Holistic Healing Center

5812 York Road
PO Box 132
Lahaska, PA 18931

215-794-7880

Holistic Healing Center
The Holistic Healing Center

Is Your Trouble Losing Weight Due to Food Allergies?
© 2022 Health Realizations, Inc. Update

 

The prevalence of obese and overweight individuals has dramatically increased in the United States in the last 20 years. In every U.S. state, at least 20 percent of residents are obese, and in 36 states that percentage rises to 25. In all, one-third of U.S. adults are obese and another 34 percent are overweight. There are many reasons for this epidemic, but one that you may not have considered is an allergy or sensitivity to certain foods. In fact, if you’ve been struggling to lose weight despite making positive changes to your diet and physical activity levels, this is a crucial factor worth looking into.

What are the Dangers and Risks of Obesity?

As you may know, a few of the serious side effects associated with obesity include:

  • Coronary heart disease

  • Type 2 diabetes

  • Cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)

  • Stroke

  • Gynecological problems (abnormal menses, infertility)

Achieving a healthy weight can significantly lower your risk for developing any of these health issues. So what exactly is a “healthy weight”?

The terms overweight and obese are used to describe ranges of weight above what is generally recognized to be healthy for a particular height. The Body Mass Index (BMI) is typically used to determine whether or not an individual falls into one of these categories by using one’s height and weight to indicate body fatness. An adult whose BMI is between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight, and an adult BMI over 30 is considered obese.

To calculate your BMI, multiply your height in inches by itself, divide your weight by that number, and then multiply by 703.

Example:

  • Height: 5'5 (65"), Weight: 150lbs.

  • 65 x 65= 4225

 
  • 150/4225= .0355

  • .0355 x 703= 24.96

Measuring your waist circumference is another important way to gauge the possible health risks associated with excess body weight. Your risks are increased if your waist size is greater than 35 inches for women or 40 inches for men.

Are You Trying to Lose Weight?

With the known health concerns that are associated with being overweight or obese, there is so much emphasis placed on all different types of diets and the importance of exercise. However, despite attention to these factors, some people are still struggling to obtain a healthy weight.

Do you, too, feel like you have tried everything to lose the weight?

Although different diets work for different people, the conventional diet plan of cutting calories, eating healthier foods, and exercising does not necessarily guarantee weight loss success. Just as there are many factors that contribute to weight gain, studies show that there are also sometimes more factors to weight loss than simply cutting back on calories and increasing exercise.

Why Cutting Calories and Exercise May Not be Working

Since it is true that you gain weight when you eat more calories than you can burn off, reducing your caloric intake and increasing the time you spend exercising is one popular suggested way to help you lose weight. But, if you have tried those strategies and still find that the scale is not budging, then you may be interested to know that there are other causes of weight gain besides not burning enough calories.

Weight gain, and trouble losing weight, can also be contributed to:

  • Anxiety

  • Prescription drug use

  • Blood sugar imbalance

 
  • Hypothyroidism

  • Essential fatty acid deficiency

Also, food allergies are another important factor that you may not realize could be holding you back from shedding those unwanted pounds.

How do You Know if You Have Food Allergies or Sensitivities?

True food allergies trigger your immune system to produce massive amounts of the chemical histamine that leads to anaphylaxis, which causes your throat and esophagus to swell, cutting off air from your lungs. Skin rashes, hives and other “allergy-like” symptoms are also sometimes caused by food allergies.

The inability to tolerate foods, known as sensitivity or intolerance, is different from a true allergy in that it induces chronic activation of your immune system leading to inflammatory processes that have been linked to countless chronic conditions including digestive disorders, migraines, obesity, chronic fatigue, ADD, aching joints, skin disorders, arthritis and many more.

When your body is sensitive to a certain food, it treats it as a poison and limits your body from absorbing the nutrients of the food, which in turn forces your body to store fat instead. It is possible to be reactive to many different foods.

When you think of allergies, you may associate them with symptoms such as sneezing, watery eyes, and coughing, which is one reason you may not realize it when you are sensitive to foods. It takes time for your body to go through the phases of digestion, and reactions that you have to certain foods are not always immediate or obvious.

Symptoms of food allergies/sensitivity that you may not expect include:

  • Bloating

  • Swelling in the hands, feet, ankles, abdomen, chin, and around the eyes

  • Migraine headaches

  • Fatigue

  • Depression

  • Chronic bowel problems

  • Canker sores

  • Joint pain

  • Chronic respiratory symptoms, such as sinus congestion

These symptoms are very easy to mistake for other conditions, as they are NOT typically associated with food or allergies. Fortunately, you can make an appointment with your health care practitioner to find out more about how to pinpoint your possible food sensitivities by taking the Cellular Antibody Test.

What is the "Cellular Antibody Test" and How Might it Help You Lose Weight?

The way such a test works is through identifying reactions of white blood cells to over 350 different foods and chemicals that result in inflammation and are linked to a wide variety of symptoms and health problems.

Studies have shown that groups following a diet that corresponds with the results of their test had more improvement in all aspects of body composition than groups allowed to choose their own dietary programs. Areas of improvement included:

  • Weight

  • Lean weight

  • Fat weight

  • Percent body fat (80% on the program lowered their body fat compared to only 34% of the participants choosing their own programs)

Also, the participants on such related programs reported significantly fewer chronic symptoms associated with food sensitivities, including migraine headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, binge eating, low self-esteem, recurrent anxiety, recurrent depression, and feeling under stress.

One study that was specifically designed to test people who had trouble losing weight by conventional diets of reducing caloric intake concluded that 98% of the subjects following the plan either lost weight or improved their body composition.

What Happens During a Test?

So, how is a test performed? Since tests determines which foods you are sensitive to by examining the way white blood cells react in relation to swelling when you eat certain foods, a simple blood sample is required to run a test.

Your healthcare provider can obtain a simple blood sample quickly and easily, just as if you were getting your blood tested for other reasons such as cholesterol, iron, and hormone deficiencies.

Once collected, your blood sample is sent to the lab to be tested. While still alive, your white blood cells are then exposed to the foods and chemicals you selected to be checked for sensitivities. Any inflammation of the cells is recorded, and indicates you are sensitive to whichever item triggered the response.

Once your healthcare provider receives the lab results from your blood sample, you can then make dietary decisions based on the findings to help reduce the irritation these foods are causing your body. The test may then allow you to gain a better understanding of how over 350 different foods affect your body, and you can develop a diet that is more beneficial to your body’s overall health and well-being, including achieving your weight loss goals.

What are the Benefits of Determining if You Have Food Sensitivities?

By determining if you have food sensitivities, you could set yourself on the path to achieving your health goals. Food sensitivities you don’t realize you have could be significantly influencing your ability to lose weight and achieve a higher level of health. Not only could your struggle with weight gain be associated with them, the other symptoms they cause could also be influencing your overall sense of well-being.

Do note that people with food sensitivities usually have poor gut integrity. A wise option for being proactive involves promoting gastrointestinal health through addressing the health of the gut lining which allows absorption of nutrients and blocks the access of toxins and allergens (large food molecules) to the bloodstream.

Poor digestive health in general can lead to food allergies so it would be wise to optimize digestion with high quality enzymes.

If you feel like dieting and exercise are not helping you reach your weight loss goals, talk with your health care practitioner to see if food allergies or sensitivities could be holding you back from achieving your ideal weight. By identifying sensitive foods you’d be better off avoiding, as well as those that are optimal for you to eat, you may be able to reach your goal weight faster, and with less effort, than you ever dreamed.


Sources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obesity

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, BMI

NCHS Health E- Stat

CDC U.S. Obesity Trends


Dr. Bernstein's Comments

Helpful article.

As mentioned in the article, food allergies are usually more immediate and involve reactions like hives or, in some cases, respiratory challenges that require quick emergency medical attention.

Food sensitivities and food intolerances can be mild to severe but are generally more delayed.  They can be more challenging to identify but once those foods are removed, a person can feel much better overall.

Food sensitivities can increase both fluid retention and fat production as protection against what the body is perceiving as toxic.

There are two major approaches we take to identifying food sensitivities at the Holistic Healing Center.  The first is the gold standard elimination diets which look to eliminate the most common offenders for a minimun of four weeks and then, with guidance, methodically add back the potential offenders gradually one at a time.  This method can produce dramatic results for patients in terms of feeling better and dropping some weight in the process.

The second approach is testing.  We offer several types of testing methods with various price points.  These tests are often not covered by insurance plans, but we do our best to guide you towards the best test for your financial and and health concerns.

There can be false negatives and false positives with this testing but it can be a very helpful starting point to clarify other foods once an elimination diet is completed.

Often there is disruption in gut lining integrity associated with food sensitivities, so gut healing protocols are often combined with addressing the foods that need to be removed from the diet either temporarily or longer if symptoms warrant.

Our Integrative Functional Nutritionist, Kirsten Hamilton RDN LDN FMNS, is trained in both approaches to address the identification of food sensitives discussed above.  She is also great at supporting patients with great alternative and recipe ideas to have the experience of eliminating some foods be easier.

Let us know how we can be of best support!

Please Note: Above comment statements are not written by eNurture nor the opinion of eNurture.com.

Contact Us
Address : 5812 York Road
PO Box 132
Lahaska, PA 18931

Phone : 215-794-7880
Fax : 215-794-7884
 
Website : www.drbholisticmd.com
 
Please call today: 215-794-7880 to make an appointment 
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