As a young healthcare provider, I aim to serve as an example to my patients both in and out of the clinical setting. I truly try to live by the words “practice what you preach,” especially since the office I work out of is weaving in more of a functional medicine perspective. The more I dive into functional medicine, the more I truly understand how much of an impact our nutrition has on our overall health. Before my medical training, I was able to build a correlation between eating well and feeling well; however, that was a rudimentary understanding that was not yet well-informed.
Food allergies and intolerances were always a grey area for me outside of IgE-mediated anaphylaxis related to peanuts, shellfish, or another defined allergy. The notion that food sensitives would manifest as dermatological or neurological concerns was an abstract concept to me. My physician assistant curriculum never touched on this, yet neither did any of my colleagues who were trained under the conventional medicine model.
Overall I eat a lower carbohydrate, near paleo-esque style diet and have eliminated some digestive and energy-level concerns. Despite that, I would notice random rashes or pimple outbreaks despite not having acne since I was in my mid-teens. Also, I would notice chronic sinus congestion and post-nasal drip despite no major evidenced environmental allergies confirmed. I would use herbal remedies and other tactics which would help yet I would never achieve full resolution. At that point, I stumbled across Immunolabs and their Blueprint testing for food sensitivities. I decided to complete my profile to determine if things included in my diet were causing the aforementioned issues. I learned of several intolerances to foods I would consume intermittently, but some to foods I consumed almost daily. This was a stark revelation for me since I had been eating under the aforementioned guidelines.
I started to eliminate most of the offending foods and noticed that my sinus congestion had completely resolved. Breathing through my nose was finally possible. Also, I noticed my skin was much clearer as I cleaned my nutrition up further.
Despite completing this, most of my patients are still skeptical about this type of testing. They are typically not aware of it and believe that it is semi-quackery. As I continue to practice medicine, I will advocate for food sensitivity testing as a means to resolve seemingly non-responsive health issues.