If you’re here you are probably wondering “Could I have food intolerances? What are the symptoms of food intolerances? Is there such a thing as food intolerances?” Maybe you’re a believer, maybe not – either way, please read on, it could change your life 🙂 and I PROMISE food will taste BETTER THAN EVER! My life has changed so dramatically over the last few years. Allergies have always affected my life because I was born with a life threatening peanut allergy, my food intolerances aren’t life threatening but the symptoms they cause can be debilitating. For me personally, I changed my diet to help with digestive issues but that was just the beginning. Before I changed my diet (you can read my full story in my post “My Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Nut Free Life“) I was experiencing depression, anxiety, digestive issues (specifically gastroparesis symptoms like gut rot, nausea – feeling full after just a few bites and feeling full for hours, like I wasn’t digesting my food), obesity, cravings, dizzy spells, brain fog, joint pain in my wrists and shoulder and extreme fatigue.- I go back and read my blog post and I can’t believe how much different I feel now almost 3 years later.
So, what types of illnesses and/or symptoms might a person experience because of food intolerances? According to Nancy Raymond, MSMS, MS, RD, FAARM of Optimal Health Solutions in Rochester Hills, MI (who is actually my mother) “there are a multitude of systemic effects that food intolerances trigger. It is an immune response to something in the particular food (typically the protein particle) that triggers the immune system to produce inflammation. That inflammation travels throughout all the systems of the body and create all kinds of seemingly unrelated symptoms and conditions. Because of this, connecting the dots to the root cause of the symptoms can be difficult”.
It’s common for food intolerances to cause general issues like fatigue, insomnia, food cravings and obesity. Also, food intolerances can play a role in digestive issues like IBS, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and gallbladder disease;. Infections like recurrent colds, urinary tract infections, sore throats, ear infections, and yeast infections are all red flags for looking at gut health as well as food sensitivities. According to Raymond, “A Functional Medicine mantra is ‘what is happening in the sinuses is also happening in the gut’, so chronic nasal congestion, and postnasal drip (read about my husband’s experience with sinus infections and gluten here) are frequently related to food issues. , Other systemic effects can be fluid in the ears, Meniere’s syndrome” (I was never diagnosed with Meniere’s but had frequent dizzy/spinning spells prior to my diet change – I have learned it’s when I eat soy because it’s one of the first things that happens to me if I accidentally get exposed). And wait…there’s more…High blood pressure, arrhythmia, angina, acne (I haven’t had acne even one time since changing my diet!), eczema (I used to have eczema as a child and started developing it again when I was about 23 on my shins and upper arms but it went away once I changed my diet), psoriasis, canker sores, hives, muscle aches, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, migraines, and other headaches (I HAVE NOT had a headache since changing my diet almost 3 years ago except for one day when I had a 24 hour flu!).
It can also cause some things you might not realize can be caused by food sensitivities such as depression, anxiety (I had BAD issues with anxiety before changing my diet), brain fog (HUGE issues with this too, it’s soy that does it for me) and teeth grinding. So many things that caused me grief on a daily basis changed when I changed my diet. – things that I didn’t even realize could ever change!, For example, I used to grind my teeth so hard that it would wake my husband up at night and my teeth and jaw were sore the majority of the time. So many things I didn’t expect to get better did!! I want to note, you may or may not have some of the issues listed above, and you may or may not have food intolerances. Many of these disorders have more than one cause but food intolerances are often a root cause of many seemingly unrelated symptoms, and are commonly overlooked – they definitely were for me!
Food intolerances can result from poor gut health (Leaky Gut), and/or cause poor gut health (Leaky Gut). Leaky Gut leads to the inflammatory cascade triggered by the immune response to those foods we are intolerant to. That inflammatory cascade can affect multiple areas of our health (Did you happen to read the last few paragraphs J). If you’re thinking that you might have food intolerances I would recommend speaking to a medical professional who specializes in integrative nutrition.Many health professionals don’t understand this yet and so respond negatively to the suggestion that eliminating these foods will help how you feel I’ve found that some conventional healthcare professionals don’t believe that the food we are eating causes our bodies so much grief and they tend to find fault in the studies (like this control was incorrect, or this wasn’t completely controlled). I think, sure, there may be some issues with some studies but there is no denying how different I and thousands of other people feel once they find out what it is they’re eating that’s bugging them. If you think you may have food intolernances, please check out my next post – Elimination Diet – 1 month of food
And one more thing – I’m sick of people going gluten free, etc and then cramming themselves full of allergen free processed (but good tasting, void of nutrients) stuff like….. alright, alright….like the cookies and pancakes that have been gracing the pages of my blog over the holidays) –A diet heavy in veggies and fruits that focuses on whole foods is BEST for EVERYONE no matter if you have food intolerances or not! (And, although it seems like all we eat is sweets on this blog, we actually get 7-8 servings of fruits and veggies in most days!)
We love our whole foods!
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