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Can You Heal A Food Sensitivity?

by on August 4, 2017

I think it’s safe to say that I get asked this question on most days. Being diagnosed with a food sensitivity can be pretty devastating, especially when it’s a food you love. It usually means that a huge dietary overhaul is needed because the foods we are most sensitive to tend the be the foods our body wants the most (you can read more about this here). But to answer the question, yes, a food sensitivity can be healed. Let me explain.

Food sensitivities have many causes including poor digestion, antibiotic use, adrenal fatigue, and symptoms are caused by the immune system reacting to that food, not in a way that leads to a trip to the emergency room, but they definitely impact quality of life. My food sensitivity and digestive healing journey began when I was studying naturopathic medicine. I had a large range of symptoms and I could check off all of the causes listed above. Learning about this concept, I went through the identification through elimination process and identified many foods I was reacting to – the biggest one for me being eggs. Whenever I ate an egg, I had excruciating abdominal pain that had me in bed for hours, along with a host of other symptoms.

Being a stubborn egg-lover, I was determined to get over this sensitivity because eggs are in everything and I didn’t want to have them affect my health and overall wellbeing. As a side note, eggs are actually one of the most common food sensitivities I see now. The only hope for this to happen was to begin a gut healing protocol. I followed a clean diet (probably 90% of the time because lets face it, I’m human), used probiotics and other gut healing agents, I cleaned my liver. Then I treated my adrenal fatigue and other hormone imbalances, I even took a look at my relationship with food and fears around certain foods, and like peeling an onion, I was on the road to healing my food sensitivities, one layer at a time.

It took me about three years to be able to eat an egg again without any pain, but I can say it was well worth it, and as a result this ongoing healing process, many other of my health issues were resolved.

Does this mean that I can eat as many eggs as I please? Does it mean that all food sensitivities can be healed? Does it mean that I’m done dealing with my health? The answer to all of the above is “no”:

  • I eat eggs in moderation and if I stick to this, my stomach is pretty happy. I also try to stick to eggs from free run chickens – they are healthier, better for the chickens and better for our planet!
  • Most food sensitivities can be healed, but not all.It depends on the cause of the food sensitivity and the amount of work that is put into healing.
  • Lastly, health is a daily pursuit, having reached this degree of health, I must consciously choose to maintain it and continue to improve unresolved health concerns and address the new ones that show up.

When looking at food sensitivities, we need to bring our body back into balance so our immune system isn’t overreacting to certain foods anymore. This does require addressing all aspects of health, removing the obstacles to healing and giving our body the tools it needs to heal. But with the proper tools, it can be done!

 

 

Dr Renée Purdy is a naturopathic doctor in Moncton, New Brunswick. In her practice, she values making health achievable and long lasting. She likes to explore the mind, body, spirit connection in health, and her approach includes using food as medicine, herbal medicine, acupuncture and lifestyle counselling. Her focus is on digestive health, hormone balance, thyroid health and adrenal fatigue.

 

 

 

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