Search Results for: food allergies testing


How many times do you hear the word “allergies” in a week? Why are people so allergic to everything around them? The allergenic reaction we get is supposed to protect our bodies when there is something really dangerous. An intruder needs to be sneezed out or washed out with tears. An allergic reaction helps to prevent pathogens from getting into our bodies by making it more difficult to swallow or breathe. Sometimes our bodies thinks we are under attack when, in reality, we are not. This has to do with how our immune system is trained. The immune system is the army of our body, watching for intruders in every system. An army that is not trained properly gets confused and overreacts. A large part of our army is made in our belly so it is not surprising to learn that many allergy patients have some sort of belly issue, too.

In our allergy program, our goals are to calm the reaction, retrain the immune system or army, prevent infections that often come with allergies, and restore function to the affected systems. We use natural tools that are gentle and effective in calming reactions such as an asthma attack, skin reactions, runny noses, and itchy eyes. In the case of asthma, inhalers may still be needed for a while, but patients who stick to the program are normally off inhalers within 3 months. Retraining the immune system may begin by identifying food intolerances and other sources of gut irritation. Respiratory infections, eye infections, and so on can become a constant struggle with the irritation that allergies bring, so the key is to prevent the allergies in the first place. My goal for patients is to nourish their bodies back to normal physiology and function.

Are we allergic to what we eat? Is there a solution?

Food allergies and allergy testing are of great concern today. Wheat and milk allergies have been talked about a lot. Environmental allergies such as cat and dog allergies have also been more common.

The effects of seasonal allergies can vary among sneezing, watery eyes, waves of fatigue, headaches, dizziness, breathing difficulties and a variety of other symptoms that can relate to pollen count, cleanliness, how often we are inside or outside, perfumes, soaps, detergents, clothing, etc. The allergy remedy involves the understanding that there is a threshold to how many foreign substances our bodies can tolerate. We can tolerate the intake of a certain amount of a substance, but if we are unable to eliminate what we do not need, the threshold goes down. A seasonal allergic reaction is often related to the immune system being over-reactive or over-protective. The immune system development starts in the belly, which is why so many individuals with seasonal allergies often have food intolerances, as well.

Let’s clarify some things. The difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance is the part of the immune system involved. Often, food intolerances can make allergies to food more likely. Food allergies can cause anaphylaxis or hives and are tested by the popular skin scratch test on your back or arms. Intolerances to foods, on the other hand, will cause reactions all over the body that may be strong or mild. Diarrhea, constipation, heart palpitations, fatigue, mood changes, headaches, and rashes can all relate to intolerance to food. It can be harder to connect the dots between food intolerances and their symptoms compared to food allergies.

Food intolerance testing can help take the mystery out of determining which foods cause symptoms and can be done by a blood sample and sometimes a stool sample. This kind of testing can differentiate milk protein allergy from lactose intolerance. It can also rule out gluten sensitivity and the most common food problems. Often, a fruit or vegetable that may seem harmless can be causing a symptom. Both the blood and stool food allergy tests can be run through our office. Fortunately, the accurate blood test can be done as a simple finger stick, which is much less traumatic for kids than a blood draw.

Most food intolerances are temporary and with the right approach, these foods can often be safely eaten again in moderation. Testing for food sensitivity can help set the stage for an effective food allergy diet or, in most cases, a food elimination diet. The antibody reaction of the immune system is tested for its reaction to the particular food or foods, whether in food allergy testing or food sensitivity testing. This approach is often quite effective for an allergy remedy, improving food allergies and seasonal allergies.

We specialize in finding out what your food intolerances are and helping patients heal their belly to be able to eat them again.  Start your path to feeling better and empowered to improve your health and vitality. For help with allergies, contact our office to schedule an appointment.

Journey of Health Medical Clinic


Solve That Asthma!

Asthma can be such a challenge for kids to live a normal life particularly when it comes to sports involvement or spending the night at friends’ houses that have pets.  Fortunately, there are a lot of natural medicine treatments for asthma.  Food sensitivity testing or testing for food allergies can be very important to identify.  We can’t always control what is in our environment but we can control our diet.  Encountering allergens or things you react to can include both food and environment so the more you get in, the more reactive the airway will be and the less you encounter, the less likely the airway is to react.  As we decrease the aggravations, the child can eliminate asthma and the need to medications which is very exciting for the family.

Any Integrative Health Center is likely to see asthma in their pediatric population and our naturopathic doctors are no different.  Over 25 million people and their families experience the challenges of asthma contributing to a large number of office visits to the doctor and repeat visits to the doctor, both scheduled and unscheduled.  Many have to seek care in urgent cares when treatment is not managing asthma adequately.   We have a lot of hope for parents who are looking for alternative medicine or naturopathic medicine options for their pediatric kids with asthma.  There are a lot of tools in the functional medicine realm that helps create a holistic treatment approach for our patients.

The holistic doctor’s view of treating the whole body tends to be more successful than just treating the airway which may continue to get worse.  This is a functional medicine view of the body as well by working on the immune system response, some thing that is not clearly visible but is working on an unseen level.  The immune system is focused on keeping the body safe but if it is confused on whether food is aggravating, it will continue to try to address the problem.  Taking the food out for a period of time can allow the immune system to regroup, heal up the lining of the intestines along with make the enzymes that digest and break down the food into digestible molecules to distribute through the body.  The largest challenge here is to identify the foods that are causing the aggravation.  Food intolerances are often obscure.  Sometimes they are not easy to identify since it can take 4 days to have a reaction.

As a naturopathic doctor, I have seen many pediatric patients present with chronic asthma that is reoccurring and after treatment, they have a bag of pharmaceuticals that they no longer need that they have gradually been able to wean off.  This is empowering for kids and parents.  The basis of treatment again is identifying the food intolerances and food allergies, decrease the inflammatory burden their body is exposed to and balancing the microbiome.  There are many botanicals that can be used in the meantime to help relax the airways but addressing the cause is what gives the long lasting results.  Don’t underestimate your body’s desire to use natural medicine to heal from asthma.

This is something Dr. Shannyn Fowl is familiar with and has seen in kids and adults alike.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (619) 772-1164 for a free 10 minute consult to see if we are the right fit for you.  Our Naturopathic Medicine Clinic in San Diego, CA welcomes new patients are interested in finding natural options for their healthcare concerns.

Hypothyroidism Causes

Hypothyroidism causes are on many patients’ minds. Are they at risk?  Are their symptoms related? What if their labs are normal? Trying to find answers through your insurance based doctor can be challenging.  If your symptoms don’t fit perfectly inside the box of the medical description for hypothyroid then the search for the cause of your symptoms usually stops here- all normal.  Even treatment is not one size fits all.  Varying degrees of treatment work for different people.  Often a medical doctor may not know what else to do. Naturopathic doctors understand that you are an individual and one size does not fit all.  There are many things to consider when treating hypothyroidism, therefore we must take an integrative approach.

Let’s talk about symptoms first.  Fatigue, hair loss, dry skin are common but if we look at you from a holistic view including the whole body; symptoms can include so many things that may not even make sense such as painful periods, brain fog or even depression.   Many patients who have come to me for painful periods or perimenopausal symptoms have had them completely resolve when on the proper form of thyroid medication and hormone support. It is very holistic thing to see when the body readjusts as the hormones are back in balance. Alternative medicine is all about including odd and unusual symptoms as part of the whole problem and the solution.

Finding hypothyroidism causes is an important part of treating hypothyroid in a naturopathic fashion.  Your case likely has a different collection of causes than the next person.  In addition, often the thyroid gets blamed for not functioning properly when it is other systems that have been taxed and cannot provide adequate support. For example, adrenal fatigue is a fairly common cause that is recognized among integrative practitioners particularly in a patient who has had to push through school or motherhood with young children.  This patient needs a holistic treatment plan to support her adrenals, her thyroid function throughout the body not just her thyroid and lifestyle adjustments to allow her body to heal.  Menopause is another key time when the liver is taxed and overwhelmed with keeping up with the hormonal changes so the thyroid’s requests may be interpreted as not important.  This patient may need some menopausal or hormonal support, sleep support and some simple detox methods to get her back on a natural rhythm.  These are all simple but targeted natural treatments that your naturopathic doctor can recommend.

In addition to these adrenal and menopausal causes, your naturopathic doctor may find that food intolerances or food allergies may be contributing to your hypothyroid diagnosis. Gluten often is a culprit in irritating the thyroid but we can also test a wide range of foods to see if any of them are causing your Hashimoto’s. Many patients may not even know that they have Hashimoto Hypothyroid unless the Thyroid Perioxidase Antibody (TPO) lab is also run in their blood draw.  The food intolerance test is a simple finger stick at our Journey of Health Medical Clinic so no need to be concerned about another blood draw.  This is not the IgE that you have run for allergies.  (See my food intolerance blog to understand more about the differences here.)  We have done over 500 of these with one of the most reputable and reasonably priced companies in the business of food intolerances. has helped us take a holistic approach by identifying those often mysterious foods for patients.

As a holistic doctor, we are still considering that you may not even fit into these categories mentioned above as a cause for your hypothyroid or Hashimoto’s and there are still more causes that are less often part of the picture but still a potential instigator in your symptoms. Nutritional deficiencies are a possibility. MTHFR is a genetic change that can affect your methylation status.  That big word means utilizing hormones, vitamins, etc. properly and being able to detox our cells properly. (See my MTHFR blog.) By adjusting your methylation, we can often see shifts in your thyroid related symptoms as well.  Integrative medicine allows us to choose which treatment options work best for you and to address all the possible causes for hypothyroid challenges.

We specialize in this kind of thing and see it frequently in our office so it’s not a new idea for us. Getting the right care for your body is important and tailored for your specific body in mind. At Journey of Health we are dedicated to finding the right naturopathic solutions for each patient. We proudly serve the San Diego area, providing some of the best service in naturopathic medicine. If you wish to further your own journey of health with naturopathic solutions and alternative medicines, give us a call at (619) 772-1164.

Naturopathic Pediatrician Talks about Stomach Pain

Hearing your child complain of belly pain can be confusing and worrisome. Parents often try to make sense of it-whether it has to do with food or stool. Belly pain can be caused by many things such as: inflammation, digestive concerns, food allergies, constipation, and more. Options usually offered to pediatric patients include Miralax, PPI’s, steroids, and sometimes the suggestion of avoiding dairy or gluten. Naturopathic options are more plentiful including gentle alternatives such as botanicals, nutrition evaluations, testing for gastrointestinal infections, colitis, or food sensitivities. Call your Naturopathic Doctor to find your options. Stop the worry.

Finding the options that work for you empowers you and your kid to feel good so you can both do the things you love.


Is there a Natural Remedy for Allergy Symptoms?

Seasonal allergies, dog allergy, cat allergy, pollen allergy and food allergies are related.  One can lead to the other.   Seasonal allergies and asthma can be resolved quickly with botanicals or homeopathy as well as by addressing food allergies.   Signs of food allergies or intolerances can be a wide range of problems from food allergy rash or eczema, to palpitations, inability to concentrate, behavior challenges, pooping problems or belly aches.  Wheat allergy or gluten allergy and gluten intolerance are fairly common and can cause an immediate reaction when eaten for some.  Other most common food allergies include dairy, soy, citrus, fish, coconut, corn and nuts.  If the foods are eliminated for several weeks and then eaten again, the reaction can be pretty obvious. 

There are several food allergy tests.  The skin scratch is one test that many of us have had done, but only tests for anaphylactic reactions or hives, and many of us know this reaction already.  Stool samples can tell us reactions within the belly.  The IgG blood test helps identify all the other reactions, which can often be mysterious reactions that seem unconnected to food.  Palpitations, rash, behavior and brain fog can all be food allergy symptoms and can be identified with IgG food allergy testing.  There is some controversy over which test to use for accuracy and this is related to the lack of standardization of the food base being used in labs; only a few foods are the same in all labs.  Proper technique of obtaining blood can also affect accuracy.  Often patients had no idea that a fruit, vegetable or meat was causing such horrible consequences for them when the foods show up on an IgG blood test.

Kids with food allergies can find great answers in a simple blood test and elimination diet. The food allergy diet is only a part of an individual’s food allergy cure.  Most individuals should be able to eat most foods again with proper treatment.  Healing also involves finding the causes of food allergies.  Overall health and healing up the gut are important.  Here is the step that is most often neglected – retraining the immune system so it doesn’t continue to be confused about which food is the enemy.

The success of food intolerance testing and treatment is apparent when patients tell our office how lucky they feel to be a patient of Dr. Shannyn’s since it has changed their lives.  Parents report that a blanket has been lifted off their child while adults report that they feel like their life has been renewed.

Dr. Shannyn is available to help you with your food allergies and reactions with remedies to change your life, as well.  Email or call for a free 10 minute consult.


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