Sunday Night Free-Writes!
Sachin Patel recently posted that food sensitivity testing leads to a toxic relationship with food. I have a huge amount of respect for this man but I disagree (I dont completely disagree but for the sake of fun I will here). IgG food sensitivity has published clinical utility in the management of patients with GI symptoms and I think we can safely extrapolate these findings to those with autoimmune conditions (1,2). The problem isn’t knowing what your body reacts to, the problem is wanting it to be different. The problem is wanting to be normal. To take the red pill and stay in WonderLand.
The root of orthorexia and anxiety about food choices is not a problem with food sensitivity testing or elimination diets, it is our environment.
No one wants to feel deprived or be singled out especially in social situations. Johnny can’t come to the party because he is a afraid of stairs. That is an irrational fear. Now Ben can’t come to the party because he thinks you will try to poison him with glyphosate riddled genetically engineered wheat combined with toxic fats that cause him to have explosive diarrhea and feel horrible for a few days. Rationale fear.
Now no one would make Johnny feel horrible about his irrational fear of stairs. He would likely not be a social outcast because Johnny did not touch a nerve with others’ insecurities. But, Ben could be ostracized for being that granola guy who doesn’t even know what is on the Wendy’s dollar menu.
Luckily, Ben gives zero f$cks and doesnt hang out with any of these type of humans or frequent such establishments. Now if you have one foot planted in the door of the “normal” world and one foot tentatively pawing at the truth, you are going to have problems. You are going to always have to make decisions that constantly drain your willpower.
To me, it’s simple. I don’t eat that. I don’t do that. Done. Go home. Go to sleep.
For some, food sensitivity testing and science gives them the freedom to say I don’t eat that. Then you further have to ask the question, do I really want to be at any party where I have to justify not partaking in drugs (sugar, gmo corn, gmo wheat, toxic dairy). If this was meth, you wouldn’t think twice, but since it is socially acceptable, you feel bad inside. You feel different.
F$ck that. You are awesome. We need more of yous.
Make your own party with all organic food and grass fed bison. Sit around the table and ask each other what you are thankful for. Laugh. Smile. Play fun games and build positive relationships. Find your tribe, and do more of what makes you feel good, not what makes others feel normal.
Will it be easy? No. But, we don’t have a choice. This is all of our fight, and maybe the most important one any of us will ever take part in. We are in a fight for our economy, for our environment, for our health, for our children’s children’s health, and I am not ready to blame food sensitivity testing for causing the toxic relationships that some very affluent type A people have with food because they aren’t suppose to eat gluten or Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.
Food sensitivity testing is a single tool that has arisen due to a demand to make sense of a world that is out of sense. The questions we are and should be debating is how should this tool be used in practice, who it can potentially help, how we can make it more cost effective, and who it could potentially cause undue physiological stress. AKA, who isn’t ready. Let’s all get down with that.
PS…People can become immunoreactive to common healthy foods as well, but these people generally had a good run. They are coming to this space because they have an autoimmune condition or a health struggle. If they want to get better, they have to pony up and get the job done.
Honestly, the only people I truly feel bad for are the kids who were dealt the bad hand. I have multiple patients under the age of 18 that light up like Christmas trees on Cyrex panels. They have Celiac disease and have lost immune tolerance. It is not their fault. They simply can’t thrive in our current environment. Will their lives be tough? Yes, they are Pottinger cats. Some could say evolution is at play here, but this is not really the case, at least immediately, as they have already lived long enough to reproduce, but what happens in two generations when they can’t? (We are already starting to see this in downward trend in global fertility) We can’t blame the messenger. We have to start to own up to the root cause, our environment.
1. Drisko, J., Bischoff, B., Hall, M., & McCallum, R. (2006). Treating irritable bowel syndrome with a food elimination diet followed by food challenge and probiotics. J Am Coll Nutr, 25(6), 514-522.
2. Guo, H., Jiang, T., Wang, J., Chang, Y., Guo, H., & Zhang, W. (2012). The value of eliminating foods according to food-specific immunoglobulin G antibodies in irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea. J Int Med Res, 40(1), 204-210.