2 Nutrient Deficiencies That Almost Guarantee You’ll Have Food Allergies

Anne is a 38 year old accountant.  She is married with 2 kids and says she has multiple food allergies.  She used to react to oranges and dairy as a child. In her teens, gluten became an issue.  In her 20’s she had issues with certain food additives. Now she reacts to so many things, she has difficulty knowing what to eat.

Anne has seen her general practitioner and been referred to an allergy specialist.  He does a skin prick test and finds she is reacting to 25 different foods. Her allergy specialist tells her she’ll have to avoid her 25 trigger foods for life.

Anne is floored.

She has researched a healthy diet and knows she needs to eat a variety of foods, but her food intolerances prevent her from eating so many things.  She hardly knows what to do next.

Anne came to our clinic and the very first thing we tested was her zinc and iodine levels.


Let me explain…

Zinc and iodine do many things in your body.  I’m not going to go into all the details right here.  One of the fundamental things you need zinc and iodine for is stomach acid.

Stomach acid is one of the most important parts of your digestion.  Stomach acid breaks down protein. When you eat things like eggs, fish, meat or vege protein, they need to be broken down into amino acids.

Imagine a toy house made from Lego.  The whole protein (let’s say an egg) is the house.  The individual Lego blocks are the amino acids.

Your body can’t use whole proteins, but it LOVES amino acids.  You need amino acids to do things like repair a muscle, build a new cell or make a hormone.  If you don’t have enough amino acids your body doesn’t work very well. How do you get amino acids?  By having good, strong stomach acid to break down the protein you eat.

How do you make stomach acid?  You need four things:

  • Salt
  • Vitamin B1
  • Iodine
  • Zinc

Most people are OK for salt and B1.  LOTS of people don’t have enough zinc or iodine.  Sometimes BOTH. If you are deficient in just one of these important nutrients, you can’t make enough stomach acid.

When you don’t have enough stomach acid, you can’t break down protein.  Then you don’t have enough amino acids. Lots of things don’t work well if you’re low in amino acids.

The second thing that happens when you’re low in stomach acid is that the protein you eat rots inside you!  Your body runs at 98 degrees (37 degrees celsius). Imagine it’s a really hot 98 degree day. You take a piece of fish and leave it sitting on the bench.  You come back later. What will it be like? That’s what happens to protein in your gut when you don’t have enough stomach acid. It’s not pretty.

The rotting protein starts to ferment and bubble.  Often you will burp a little. A little bit of your stomach contents comes up your esophagus and you have reflux or heartburn.  The natural assumption is that you have too much stomach acid. But the underlying cause is actually too little stomach acid.

Your body is designed to absorb amino acids.  Never whole proteins. If you don’t have enough stomach acid, whole proteins get into the lower digestive system and may be absorbed into your blood.  A whole protein looks like an invader to your immune system. Your immune system goes into panic mode. A food intolerance is born!

For many people, the lack of stomach acid is a simple deficiency of iodine or zinc.

Here’s how you can do a simple test at home to see if your zinc or iodine levels are low.  You’ll need two things: a bottle of zinc sulfate heptahydrate, and a bottle of liquid iodine.

Zinc Test

  • Take about 2 teaspoon of the liquid zinc.
  • Hold it in your mouth for 10 seconds.
  • Count in your head from 1-10
  • Take note of when (or if) you taste anything
  • Either swallow the zinc after 10 secs or spit it out.

If the liquid zinc tastes like water, your zinc levels are extremely low.  Ideally you should taste the zinc immediately it touches your mouth. It should taste foul.  If the taste is mild, or if it takes some time before you taste the zinc, you are deficient.

Iodine Test

  • Place a drop of iodine on the inside of your arm, near the elbow.  Let your arm hang vertically down.
  • Take note of how quickly the iodine absorbs.

Ideally the stain from the iodine should be a long, thin line down your arm.  If the stain spreads it is an indication of iodine deficiency.

Keep checking the area where you put the iodine every few hours.  What we want is for the stain to just disappear after 2 days. If the stain disappears more quickly, it is an indication you are deficient.   The quicker the stain disappears, the more deficient you are.

Back to Anne.  We tested Anne for Zinc and Iodine deficiencies and found her to be significantly deficient in both.  She started supplementing both Zinc and Iodine. Her iodine levels were good after about 2 months. She was so zinc deficient, it took about 6 months for her to get her zinc levels good.  After 6 months she started reintroducing foods into her diet and found she could eat them with no reactions.

Sometimes dealing with food intolerances is a easy as fixing zinc and iodine deficiencies.  Sometimes it takes a bit more…

Do you need some help with your health challenges?

You don’t need to be alone. A little help makes a huge difference.

That’s where Julie and I come in. As skilled practitioners, we’ve helped many of these types of cases with wonderful results.

We know you’re working hard to take control of your health because you’re taking action and doing everything you can to reclaim your health.

So we want to invite you to get 1-on-1 help with your anxiety and food intolerances.

We’ve got some time open next week for a free 30-min “root cause troubleshooting session.”

If you’re ready to get this handled in your life and finally understand HOW your food problems and anxiety are linked. And WHY they won’t stop… click the link below to schedule a FREE 30-min time with us and we’ll dive deep into your signs and symptoms to identify the #1 root cause you’ve been missing.

We’ll be honored to serve you.

Click here to book your troubleshooting session.

We’re so excited to invite you into our consulting practice, which is like a whole new Functional Medicine family to help you with your health.

If you’ve never worked with a talented and caring functional medicine practitioner, you have no idea how good it can be to get help with your health and just how fast you can feel better.

Thank you for being part of this amazing community.


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