KTVQ | Dietitian: Food Sensitivities Linked to Many Chronic Diseases


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BILLINGS- Gluten free and allergy friendly foods are becoming more common in grocery stores and restaurants.

The adjustments to menus and stock coincides with an increase in Americans associating food with illness.

For years, Faye Egolf has struggled with her weight and an extensive list of health problems ranging from asthma and headaches to irritable bowel syndrome and chronic pain. She tried countless unsuccessful diets, some limiting her to 500 calories a day, and pleaded with doctors for help.

“Last year, three hours a day of work was all I could handle,” Egolf said.

In June, she met with a registered dietitian who tested her for food sensitivities. The test surprisingly came back positive for some “healthy” foods like tomatoes and green beans.

“It is so individual. I’ve seen people react to rice, salmon, olive oil, tumeric–which is anti-inflammatory and should help joint pain. Everybody gets a different set of genes, and some people just don’t have the ability to detoxify as well as others,” registered dietitian Tracy Konoske said.

Konoske said when trigger foods are removed, patients have at least a 50-percent reduction in symptoms in eight to 10 days.

“What we do on a daily basis is so important, whether that’s meth or not getting enough sleep, or eating out of all the boxed food stuff verses eating all of this. We now know enough about the body to know that when you eat something, it does cross over into the blood. Now it’s in the circulation, and it can effect anything from joints to things like cancer,” Konoske said.

She says the way society processes foods is at least partially to blame for the increase in food sensitivities and chronic disease.

“Celiac disease has risen 400-percent in the last 30 years or so. They’ve analyzed blood samples from 30 years ago and now, and it’s not just that we’re better at detecting it. It’s actually increasing, and it’s because our food supply has changed,” Konoske said.

Egolf said after eliminating her trigger foods, she lost more than 20 pound in three months without counting calories, and most of her other symptoms disappeared.

“It’s not worth it to me to pay the price to have something I’m not supposed to have because the life I have now is so much better than before with all the sensitivies,” she said.

While she says there’s still a long road ahead to optimum health, for the first time she feels she is on it.

Food sensitivities are different than allergies. Sensitivities don’t involve the same anti-bodies, and the reaction is usually delayed.

Testing is also different from allergy testing, and some in the medical community question it’s accuracy.


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 About Tracy Konoske, MS, RDN

meet_tracyTracy Konoske is an eclectic clinician and uses a blend of natural, integrative, functional, and personalized medicine to help her patients feel their best.  Tracy understands that there are 4 drivers of chronic disease:  Toxins, Infections, Stress, and Diet.  And it's often a combination of all 4 that lead to a chronic health condition, and thus it takes a treatment plan addressing each of the 4 to resolve and reclaim good health.  Tracy has recovered from 2 "perfect storm" situations which had drastic effects on her health and led to multiple mystery illnesses and diagnosis including Lyme.

By reducing the burden of these triggers, Tracy is successfully resolving:

  • Fatigue (anemia's, adrenals, thyroid-related, chronic fatigue syndrome, ME-CFS)
  • Auto Immune Conditions (Hashimoto's, Lupus, MS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Celiac)
  • Mental Health Conditions (anxiety, depression, OCD, ADD/ADHD)
  • Cognitive Dysfunction (trouble concentrating, forgetfulness, symptoms of early Alzheimer's)
  • Digestive Disorders (low hydrochloric acid, "leaky gut", Candida Albicans, Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth SIBO, IBS, Crohn's Disease, Ulcerative Colitis)
  • Migraines and chronic headaches
If you've one or more of the above-mentioned conditions, or have been told you have Lyme or chronic Lyme,  there's a good chance you are in the right place.If you have a history of chronic sore throats, tonsillitis or tonsillectomy, mononucleosis, glandular fever, shingles, and/or cold sores, there's a good chance you are in the right place.

There are no coincidences.  All good things come from God.