Food Intolerances - Why some foods don't agree with you
Food intolerances are something incredibly common when looking at IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), IBD (irritable bowel disease), and other digestive concerns such as bloating, heart burn, constipation or diarrhoea.
Food intolerances is the difficulty to digest certain foods. Food intolerances are also known as non-IgE mediated food hypersensitivity or non-allergic food hypersensitivities.
They are not food allergies, instead foods that your body is having trouble digesting which can not only cause digestive symptoms but also symptoms extending out of the digestive system and throughout your body.
Food intolerances is not necessarily a reaction to the food itself, but more so a chemical reaction.
Food intolerances can also be related to the quantity or amount of food consumed. Because of this, symptoms can have a delayed response in appearing. That means you can eat a little bit of a particular food and be fine, when other times you can eat a lot and symptoms appear.
The other factors that affect your tolerance to foods include:
- the number of intolerances you have
- our immune function
- our stress levels
- the quality of our sleep
- digestion and overall gut health
There are many contributing factors to food intolerances and a delay in symptoms, build up of food chemicals in the body and because the food can be absolutely anything, it can be challenging to investigate.
So where do you begin?
A good place to start is by seeing if you suffer from any of the symptoms of food intolerances as there is quite an extensive list:
- Rapid breathing
- Headache or migraine
- Burning sensations on the skin
- Breathing difficulties similar to asthma
- Allergic reactions such as hayfever like symptoms such as runny nose, itchy eyes.
- Bed wetting
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Chronic fatigue like syndrome or just fatigue
- Sleep disturbances
- Water retention
- Weight gain
- Sinusitis and
- Skin rashes
The next step is to start working out which foods are the culprits.
This can be challenging. In clinic I use a range of methods to investigate this including, but not limited to: elimination diets, hair testing for food sensitivities, food diaries and detailed questioning in relation to how your body responds to particular foods.
Food intolerances can seem quite intimidating but it is something I see all the time and work with all the the time and I able able to give guidance and support through the whole process. A lot of people are not even aware that particular foods they are consuming are actually exacerbating their symptoms and their overall health!
The good news is that food intolerances are not for life. There are many things you can do support yourself whilst finding the culprits of your food world:
keeping a food and symptom diary to check for patterns
removing all suspect foods for two weeks, then reintroducing them one at a time to test for reactions (except in cases of anaphylaxis). This must only be done under a practitioner's supervision for safety and to prevent nutritional deficiencies
skin prick tests using food extracts
allergy blood tests
As mentioned above, I use elimination diets and also hair testing to check for food sensitivities so if you are interested on getting on top of your symptoms, investigating your food intolerances and clearing them for good, book a 15 minute FREE chat to discuss or book an initial consult HERE to get the process started.