Central to healing SVT naturally is to understand the differences between food allergy and food sensitivity testing. This critical information is intended to lead you to get properly tested so that you will know with certainty what foods or environmental substances are contributing to your health problems. The knowledge you gain from testing will support your commitment to make the necessary adjustments in your diet and environment.

Food allergies and food sensitivities have important distinctions for SVT sufferers who want to take control of their health. They can cause different kinds of reactions in your body, occur within different time frames, and require different kinds of tests to determine which you may have.  It’s also possible to suffer from both allergies and sensitivities, and not be able to tell which kind you are experiencing.

Most food allergiestrigger a reaction within minutes and are known as an IgE(or immunoglobulin E)-mediated immune response. Symptoms can range from hives, runny nose, coughing, eye redness, tearing to the more serious difficulty breathing, swelling, wheezing and anaphylactic shock.  This is the body’s way of mounting a response to foreign substances that it cannot tolerate–strawberries, soy, wheat, corn, shellfish, egg, dairy products, nuts or environmental sources such as pollen, molds, dust, trees or bees, to name some of the common ones.

Foodsensitivities can come from many foods as well, but are a different kind of reaction called an IgGor IgA(Immunoglobulin G or A) delayed immune response. Food sensitivities can be obvious or subtle, can occur quickly or up to 72 hours later, and can have long-term impacts on your health. These types of food sensitivities often damage the gut, create chronic inflammation and possibly trigger SVT, which is why I strongly encourage you to get tested for them.

An allergist/Immunologist or internist typically only tests for IgE allergies, which may be useful information for you to have, especially if you are prone to asthma or histamine reactions. However, if you are serious about improving your overall health, especially your propensity for SVT episodes, you must get tested for IgG or IgA sensitivities. This will reveal which substances may likely be contributing to your SVT episodes. The type of practitioners most likely to provide Igg/IgA testing are functional medicine doctors, naturopaths and chiropractors to name a few. You can also seek testing on your own through the labs that I recommend in the e-guides and that will appear in this column next week.

While you may already know or suspect that certain foods are worsening or triggering your SVT or other symptoms, and may be avoiding them, I still recommend getting tested for food and environmental sensitivities.

It is human nature to second guess your intuition or rational decisions when you are feeling weak or have doubts. Complete and proper testing will give you definitive knowledge and the confidence to move forward.