In recent years there has been some evidence that food sensitivities/intolerances can cause an inflammatory reaction in the gut. This inflammation is theorized to cause increased permeability (leaky membranes) in the intestine, and can lead to the release of inflammatory chemicals causing widespread inflammation. Food sensitivities can be much more subtle than food allergies, and have been linked to inflammatory arthritis, gastrointestinal issues, skin allergies/eczema/hives, and several pain syndromes. Neurologist Dr. Amy Lindsay Howe incorporates dietary modifications for patients to help identify any food sensitivities that may be contributing to their chronic headaches or underlying pain syndromes.
Common food sensitivities can include:
Food sensitivities can be difficult to identify, and the available testing for food sensitivity can sometimes be unreliable (and expensive!). The best way to identify a food sensitivity is to go through a supervised period of complete elimination of a specific food, and then observe if your symptoms resolve (whether pain symptoms, gastrointestinal symptoms, etc). If your symptoms improve through elimination of the food, then you can try reintroducing the food to see if your symptoms return. Elimination of food sensitivities may help to reduce gut inflammation, and in theory may help to reduce inflammatory chemicals in the body. This has been an effective strategy for many of our patients.
Food elimination diets have helped many of our patients identify food sensitivities that they didn’t know they had!
If you suffer from pain issues and want to try a more holistic approach in your treatment, call 832-698-0111 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Howe.