Food sensitivities can affect your life in subtle ways. They can manifest by increasing your fatigue, clouding your judgement, intensifying your anger and other emotional reactions, or just make you feel bad for no apparent reason. Here are some tools to help you learn which foods, drinks or substances are the offending agents — and how to relieve your body’s stress and speed your adrenal recovery time.
Food & Environmental Intolerances Questionnaire
Food and environmental intolerances affect your body’s ability to function and can contribute to adrenal fatigue. A Food & Environmental Intolerances Questionnaire is available at our website. It lists common signs and symptoms of food and environmental intolerances. They may or may not show up on allergy tests, but if you have many of these signs and symptoms, your body is likely reacting to one or more substances you are eating, drinking or have been exposed to. Once you determine which substance(s) is bothering you and remove it, you should see improvement, provided that your adrenal glands have the capacity to respond and recover.
Elimination/Provocation Confirmation Test
The elimination/provocation test is an accurate, inexpensive and easy way to confirm suspicions about food sensitivities/allergies. To do this, you simply eliminate the suspect food from your diet completely for at least three weeks and then reintroduce it. The first time you reintroduce the food, beverage or substance, it is best to have only a small amount (one or two mouthfuls). Do not eat or drink anything but water for approximately one hour before and two hours after you consume your test item. Take your pulse sitting quietly before eating the food and every 15 minutes after, for an hour. Record any emotional swings, mood changes, or alterations in mental clarity. Note if your energy level goes up or down. One of the most common reactions found in food allergies/sensitivities is to feel especially good, almost giddy, for 30-45 minutes after you ingest the test item, and then to fall into a real low.
If you still do not notice any detectable difference in your pulse, energy level mental clarity, mood or in any other way physically, mentally or emotionally, you are probably not sensitive to that food or perhaps your are only sensitive to it under certain conditions. If you do notice such changes, you are probably sensitive to that food substance. Eliminate this item completely from your diet.
ELISA IgE Test
Getting an ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay) IgE food allergy test is the best place to start with laboratory tests. The basic panel covers 90-100 foods, and the more comprehensive panels cover about 175 foods including spices, herbs, condiments and uncommon foods. Despite the usefulness of the ELISA tests, there are certain kinds of food reactions that they do not pick up. For these, the Cellular Immune Food Reaction Tests may be more useful.
Cellular Immune Food Reaction Tests
Also known as delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction tests (DTH) or activated cell tests (ACT), these are less common blood tests that can be valuable in detecting subtle or delayed allergies not caught by the ELISA. These tests look at the part of the immune system’s response to food that can be delayed up to three days after eating the food. Such food allergies are seldom discovered by observations and are not picked up by the usual food panels.