What surprised me most about toxic food syndrome (TFS) is the number of chronic medical conditions that have been linked to it. Now certainly not every person with one of the following conditions can attribute the symptoms to toxic foods, but if I or a family member was suffering from any of these, I’d definitely explore TFS as a possibility.
Chronic medical conditions linked to TFS:
• Arthritis (chronic joint pain, chronic muscle aching)
• Attention deficit disorder
• Chronic digestive symptoms (including GERD, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis)
• Chronic ear infections
• Chronic fatigue
• Eating disorders (cravings, binge eating, compulsive eating)
• Headaches (both tension and migraine headaches)
• Irritable bowel syndrome
• Memory disorders (brain fog, poor focus/concentration, learning disabilities)
• Mood disorder (anxiety, depression, restlessness, bipolar disorder)
• Mouth and throat disorders (chronic cough, canker sores, swollen tongue/lips)
• Sinusitis (nasal congestion, frequent throat clearing, excessive mucous)
• Skin disorders (acne, eczema, hives)
• Urinary symptoms
• Vaginal infections
Here’s the game plan if you have any of these and want to see if TFS might be a source of your problems:
1. First do a home screening. Stop by our apothecary (or contact us by e-mail (email@example.com) for instructions on the food sensitivity elimination diet. You’ll be following a fairly strict, but not difficult, eating plan that eliminates common foods triggers and you’ll be using a product called UltraClear. Everything can be mailed to you if you’re out of town.
2. You’ll follow the eating program for three weeks. During the first week, as your body withdraws from toxic foods, you might feel achy, irritable, and have some significant food cravings. However, the reward for your diligence occurs in the third week, when the toxic foods have been cleared from your system. You’ll actually feel quite well: increased energy, clearer skin, open sinuses, no headaches, better mental focus, and no digestive symptoms. This is the way you’re meant to feel. This is the non-toxic you.
3. If you notice this improvement in your health and well being, then by all means get tested for food sensitivities. This is a simple blood test that looks for antibodies your immune system is creating against 96 potentially toxic foods. After you get the results, you’ll know which foods to avoid.
4. If you feel exactly the same after your three-week program, with no change in any symptoms, then you probably don’t have an issue with toxic foods. Return to your usual eating habits. If you continue to feel the same, then you definitely don’t have TFS.
5. If after returning to your usual eating habits you start to feel unwell again, then TFS is still a possibility and you’ll want to get tested.
David Edelberg, MD