Chico Food Allergies: Are You Allergic to Your Food?

If you find yourself with a stuffy nose, watery eyes and coughing this time of year in the Chico and Redding area, you probably know you have allergies. But it may surprise you that your child’s digestive problems, your spouse’s skin rash or your chronic headaches may originate from allergies also. Food allergies.

If traditional allergy testing has failed you, we can help.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2 - 3 % of Americans have true food allergies but nine times as many people have food sensitivities.  That means that if your doctor tells you that “You are not really allergic to__________” or “You are allergic to just a few things”, you probably have what’s called a “pseudo-allergy”. In other words, you may have a food sensitivity, or a food intolerance.

Food Allergy, Sensitivity, Intolerance, oh my! What’s the difference?

Unfortunately, food allergies are erroneously lumped together with food sensitivities and food intolerances. Here are some factors that differentiate one from another:

“True Food Allergy”: An adverse reaction to a food agent involving the elevation of specific antibodies due to eating it.

Food Sensitivity: Adverse reactions in the body upon exposure to a food agent. It does not involve antibodies.

Food Intolerance: Refers to an absence of a particular chemical or physiological process needed to digest a food group. Intolerances can be caused by fat, protein, carbohydrates, or a combination. An common example is lactose intolerance.

What do these 3 types of food reactions have in common? A shared list of sinus and bowel symptoms. But the difference is food reactions may feel the same but they are not the same. Which gets confusing unless you get tested.

This simple diagram illustrates that among the general population, the majority of people who have food reactions have a basic intolerance, others have food sensitivities, and still others overlap. Sensitivities and intolerances often work in tandem. By eliminating intolerances you will also be able to reduce the number of sensitivities. Note the fewest number of people are affected by “true allergies”.

Food Allergy Testing 1-2-3

Did you know that scratch and blood tests only identify what medical doctors call a “true allergy”? Conventional allergy testing typically uses the presence of immunoglobulins as their marker. This restricted view limits identification of other types of food reactions, and therefore limits treatment for people who are complaining of allergy-like symptoms but who do not have a true allergy.

Unfortunately traditional blood and scratch testing will not tell you if you have a food sensitivity or intolerance. That’s why you may feel like you have an allergy but the tests are negative.

Tried Everything?

If you have never been tested or your test results are negative, you may have tried to figure the allergy problem out by yourself. This may also be difficult for several reasons.

1. Food sensitivities tend to have a delayed symptomatic reaction. For example, is it something I ate on Sunday or is it the yogurt I had this morning that’s making me feel sick now? 

2. Intolerances are quantity related so it may difficult to figure out when you cross the threshold of ‘too much’. Problem: “So…I was fine the last time I ate pizza but the next time I ate a pizza, I paid for it twice!”

3. Symptoms are deceptive because you may not normally associate them with the foods you eat. Chronic sinus congestion and gastrointestinal problems make sense but how about the headaches, aching muscles and joints, and fatigue I feel? These can also be symptoms of food sensitivities. These symptoms can occur anytime of year in just about anybody. Yet we can’t just stop eating!

Food Reactions: A Matter of Degrees

Think of food sensitivities on a spectrum, illustrated below. On the far left side is ‘Uncle Harry’ who can eat anything and has an ‘iron stomach’. On the far right are people with extreme allergies who may go into anaphylactic shock if they eat peanuts for example. That leaves the rest of us who are bothered after we eat with some degree of food sensitivity. Another example is Celiac’s Disease, a true gluten intolerance, falls in the red zone whereas a gluten sensitivity falls somewhere in the  yellow section of the spectrum.

The good news it that if you are food sensitive or intolerant, there are alternative options besides elimination diets and reading labels.

Clarity instead of Claritin?

If traditional food allergy testing has failed you; Or, you would like to rid yourself of painful needles and the negative side effects of medications; Or, you have tried to self diagnose and are still experiencing allergy-like bowel and sinus symptoms, we can help you.

At the Digestion Relief Center, we help you find the cause of your allergy-like reactions so that you can breath, eat and live normally again. Many of our satisfied patients share the joy of being able to eat foods again that they have had to avoid.

Through our clinical testing we can identify and reduce or eliminate the foods that are creating your symptoms without using shots or drugs. Our advanced, non-invasive, painless approach works with the digestion, respiratory and immune systems to desensitize your body to no longer react to those food and environmental substances causing you problems.

How to Contact Us

Dr. Patrick Giammarise D.C., Internal Health Specialist, Founder of the Digestion Relief Center, in Chico California, specializes in effective, natural relief for food sensitivities, intolerances and digestive problems. Dr. Patrick can be reached at 530-899-8741 for a consultation.

This article was orginally published in Lotus Guide 2013

© Dr. Patrick Giammarise, DC, 2013. All Rights Reserved.

To read a patients success story with food sensitivities and bowel problems: Click here

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2639 Forest Avenue, Suite 120 Chico, CA 95928


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