Testing for Food Sensitivity

One of my main aims at an initial consultation with a new client is not only to optimise the diet, but also to ensure that nothing is being eaten that may cause a negative effect in the body.

When I first started practicing Nutritional Therapy 12 years ago I would assess the presence of food sensitivity via two main approaches:

  1. An elimination diet – remove a food and if you feel better not eating it then that is a good indication that it is not good for you. Double check this by reintroducing that food and monitoring any return of symptoms.
  2. Laboratory testing – there are various tests that assess blood or stool samples to measures the levels of antibodies produced by the immune system in relation to a particular food. I still recommend these on occasion, but my main concern with these tests is that there are many different ways in which a person can react to a food. Antibodies may be of the IgE, IgA or IgG type. No one test considers all these at the same time. Or a reaction may not in fact be mediated by the immune system, but rather via the digestive system. I see a lot of clients whose reactions to foods (bloating, cramps, inconsistent bowel movements) are due to an imbalance in gut function and flora. These type of reactions will not show up on a test that is looking for antibodies.

Nowadays my frontline method of assessment in my clinic is via Kinesiology muscle testing. Don’t know what Kinesiology is?? The Kinesiology Association describes it very concisely as…

“Kinesiology is a holistic therapy which uses muscle response testing to measure the motor response of the central nervous system to a sensory challenge. By doing this, imbalances can be determined and methods to rebalance the body can be indicated.”

Kinesiology is an excellent way to quickly and cheaply(!) assess for food triggers. The really great thing about this method is that it doesn’t matter if a particular food triggers a stress response in your body via either an immune response or an imbalance in the digestive system. If that food causes a stress to your nervous system then it will weaken your muscle. It is also not necessary for you to be currently eating the suspect food for the response to occur. This is a common issue with food intolerance laboratory tests. In order to gain meaningful results it is necessary to eat any food tested for at least 2 weeks prior to your sample collection to. Many of my clients are already avoiding foods which they suspect as being triggers and so are reluctant to eat them in quantity again.

It takes me approx 15 minutes to muscle test various common foods. The great thing about Kinesiology is that I can then dig deeper into why the body is experiencing stress from certain foods. Perhaps there is microbial imbalance in the gut, or immune dysregulation, or lack of enzymes, or high stress level….or any number of other underlying issues, which can be worked on at the same time as eliminating offending foods. If balance is subsequently regained in the body then often foods can be reintroduced at a later date.

If you would like any further information about this important part of my consultation process then please do get in touch.