Accessibility View Close toolbar

725 Ridge Road

Webster, NY 14580 US


Open mobile navigation

Food Allergies and Intolerances: What's What?

          What is a food allergy and how do they manifest?  An allergic reaction is caused by the interaction between an antigen (a food) and your immune system.  Reactions can range from very mild (runny nose, headache, sleepiness) to more severe (joint pain, fatigue, diarrhea) to very severe or anaphylaxis (throat closure).  When a reaction happens immediately after eating a food it is very easily detected.  We all know someone who has this reaction to peanuts, eggs, or dairy.  This immediate reaction is known as an IgE reaction and can be detected with a blood test.  Many people who have this type of reaction will carry an “epi-pen” in case they have contact with the offending food. But the more common food allergies are much harder to detect and are often “hidden” because the reactions are less severe and may occur for up to 72 hours after eating the food.  These are delayed reactions and are called IgG allergies. These are often foods that are eaten daily and are most often foods that are craved or are “addicted” to.  Whenever I hear someone say “I can’t live without…” red flags immediately go up in my head that this is likely a problematic food.

           Hidden food allergies can often be the cause of such chronic complaints as joint and muscle pain, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), fatigue, depression, headache, eczema, and ADHD symptoms.  While blood tests can identify actual immune-mediated IgE or IgG reactions, many people experience intolerance reactions to food that do not show up on blood tests.  It should be noted that effective September 21, 2012, New York State will no longer allow IgG food testing.  These intolerances can be the most frustrating for people. They think they may be sensitive to a certain food, have food sensitivity testing, and the results are negative.  People are then confused.  They think they are sensitive but all testing is negative.  There is a reason for this.  Food intolerances are often delayed reactions; therefore, blood or skin tests for food allergens may only partially clarify whether there is a reaction to an offending food or sometimes not at all.  In the end though, the goal is to identify the problem food; it’s less important if the reaction is an IgG immune reaction or an intolerance reaction. 

           Perhaps the most reliable method for identifying problem foods is to follow an elimination diet followed by reintroduction of the food. What is an elimination diet?  It is a diet that avoids the most common allergic foods while still allowing a wide variety of foods unlikely to cause a reaction.  The most likely foods that cause reactions are: dairy, gluten (wheat, rye, barley, kamut, spelt), corn, eggs, soy, oranges, peanuts, shellfish, refined sugars, alcohol, and caffeinated beverages. Also eliminated is any food a person craves or eats more than three times per week.  The nightshade family (eggplant, potato, tomato, and peppers) can also be eliminated for those with arthritic symptoms.  These foods are eliminated for 28 days.

           Once started on an elimination diet, there may be an initial period of “withdrawal” during which symptoms may actually worsen (especially with caffeinated beverages). During allergic reactions, the body may actually produce narcotic-like substances which cause more craving to the food.  For the first three days a person may think continuously about the food.  They may have cravings, headaches, bloating, fatigue, or aches and pains.  After three days, these symptoms reside and there is a gradual improvement in symptoms. 
A record of symptoms should be kept for the 28 days.  Then each food is reintroduced individually at three day intervals.  Upon reintroduction, an offending food should elicit a return of symptoms, often worse than before. Careful record keeping is important when reintroducing or “challenging” foods after the 28 day elimination diet.  Waiting three days before adding a new food allows for a delayed reaction.

           Although it can be tedious and time consuming, an elimination diet is the best tool there is for detecting hidden food intolerances (sensitivities).  After two to three months of eliminating the offense foods many symptoms such as headache, bloating, fatigue, etc. may have disappeared.

Barb Goshorn, BS MSACN works in private practice as a nutritionist in Webster.  She sees many clients for food related sensitivities.  She uses applied kinesiology to help determine food intolerances and sensitivities.

Gaby, AR. The role of hidden food allergy/intolerances in chronic disease. Altern Med Rev. 1998;3(2):90-100.
Nsouli TM, et al. Role of food allergy in serious otitis media. Ann Allergy. 1994;73(3):215-219.
Zar S, Kumer D. Role of food hypersensitivity in irritable bowel syndrome. Minerva Med. 2002;93(5):403-412.
Olendzka-Rzepecka E, Kaczmarski M, Lebensztejn D. Therapeutic effectiveness of treatment of an elimination diet in children with atopic dermatitis of different ages. Rocz Akad Med Bialymst. 1995;40(3):602-606.
Anderson, JA. Food allergy and intolerance. ASDC J Dent Child. 1985;52(2):134-137.
Sicherer Sh. Food allergy: when and how to perform oral food challenges. Ped Allergy Immunol. 1999;10(4):226-234.

Welcome to Our Wellness Family

Success Stories

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule


7:15 am - 12:00 pm

2:00 pm - 6:15 pm


9:00 am - 12:00 pm

2:00 pm - 5:00 pm


7:15 am - 12:00 pm

2:00 pm - 6:15 pm


7:15 am - 12:00 pm

2:00 pm - 6:15 pm


6:30 am - 12:00 pm

2:00 pm - 5:00 pm


8:30 am - 12:00 pm






Find us on the map


Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

  • "I've had back issues ever since I had a seizure several years ago. I started seeing Dr. Hill and it has helped immensely. I have far less pain now and he taught me some stretches for when it does bother me. I usually have my 7 year old son with me and Dr. Hill is great at interacting with him and explaining how things work. The front desk staff is very friendly and welcoming."
    Erin H.
  • "I would like to thank the fantastic team at Goshorn. Dr Hill has been wonderful and helping me with my back issues. A true miracle worker. The entire team has been very friendly and professional."
    Frank A.

Featured Articles

Read about interesting topics

  • Summer Sports

    Summer Sports In the summertime, everyone's thoughts turn to the outdoors. We want to get out in the sun and have some fun. Some people do exercise outdoors, such as running, walking, and biking, all year long regardless of the weather.1 For others, summer's warmer temperatures make activity outside ...

    Read More
  • Wellness Gardens

    Wellness Gardens When time is spent in an office or indoors day in and day out, some can lose that connection to the outside world. And that loss of connection can lead to higher stress levels and more health ailments without even realizing it. But when that the gap between office life and outdoor life ...

    Read More
  • Dynamic Warm-ups

    In a common occurrence, you bend over to pick up the pencil you inadvertently dropped on the floor. Or you bend over to pick up the soap bar that has slipped through your fingers in the shower. Or you bend over to lift a bag of groceries out of your automobile trunk. These are all daily events. But on ...

    Read More
  • Smart Shoulders

    Our shoulder joints have the greatest range of motion of any of the musculoskeletal joints in our bodies. The shoulder joint is really two joints, the glenohumeral joint between the arm bone (humerus) and the shoulder blade (scapula) and the acromioclavicular joint between the acromion (a bony projection off the scapula) and the collarbone (clavicle). The glenohumeral joint is a ball-and-socket joint and the acromioclavicular joint is a gliding joint. ...

    Read More
  • A Book and Its Cover

    A book cover may not necessarily tell the whole story and may not accurately portray the nature of the contents within. Publishing companies pay high salaries to their marketing staff to create cover copy that will entice prospective buyers to make a purchase. But many times the book itself does not ...

    Read More
  • When Your Spine Is In Line

    Good spinal alignment means good biomechanical health. Essentially, your spine is the biomechanical center of your body. Your legs are connected to your spine via two large and strong pelvic bones. Your arms are connected to your spine via your shoulder blades, ribs, and numerous strong muscles and ligaments. ...

    Read More
  • An Apple a Day . . .

    What is so good about an apple? Is it the color, ranging from ruby red to pale pink? Is it the crunch? The sweetness? Or is it, instead, a combination of all of these qualities, plus the natural goodness derived from the apple's secret ingredients — phytonutrients? If this were a multiple choice quiz, the answer would be "all of the above". Importantly, in addition to possessing numerous appealing physical qualities, apples contain an abundance of health-promoting biochemicals known as phytonutrients.1,2 These specific organic molecules are derived not only from apples but many other fresh fruits and vegetables, and help power the immune system, protect against cancer, maintain healthy eyes, and assist cells in clearing out metabolic waste products such as free radicals. ...

    Read More
  • Standing Tall

    Young peoples' bones stop growing by approximately age 20, somewhat earlier in women and somewhat later in men. Long bone growth, that is, in the arm, forearm, thigh, and leg, ceases later and smaller bone growth, that is, in the hands, feet, and spine, ceases earlier. In essence, you're as tall as you're ...

    Read More
  • Spring Forth!

    Spring is arriving. The days are getting longer, the air is fresher, and the sunlight is brighter. Flowers and bushes are beginning to bloom. Tree sap is running and there are new baby animals in the world. In short, the world is being renewed and, if we choose to, we too can actively participate in ...

    Read More
  • Chiropractic Care for the Young and the Young at Heart

    Children and adults are the same but different. Most kids want to play all the time, but they also are required to go to school. Most adults would prefer to play all the time – relax, go to the gym, read a book, watch TV, or get together with friends – but most adults need to go to work at least ...

    Read More

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up for more articles