Most of us can attest to the simple fact that what you eat can make you feel good or lousy. I know I have made my fair share of BAD choices over my lifetime. I know that when I have chosen to eat junk food, I feel junky! And when I choose to eat a healthy diet, composed of vegetables, fruits, lean proteins and healthy fats I feel GREAT! Yet, there is one other really important factor that can impact how even the healthiest diet can make you feel, and that is whether you have avoided your food sensitivities!
Often people are surprised to learn how many different conditions can be related to food sensitivities. They can cause your typical gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea and abdominal pain. In addition, many people are surprised to learn just how many other conditions can be improved by learning about your food sensitivities and avoiding the necessary foods.Eight conditions you may be surprised to learn could be related to food sensitivities include:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Trouble Concentrating
- Chronic Ear Infections
- Grinding Teeth
- Weight Issues/Childhood Obesity
This list was not exclusive, as there are many more conditions that can be related to the foods you eat each day. If you are suffering from an autoimmune condition you may be part of the growing group of individuals suffering from food sensitivities.
Food sensitivities are different from food allergies and food intolerances. A food allergy is the classic picture of an allergy. It is the “scary” one. An allergy is an immune system response to something (food, environment, medication, etc.) where the body creates antibodies called IgE antibodies in response to an allergen (E.g. peanuts). These IgE antibodies release histamine when exposed to an allergen, leading to all the traditional allergy symptoms we all know and love (E.g. itchy water eyes, rashes, runny nose, difficulty breathing and anaphylactic shock). Allergies tend to have a fast onset, with symptoms occurring within 24 hours after exposure.
Food sensitivities are a less deadly version of a food allergy. Sensitivities are caused by the immune system making IgG antibodies in response to being exposed to offending foods (e.g. dairy, corn, sugar). The IgG antibodies do not release histamine, but instead make antigen-antibody complexes. Over time these complexes build in the body and are deposited in the body’s tissues. Eventually the build-up can lead to chronic inflammation in the body, leading to symptoms such as IBS, weight problems, infertility, autoimmune diseases, gas, bloating, arthritis, and many more (see list above). The problem with food sensitivities is the delayed reaction in the body. Food sensitivities can take up to 72 hours to start forming. For example, you ate a delectable bowl of chocolate ice cream on Saturday night, but now it’s Tuesday and you have a headache. It is hard to associate that wonderful treat you ate on Saturday night with the headache you have 3 days later. But if IgG antibodies are responsible it is possible! Now, to be fair, even most food sensitivities will surface within 4 hours of eating the offending food. Yet, there is another common issue with detecting food sensitivities, and that is the frequency we eat most foods. The most common food sensitivities are gluten, dairy, corn, eggs, soy, peanuts and sugar. If you are like most people, you eat these foods on a regular basis, which means the inflammation is chronic. It can be difficult to know how good you would feel without food sensitivities until you have detected the offending food through testing or diet.
A final note on this topic, the most common concerns I see in practice are either improper removal of food sensitivities or failure to heal the gut after food removal. Given that it takes up to 72 hours for a food sensitivity to stop forming, only removing a food for a day or two will not give you enough time to see if the food negatively affects you. It takes up to 72 hours for a reaction to start, and up to 2-3 weeks for a reaction to stop once it’s formed. Therefore, you really do need to remove a food for a good amount of time to know if it is bothering you. And NO, removing a food won’t cause you to react to it when you reintroduce the food. Most of the time, when you remove the food that is bothering you, you learn what good feels like, and when you reintroduce the food you recognize the way you use to feel all of the time. After you have figured out the foods, and removed them from your diet, you need to heal the gut to prevent all the new foods from becoming issues down the road. The gastrointestinal tract can repair and heal itself with some assistance. Therefore, make sure to heal the gut to prevent future food sensitivities from developing.
To learn more about food sensitivities please reach out by sending me a message/email or give me a call. I do offer a FREE 15-Minute Health Consultation as well, if you would like to meet in person.
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