ISO: the root cause of your food sensitivities

When we finally figure out which foods are causing reactions and symptoms, it’s really easy to stop there and blame the food.  Even if it’s a food item we’ve been eating for years.  We avoid it.  Feel better.  And then something changes and we’re suddenly looking for another trigger food.

It’s an exhausting, seemingly never-ending process. 

Think about it – if you do IgG testing to find food sensitivities and then repeat the testing in six months, results will most likely be different.  Your body is always changing and always reacting to the external world.  It’s trying to maintain balance.  Add in the internal world of our brain with stressors and hormones and viruses and bacteria, and your immune system gets really busy. 

That’s all well and good until you’re trying to figure out how to make the symptoms stop.  It feels like you’re chasing a moving target and the only answer is to food test and then exclude more foods.  In most cases, it’s not the food that is ultimately causing your symptoms – the food is just aggravating a reaction already in progress.

That’s when we start digging for the root cause of food sensitivities or the thing that actually triggered the reactions!  This isn’t an easy part of the puzzle, either, but the options are definitely fewer than all of the possible food items! 

Possible root causes

When a provider starts looking for a root cause of food sensitivities, we’re looking for things that trigger an immune response.  The ones that immediately come to mind are allergies, mold exposure, gut infections like SIBO, genetic susceptibilities like histamine intolerance, big-gun or long-term antibiotic use that affects gut bugs, or even a major life stressor.  We can even add COVID to the list!

The goal of finding out your trigger foods is to minimize the symptoms and symptom progression as much as possible while searching for the root cause.  When we find the root cause and can start to address it, many of the practices we put in place, like excluding certain foods, can be used periodically instead of 24/7/365. 

It’s all about allowing your body to heal so it can do what it was built to do – maintain balance! 

Getting tested and finding a treatment

The crazy thing these days is you don’t have to necessarily work with a doctor or even a coach to do testing and see what comes up.  One option is – you can order some of the same specialty tests I use in my clinic from labs like Diagnostic Solutions, Great Plains Laboratory and Genova.  Just remember the trick is being able to interpret the results and match them with an appropriate treatment regimen.

You can even find a bunch of treatment regimens online!  There are definitely pros and cons to such accessible information, but I will always suggest you consider working with someone who has some experience with the process.  If only to help you avoid the potential (and sometimes inevitable) pitfalls that go along with these kinds of treatments.

The challenge there is finding a provider who will truly listen to what you tell them about your symptoms and not tell you “it’s nothing”.  I get it.  But there are good providers out there…I promise!  If you’re really stuck, though, consider emailing me at for info about wellness and health coaching!

Sixty-Second Self-Care Tip...

Like so many of these tips, it may take a little more than a minute to figure out right now but it will save you time and frustration in the future! 

What are your emergency safe foods?  The thing you grab when you’re in town, running errands, things took longer than you thought, you “forgot” to eat (don’t judge – it happens!) and you’re starting to feel crummy?  Of course, take into consideration your allergies and sensitivities… 

Can you think of something? 

If yes, then think about the places you can get that food the easiest. 

For example, apples are a great emergency food for me – they get my blood sugar up, have some fiber so they keep me going and they’re sweet and easy to eat.  I can get an apple at a grocery store, Walmart, Target, some convenience stores, a Panera, gas stations (look for the packaged apple slices – ignore the caramel or cheese that comes with them), even many fast-food chains have apple slices. 

And if you can’t think of a safe emergency food, now is the time to figure it out.  Otherwise, we both know you end up grabbing something that doesn’t serve you very well or we just don’t eat at all.  And neither are good options! 

Planning ahead…even if it’s knowing where to make a quick stop in a food emergency…is true self-care! 

Looking for other things you can start adding to your routine today to help decrease food sensitivities and histamine intolerance?  Snag a copy of my newest FREE resource, 7 Steps to Minimize Histamine Intolerance and Feel Better Tomorrow!


60-second self-care, root cause, self-advocate, self-care

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