Ever get a scratchy throat or experience swelling? How about a breakout of hives or a bout with brain fog? Some joint pain, too?
Well, you just may be sensitive to the very things that you eat. Factors like genetically modified foods (GMOs), gluten, medications and even stress can make your small intestines loosen up rather quickly. This allows ingested food to permeate it, causing a kind of immune response.
Foods like peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, milk, eggs, soy, fish and shellfish cause about 90 percent of all food allergies. More than likely, half of these foods can be found in your daily diet, boosting your cortisol while decreasing your immune strength. This keeps you from reaching your wellness and weight loss goals.
According to the Mayo Clinic, such food allergies may range from mild to severe, and even life-threatening. Symptoms usually happen within a few minutes to maybe a couple of hours following a meal containing an offending food.
Of course, the most difficult part is learning more about these symptoms, not to mention what foods bring about your own sensitivities. So in order to get on the right track to better health, first look out for these common signs after eating your next few meals.
Gas, bloating and constipation
Did you know that diets that are rich in heavily processed foods can change the composition of your gut bacteria. This, in turn, leads to weight, gas, bloating and constipation. Oh, yes!
If you continue to eat the foods that aren’t working well for you, your body simply can’t use them, and this causes all kinds of inflammation and immune responses. And improper digestion not only leads to a loss of energy, it makes your body work extra hard to get rid of trigger foods and begin to heal.
Moodiness, brain fog and headache
Foods such as gluten, dairy and sugar are natural opiates – those containing gluteomorphins, casomorphins or morphine-like substances metabolized from foods containing wheat or dairy. Basically, the moodiness and brain fog that results from giving these foods up entirely can be marks of withdrawal.
Acne, rosacea and dark circles
Your immune system actually speaks through your skin, particularly through skin issues like rashes, eczema, itchy ears, rosacea, acne and even those dark circles under your eyes. Eating dairy will do it, although diet isn’t the only thing responsible for skin problems. Still, if you’re at the end of the line, dairy is a good thing to eliminate from your diet for starters.
Whenever you eat foods that you’re most sensitive to and don’t sit well, the undigested bits spread throughout your gut, getting into your circulation where they don’t belong. That’s where antibodies come in, creating an immune response. When the body has all of these antibodies and virtually nothing to break down, your body begins to crave the very foods you’re most sensitive to. And then so do you!
A low tide of stomach acid is a classic cause of heartburn. Drinking far too much liquid with your meals doesn’t help any. What happens is the little acid you do have washes up in your esophagus and causes a burning sensation. When you don’t have enough acid to break down the foods you’re eating, it permeates your gut, prompting sensitivity.
The most common symptom of food sensitivity is joint pain. That’s because foods like dairy, soy and gluten often come from sources that have been altered by genetic modification (GMOs), antibiotics and pesticides. This can trigger inflammatory responses. What’s more, an inflammatory diet raises cortisol and insulin-resistance levels, which only makes matters worse.
Dealing with food allergies and their symptoms
If you suspect that you have a food allergy after experiencing one or more of these symptoms, don’t fret.
First of all, get to the bottom of your particular symptoms by trying a 14-day elimination diet where you remove the most common food allergens from your diet in order to give your body a much needed rest; to alleviate stress on your immune system; and to help detoxification altogether.
After this period, you can then slowly reintroduce each food. This will help you to link specific symptoms to your individual food choices.
Once you’ve identified the foods you’re most allergic to, be sure about what you’re eating and drinking. Be certain to read food labels more closely. If your food allergy is pretty severe, wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace, informing others that you have a food allergy, especially if you’re unable to communicate.
Finally, talk with your family physician and a nutritionist, and develop a sound action plan.
For some people, getting to know these symptoms, and the foods associated with them, is a mere inconvenience. But for others, of course, it can be a huge ordeal. After all, some foods – whenever used in certain dishes – may be difficult to pinpoint. This is especially true in restaurants or friends’ homes.
Either way, uncovering your own food sensitivities is something incredibly worthwhile. With relief from so many common symptoms, you’ll also benefit by feeling more in control of your food and what really nourishes your body.
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