Today, it’s widely recognized that personalized healthcare is essential for optimal patient outcomes. This wasn’t always the case. In the past, physicians often relied on a “one-size-fits-all” approach, which often resulted in suboptimal patient outcomes.
Enter personalized healthcare. You know that your patients are unique, they have specific triggers, needs, and come from different circumstances. Now, physicians are embracing a more holistic approach to healthcare, assessing their patients’ lifestyles, genetics, and environmental factors to develop a comprehensive treatment plan. Luckily, we have a multitude of tests like food sensitivity testing, for example, to help take that holistic approach to the next level.
But what about when a patient has a chronic condition like migraines or persistent (and painful) bloating that just won’t go away?
The answer you’ve been looking for might be one simple blood test away.
In this blog, we’re going to take a closer look at the role of food sensitivity testing in personalizing patient care.
Understanding food sensitivities.
Food sensitivities (IgG) are an abnormal immune reaction to certain foods or food components. Unlike allergies (IgE), which typically cause an immediate or severe reaction, food sensitivities cause delayed and sometimes subtle symptoms. This makes it difficult to pin-point exactly what could be causing that chronic acne, migraines, and/or bloating.
There are various types of food sensitivities, and they can be categorized based on the underlying cause. The most common types of food sensitivities include dairy, egg, gluten, and most recently, sesame sensitivities.
The symptoms of food sensitivities can vary depending on the individual and the type of sensitivity. Some people may experience digestive issues like constipation, gas, bloating and diarrhea. Others may experience skin problems, headaches, fatigue, and joint pain.
These symptoms don’t always appear right away which can make it that much more challenging to identify the cause.
The advantages of food sensitivity testing.
Food sensitivity testing can provide several benefits, especially for patients who experience chronic symptoms. Because it helps to identify specific foods or food components that trigger inflammatory symptoms, it enables patients to make informed decisions about their diet which could lead to better patient outcomes.
There are several types of food sensitivity tests available, including blood tests, skin prick tests, and elimination diets. Blood tests measure levels of immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies in response to specific foods. Skin prick tests involve pricking the skin and exposing it to small amounts of potential allergens or sensitivities, then monitoring for a reaction.
Elimination diets involve removing specific foods from the diet for a period of time and then gradually reintroducing them while monitoring for symptoms. Each type of testing has its advantages, and we should always recommend different testing methods based on individual needs and circumstances.
The role of food sensitivity testing in personalizing patient care.
Imagine you have a patient with chronic digestive issues.
You have run various tests, did all of the medical intervention that you could, but they just keep coming back.
Food sensitivity testing can play a vital role in personalizing this patient’s care. Your patient may have a sensitivity to almonds but they drink almond milk in their coffee every morning and add almond butter to their oatmeal. Almonds are supposed to be healthy, right?
Almonds– a food they never thought they could be sensitive to. But without the proper test, they would never know.
By identifying the specific foods that your patient is sensitive to, you are able to develop a much more personalized treatment plan that focuses on eliminating the trigger food. This can help improve their overall health outcomes, reduce the need for costly or unnecessary treatments, and increase their trust in you.
The best part is that once the spotlight is on their diet and what they eat, they are more likely to experience improvements in other areas of their health, like mood and energy levels.
Acknowledging the naysayers.
We know food sensitivity testing has come under scrutiny, and we understand why some physicians may be hesitant to order these tests for their patients. With some tests claiming to offer a miracle cure based on hair wavelengths, and others promising to “fix” chronic conditions, it’s no wonder why you may be skeptical.
But here’s what we can tell you: we have a wealth of testimonials spanning 45 years from physicians just like you, physicians who were initially skeptical but reached a point where they felt they had exhausted all other options for a specific patient
While food sensitivities may not be as obvious as allergies, they can still cause issues. The real kicker is that your patient won’t know that a contributing factor to their chronic migraines is the milk in their cereal, or the avocado on their toast.
Isn’t it at least worth ruling out?
Especially considering that the test is conducted under medical supervision– your supervision, to be exact. This is not an at-home test kit where the sample could be easily contaminated or your patient has to fast. This is a test that is conducted in your office, with your guidance and supervision.
Improving patient outcomes, one test at a time.
There’s no denying that by incorporating food sensitivity testing into personalized patient care plans, you can help your patients achieve a better understanding of their own health and promote a more proactive approach to wellness.
By doing so, we can help patients achieve better health outcomes and improve their quality of life, which will increase their trust in you as their physician.
Healthcare isn’t a one-size fits all system. Humans are unique, with different food triggers, so why are we still approaching patient care like a predictable numbers game?
Instead, it’s time to take a much more personalized approach to your patient care and get the positive outcomes you both want to see.
Say goodbye to chronic symptoms, and hello to health.