Author: nordic@global

Food Sensitivity Testing

Immune reactions can result from food allergies or food sensitivity.

Most people have a good understanding of the idea of food allergies. This is when you have an immediate reaction to something, causing an acute respiratory response – weasy, runny nose, itchy eyes, difficulty in breathing. The food to which you are allergic will almost always provoke an immune reaction when ingested. In immediate reactions, the body over produces Immunoglobulin E antibodies, (IgE). IgE binds to allergens and triggers an allergic response to any substance it sees as foreign.

Often, the reaction isn’t severe the first time., It is the second time of exposure that the acute reaction can occur. In the worse case this can result in what is known as an anaphylactic shock, requiring immediate medical care.

Food sensitivities

A food  sensitivity, as opposed to a food allergy, happens gradually and isn’t life threatening. Symptoms of a delayed food allergy can take up to 72 hours to appear. This type of immune response is mediated by IgG antibodies, the largest circulating antibodies in our immune system and can cross the placenta from mother to child. IgG antibodies are the most common form of immunologic mediated food responses. It can be difficult to identify the offending food, since we eat so many foods that go through different processes and have many ingredients. It is estimated that 20% of the population have an adverse reaction to a certain food.

Food sensitivities may be caused by many factors such as stress, infections, overeating, artificial preservatives, additives, moulds, pesticides, antibiotics, and environmental pollutants. Unidentified food sensitivities can then contribute to many chronic health conditions. These include Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Rheumatoid arthritis, headaches, migraines, autism, ADD/ADHD, eczema, chronic ear infections, gut malabsorption, insomnia and many others.

Elimination diets and functional tests

Many times, the foods we eat frequently and seem healthy, are contributing to our health problems. Elimination of the offending foods can improve many health problems and lead to a better quality of life. Fortunately, it is possible via a simple finger prick test to test for IgG food sensitivity to identify those foods that you might be reacting too. Eliminating those few foods may have a dramatic impact on the symptoms that one suffers from.

The Nordic Food Panel tests for IgG antibodies towards a variety of common foods in a blood spot finger test, that can be carried out by the patient, at home, without the need of a phlebotomist. To find out more, click here.

The Personalised Medicine Survey

What’s it like experiencing Personalised Medicine for the first time? We spoke to Sam, a patient who has recently started working with one of our Nordic Clinic practitioners to resolve some of his own health challenges.

What drew you to Personalised Medicine in the first place?

Its hard to put my finger on one thing. I’d been struggling for a while with various things that on their own weren’t too bad but together were starting to feel wearing. Digestive problems, stress and insomnia problems, tiredness,  some anxiety problems. A few friends of mine had had some good experiences with Functional Medicine helping solve some of their problems. But nothing had really kicked me into action and I’d probably have just carried on thinking that was all normal. Then my Dad had a really major health scare with a cardiovascular related stroke and dementia. It was quite an emotional time. And it made me concerned about my own health future. My Grandad and Uncle both died young from heart attacks as well. I have a six year old daughter and imagining it being her stood in intensive care in a few years time made me think I should do something.

So what was the first visit like?

Well actually the experience kind of started before the first visit. One of the things that really impressed me was how much they knew about me before we even started properly talking. They send out this personalised medicine survey form. I was a bit kind of grumpy at first! It took ages! They ask about everything. Loads of stuff about my health now and in the past, medical history, family history stuff like that.

The personalised medicine survey. Did that seem useful then?

Like I say at first it felt time consuming. Then when I got there and there was a sense they’d already done so much homework on me it felt like the foundation of the relationship so how. It defined the whole experience in a way. I was so used to the kind of healthcare where they spend 10 minutes asking a few questions and send you away with a prescription. This is so personal by comparison. My practitioner is like a detective!! Trying to figure out how I’m wired and how we can make it all work better. And the survey was the start of that. It was really reassuring how much she already seemed to know about me. Actually it ended up seeming like a good use of time. Finding out all that information through talking would take much longer and I guess its no good knowing some of it later on, she needed to know some of it right at the start.

So it felt like a part of what makes personalised medicine so personal?

Yes it did I think. A really in depth way of getting to know me and my past.

What else helped at the beginning?

Well the first consultation was great and it really felt like the beginning of them getting to know me. But what really blew me away was them showing me the results of the first test they had me do. It was a DNA test. Its revealed lots of things about me I didn’t know. But one of the most powerful things is confirming that I have a genetic profile that is probably like my dads/ I have a thing called APOE3/4 which means I could be at higher risk of the kind of CVD and dementia my dad now has. I suppose I knew I probably had that risk factor but seeing it there in my own genes is quite a powerful motivator in wanting to make some of the lifestyle changes that are coming out of the treatment. Alongside the functional medicine survey it really helps to feel that all the recommendations are for me and are designed to help my specific genes and circumstances.

To find out more about how personalised medicine can help you as a patient, click here

The Power of Poo

Stool analysis – our poo can reveal a lot about us.

One of the things that sometimes causes our patients to raise their eyebrows is our mention of stool testing. Stool analysis is a powerful tool for understanding what might be going on in our gastro-intestinal tracts.

To gain the benefits from consumed food, nutrients must be appropriately digested and efficiently absorbed into bodily circulation. Poor digestion and malabsorption of vital nutrients can contribute to degenerative diseases, compromised immune status, and nutritional deficiencies. Impairment of the highly specific nutrient uptake processes, or compromised GI barrier function (or  “leaky gut syndrome”) can result from: low gastric acid production; chronic maldigestion; food allergen impact on intestinal absorptive surfaces; bacterial overgrowth or imbalances (dysbiosis); pathogenic bacteria; yeast or parasites and related toxic irritants; and the use of NSAID’s (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, such as aspirin and ibuprofen) and antibiotics.

A Comprehensive Stool Analysis with Parasitology (CSAP) test is a non-invasive diagnostic assessment that allows practitioners to objectively evaluate the status of intestinal bacteria. It tests for the intestinal ecology of microflora, including the presence of intestinal parasites and pathogens. It can be a a valuable tool in gaining insight into what is happening within the gastro-intestinal tract and tailoring interventions to the patient that might include the elimination of pathogens and exposure to irritants; supplementation of hydrochloric acid; pancreatic enzymes and pre- and probiotics; and repair of the mucosal barrier.

To find out more about the CSAP test, click here. 

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