For the past 6 or so months, I’ve felt I have a food sensitivity, but haven’t been able to pinpoint what food (or foods) has been causing me to break out more than normal and be bloated. While these symptoms come and go- sometimes lasting longer than other times, this has made me believe it is something I am eating on a regular basis. I got an allergy test done (just to rule it out) by my functional doctor, and as suspected no allergies came back, nor did I have parasites or anything else to blame for these symptoms. So that led me to confirm my belief that it was a food sensitivity I wasn’t pinpointing.
To identify a food sensitivity one could do an elimination diet. This is essentially when you eliminate the suspected food or foods for 3-4 weeks. To save time, you should also eliminate the most common culprits: Gluten, dairy, shellfish, fish, soy, eggs, beans/lentil, citrus fruits, nuts, and nightshade vegetables. Then slowly reintroduce the food(s) back into your diet one at a time, and allow 1-3 days to see if any symptoms occur before testing the next food item. Sounds a little time consuming right? That’s why I was so happy when I was able to try the Pinner Test. It takes out all the guesswork and trial and error.
Before I dive into that, you may be wondering what a food sensitivity is and how it differs from a food allergy, so here it is:
A food allergy happens when your body creates an immune response to a certain food. It looks at what you have eaten as an invader instead of tolerating it, which is how food is normally handled. IgE antibodies are then made to fight this “invader” and it creates an immediate reaction. This can include hives, swelling, and/or itching skin. These antibodies are able to identify the allergen the next time it comes into the body and release histamine and other compounds that create the same reaction. Since the reaction is immediate, allergies are easier to pinpoint.
Food sensitivities/intolerances are actually more common than food allergies, and don’t involve the immune system, like allergies do. Nor do they involve IgE antibodies, but instead IgG antibodies. They can occur from eating a food too often, not having the right enzyme to break down the food, detox problems, or intestinal permeability (known as Leaky Gut). They cause inflammation in the gut and unpleasant symptoms like bloating, fatigue, brain fog, acne, headaches, constipation, diarrhea, and more. Additionally, food sensitivities have been linked to everything from asthma, allergies, autoimmune conditions, mood problems, arthritis, skin conditions, dementia, cardiovascular diseases, ADD/ADHD and more. So the lesson here is if you think you might have a food intolerance it is a good thing to address, and not allow to linger. Since the gut is the body’s second brain, and home to 70-80% of the immune system it is crucial to identify any suspect foods and remove them, and then take note of any positive changes and/or diminished symptoms by doing this.
So what exactly is Pinner Test and how does it work?
It’s considered the “Next Generation Food Intolerance Test” and tests for 200 food items. It is also able to distinguish between temporary and permanent food intolerances (temporary foods just need to be removed for a period and then reintroduced). This couldn’t be any easier to do. There is no doctor visit needed. You simply receive your package from Pinner that includes a small needle contraption that you poke your finger with (it doesn't hurt, I promise!) and allow a few blood droplets to collect on a provided sheet of white paper, and then send it back to them for evaluation. What’s nice is they send you two needle contraptions, in case you mess up with the first one (it happened to me). I pushed the blue button without sticking it on my finger mainly because I was a little skeptical as to how it worked exactly. So the takeaway from that? Leave it on your finger as you push the blue button down.
As I’m writing this, I just sent my results in and thought I’d share some guesses as to what I think my food sensitivities may be. Based off when I seem to experience bloat and even belching I think it may be onions and garlic (I really hope it isn’t garlic), chickpeas, and possibly eggs. Although I did eliminate eggs for close to 3 weeks and didn’t notice an improvement, so we will see. I really hope it isn’t eggs though as I LOVE them as a source of protein, D vitamins, sulfur and more. It could be something aside from these foods that I’m just not suspecting.
So I just got my results back and I’m sensitive to the following:
Pork (+1) = Low reaction
Shrimp (+3) = High reaction
Peanuts (+1)= Low reaction
I’m so relieved it isn’t the foods I suspected! But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bummed about shrimp and peanuts. I don’t ever eat pork, so that doesn’t affect me in the slightest way. I did start to have peanuts (peanut butter) more regularly this past year, and I usually have shrimp at least once a month, so these results make sense, even though I didn’t suspect these foods.
I’m so glad I did this test, as I now have a much clearer idea as to what may be causing some of my digestive issues. While I have heard of people getting different results with these types of intolerance tests, or a food sensitivity they know they have not showing up on the results, I'm going to test the water by eliminating these foods and paying attention to how I feel. Since I know I don't have allergies, I'm grateful this test has given me a starting point.
To find out more about Pinner, check out their studies, or order your own Pinner Test and find out what your food sensitivities are click HERE