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Food Intolerances and Allergies

Dana Yarn, RDLD

Are you suffering from food intolerances?  You may not even know it.Food Intolerances and Allergies

When most people think of bad reactions to food, they picture their throat closing up, breaking out into hives, or experiencing debilitating stomach pains. Fortunately, not all food intolerances work that way, and actual symptoms can be much milder. So mild, in fact, that you might not even realize they are a result of a food intolerance.  I have several clients who has nagging symptoms and never correlate their symptoms to what they may be eating. 

Although people often confuse intolerances with food allergies they are actually completely different issues. Food allergies are much more serious and cause an immune system reaction that occurs immediately after consumption and can be life threatening. Food intolerances, on the other hand, are usually less serious. Symptoms come on gradually, and people can even tolerate small amounts of the bothersome food, although consuming a food you are intolerant to can still disrupt your metabolism.

To give an example, you can still be intolerant of gluten without having celiac disease. If you have celiac disease, your body is completely unable to process gluten. If you are gluten intolerant, on the other hand, you still may have some trouble digesting the protein composite, but your symptoms may be less noticeable.

Since food intolerance reactions are much less severe than allergies, many people are not aware they have them, but they could be causing symptoms ranging from stomach issues to mental disturbances. To help your body and mind feel as healthy and functional as possible, we've gathered a list of five unexpected signs you may have a food intolerance.

You're Feeling Moody or Depressed 

Research has found a large amount of depressed people who are food intolerant compared to those who aren't. When your body is a constant state of "illness," it becomes chronically inflamed, and researchers have now begun to find a link between inflammation and depression.  When our digestive tract is disrupted, it throws off the rest of our body, including the connection with the brain, which can begin to affect mood and the ability to focus.

Your Skin is not clear.

Your skin is the largest organ of your body and when there is something going on the skin will reveal itself first.  If you find that your skin is ridden with acne, you may have a certain food to blame. Acne occurs most often with consumption of dairy, as every milk product contains bovine hormones, and if you are intolerant to them, it can cause a reaction in the form of a breakout. When your immune system is responding to something that doesn't belong in your body, inflammation occurs, and the skin will show you first.

You're unable to manage your weight.

When you're constantly eating a food that your body can't digest, your body becomes inflamed, setting off a total body reaction and increasing insulin resistance. Because insulin is a fat-storage hormone, it causes you to gain weight. Since studies show that certain foods have a reoccurring inflammatory effect in the body to those who are intolerant to them, trying to eliminate that food will help combat obesity, bloating, and lethargy.  

You are unable to focus.

Some food intolerances can cause a drug-like effect on the brain, causing you to feel forgetful and cloudy when you are going through a detoxification of that food.  This is why people complain about being "stupid" during the first few days of a detoxification diet.   Certain foods that don't work well for your body can cause "leaky gut" which compromises digestion and causes nutrients and food particles to leak out into the bloodstream. This prevents essential nutrients from reaching the brain, creating a brain fog in those affected and vitamin deficiencies like vitamin D and Magnesium.

You feel achy and worn out. 

Chronic inflammation not only affects your mood, but it affects the joints and muscles in your body as well. Eating foods that your body can't handle raises insulin levels, which can promote inflammation and in turn causes aching and discomfort in your joints and muscles. Limiting inflammatory foods can help with your joint and muscle pain.   Common trigger foods include fried and processed foods, sugar, dairy, and gluten.

If you suspect you may have a food tolerance, try doing an elimination diet or consulting your doctor.

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