller prescribing rights and would really encourage you to at least put these questions out for consultation so that patients like me can talk about the kind of care we want.

This is something that patients in other jurisdictions have access to and I implore you to complete the work of transition by using your leadership position to pursue the greatest scope possible for Naturopathic Doctors.

Please help me and other Ontarians get the safe, proven, accessible health care that we know Naturopathic Doctors can so effectively provide.

Sincerely,

Your name and address here

Meditation as Medication: Help for Your ADHD Child

Did you know that practicing meditation actually changes the structure and function of the brain? New research has demonstrated that regions of the brain involved in paying attention and filtering out distractions become activated while people meditate, and they remain more active in regular meditators than in non-meditators. In small but positive clinical trials, children and teens with ADHD who were given instruction in meditation or yoga (which includes meditation) showed improvements in attention, impulsiveness and their ability to regulate their responses to stimuli around them.
Not sure if your ADHD child could sit still long enough to meditate? Programs can be modified to allow moving meditation instead of long periods of sitting, shorter session times and one-on-one coaching.

There are many natural approaches to helping your child overcome his or her ADHD symptoms. To learn more please contact the clinic.


A Healthy Facelift with Cosmetic Acupuncture

It was always fascinating in naturopathic college to learn how many disorders, symptoms and conditions can be successfully treated with acupuncture.  It is truly a magnificent system of medicine. When I learned that acupuncture could even be used to diminish wrinkles, reverse the effects of ageing and bring a healthy glow back to the skin, it was an easy decision for me to become certified in this technique so that I could offer cosmetic benefits alongside deeper health-promoting effects as well.  Health is beautiful! And I would much rather my patients choose this minimally painful, completely non-surgical, safe and effective approach while enhancing their health on all levels…than to resort to traumatic, expensive surgery or chemical treatments that fail to address the underlying causes of the wrinkles, sagging skin, jowls, acne, rosacea or other skin symptoms that are troubling you.
Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture provides the anti-aging and cosmetic benefits of a facelift; deep relaxation; and authentically better overall health through traditional and modern acupuncture techniques. Clients are often thrilled to learn they can obtain facelift-like results virtually painlessly, all through stimulating and rebalancing their bodies’ natural healing capacities that offer authentic results from the outside in and the inside out. Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture uniquely provides these benefits – just be prepared to look 5-15 years younger and feel healthier by the time you’ve completed your course of treatment!
·        Diminishes appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
·        Naturally stimulates collagen and elastin production in the skin
·        Restores a healthy glow through improving circulation, nutrient delivery and detoxification
·        Diminishes sagging, jowls, furrows, crow’s feet and double chins
·        Rebalances oily or dry skin
·        Resolves underlying health issues and physiology that contribute to ageing
·        Treats the whole person with individualized naturopathic care
·        Relaxes and rejuvenates the body and mind
·        Improves sleep, brightens the eyes, increases overall energy
How does facial acupuncture accomplish all of these cosmetic, physiological and energetic feats? Download the complete article here, or contact me at my office to learn more. Your questions are always welcome.

Do You Have Food Allergies or Food Intolerances? How to Find Out

Food allergies are common in infants, children and adults. The great majority of food allergy cases that I see in practice are delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions characterized by the presence of IgG (immunoglobulin G) type antibodies in the bloodstream. In people who have IgG-type food allergies, the body forms antibodies to components of food that are incompletely digested and allowed to pass between intestinal cells and enter the bloodstream. Bothersome and seemingly unrelated symptoms can arise in virtually every system of the body – from skin reactions such as eczema or hives to weight gain, headaches, behaviour and learning difficulties, and sleep disruption. Download the full article here.

In contrast, the potentially life-threatening immediate hypersensitivity reactions (anaphylaxis), such as peanut allergy, which are mediated by IgE type antibodies and detectable on skin-prick tests. How do food sensitivities develop? A vicious cycle of poor digestion, immune activation and inflammation is at play. Inadequate digestion due stress, too-early introduction of solid foods or allergenic foods to infants, antibiotics and antacid use can contribute to problems affecting digestion, such as low stomach acid, low digestive enzyme production, imbalanced gut bacteria and liver congestion. When digestion is poor and the gut is inflamed, large food molecules (that were supposed to be broken down to very, very small molecules by the time they reach the intestines) are able to pass through the intestinal lining and reach the blood stream. At this point, the immune system goes on “alert” mode because it interprets these large molecules as “foreign invaders” in the blood and creates antibodies to bind to them – similar to the immune system’s response to viruses and bacteria that infect the body. The immune activation and antigen-antibody complexes cause systemic inflammation, which can lead to the myriad symptoms associated with food allergies.

If you think you might have food allergies, consider getting an IgG food allergy test or trying an elimination diet to help you identify problematic foods. After a period of time and some digestive healing, you may be able to reintroduce these foods in moderation.