This episode's worth it or waste is food sensitivity testing. From testing at the doctor's office to home kits bought on Groupon, there are plenty to choose from at the moment so are they worth it or a total waste?
Unlike food allergies, food sensitivities are not life-threatening anaphylactic reactions. Sensitivities tend to cause intestinal upset and could cause headaches or increase inflammation in the body over time and repeated intake. Food sensitivities are the most common as you age.
There are a variety of blood tests being offered that claim to test for food sensitivities. Like allergy testing, these tests typically look for immunoglobulin antibodies. With food allergies, skin pricks and blood tests that measure a protein called immunoglobulin E, or IgE, are used to diagnose them. Food sensitivity tests typically test for IgG antibodies, which have not been shown to reliably identify either food allergies or sensitivities. Most people produce IgG antibodies after eating food and frequent exposure to a food may cause these levels to be higher. Talk to a provider specializing in food allergies and sensitivities to see if these tests are right for you. You can do an elimination diet to trial any foods you think you are sensitive to by doing the following:
Eliminate the suspect food for three to four weeks. Keep a journal to see if your symptoms improve.
Reintroduce the food gradually to see if symptoms reappear. If you eliminated several foods, introduce only one at a time.
If you are eliminating several foods, talk to a registered dietitian about your plan.
If you've struggled with GI issues and don't know where to turn, a food sensitivity test could highlight your problem foods and might be worth the cost to you. The popular Mediator Release Test (MRT) costs $600 to $800 and that might not include a consultation about your results.
Other programs like Genopalate test your genetic makeup to create a report of what nutrients and foods you could need more or less of. This category is growing in popularity and will continue to improve as we learn more about nutrigenomics, the relationship between our diet and genetic expression.
Now, if only there was a test to determine exactly how much sleep you need each night?! For most, we estimate how much sleep we feel best getting and try to aim for that number. Others, constantly battle going to sleep and prefer to stay up. For those night owls trying to make a change, here are a few tips to make sleep more enticing.
Try an app like Calm or something to look forward to at bedtime. It could be a bath or reading a favorite story.
Check your daily workload. Learn to say no to things and outsource personal or work tasks. For instance, use grocery pick-up or delivery each week to save that time in the grocery store.
Invest in your sleep by replacing uncomfortable pillows, sheets and pajamas. If you find something you love, you will look forward to sleep each night!
Countless nights of poor sleep take a toll on your mental, physical and metabolic health. Listen to the full episode here to learn more and start investing in good sleep habits.