Food and food-chemical sensitivities are a highly complex category of non-allergic (non-IgE), non-celiac inflammatory reactions. They involve multiple mechanisms and may be governed by either innate or adaptive immune pathways. They’re one of the most important sources of inflammation and symptoms across a wide range of chronic inflammatory conditions. They are also one of the most clinically challenging.
Due to their inherent clinical and immunologic complexities, as well as a lack of general knowledge within conventional medicine of their role as a source of inflammation in IBS, migraine, fibromyalgia, arthritis, GERD, obesity, metabolic syndrome, ADD/ADHD, autism, etc., food and food-chemical sensitivities remain one of the most under addressed areas of conventional medicine.
Food and food-chemical sensitivities have clinical characteristics that make it very challenging to identify trigger foods. For example, symptom manifestation may be delayed by many hours after ingestion; reactions may be dose dependent; because of a breakdown of oral tolerance mechanisms, there are often many reactive foods and food-chemicals; even so-called anti-inflammatory foods, such as salmon, parsley, turmeric, ginger, blueberry, and any “healthy” food can be reactive.