Did you know that food sensitivities are on the rise and you may be suffering with a multitude of mental, physical and emotional symptoms that are caused by unidentified food sensitivities? Overtime, you may have become so accustom to these symptoms, that you don’t even realize just how terrible you feel, and you won’t feel any better until you identify and eliminate the food/s that you’re sensitive to. Don’t settle for subpar health, read on to discover how to recognize, identify and eliminate food sensitivities, and prepare yourself to feel better than ever! Food Allergies Versus Food Sensitivities
Food allergies occur when your immune system mistakenly identifies a food item as a harmful invader and produces IgE antibodies in attempt to nullify the perceived harm. The antibodies release histamine and symptoms (including the risk for death) immediately follow. Food sensitivities, also referred to as food intolerances, are different than food allergies because they are caused by IgG antibodies (as opposed to IgE), the symptoms are usually delayed by up to 24 hours, and there is no risk of death.
Understanding Food Sensitivities
Food sensitives are rather common but the reactions are not immediate, so many people don’t even realize their symptoms are caused by the foods they’re eating. Unfortunately, conventional allergy tests only look for IgE antibodies so food sensitivities do not show-up on them. This is worrisome because failure to identify food sensitivities could mean years of unnecessary suffering. Moreover, it can seriously damage your health because every time you consume a food that you are sensitive to, you increase inflammation in your body, and inflammation is the root cause of many chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes, Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
Food Sensitivity Symptoms
Digestive issues such as diarrhea, constipation, gas, cramps, bloating, heartburn and/or stomach pain; cognitive issues such as brain fog, forgetfulness, migraines and headaches; mental and/or physical fatigue; skin issues such as rashes, itchy skin, acne, psoriasis, rosacea, eczema or dark eye circles; food cravings; irritability, moodiness or depression; insomnia.
Most Common Food Sensitivity Culprits
The most common foods that people are sensitive to include wheat, corn, soy, dairy, eggs, tomatoes, peanuts, coffee, alcohol, beef, pork, lamb and shellfish. Ironically, the foods you eat and crave the most are typically the foods that you’re most sensitive to. So if there is something you can’t imagine going a day without, and you experience any of the above symptoms frequently, there is a very real possibility you’re are sensitive to that food.
How to Identify Food Sensitivities
The best and most accurate way to identify food sensitivities is through an elimination diet. For the diet, you eliminate the most common dietary triggers listed above for 10-14 days. During that time, consume a plant-based diet with vegetables, brown rice, beans and legumes. Fruit should only be consumed cooked because fruits contain protein antigens that can trigger allergic reactions and cooking them helps to neutralize those antigens. If you find you’re really hungry on the diet, or you are concerned about protein intake, you can consume a brown rice-based protein powder, so long as it’s gluten and dairy free.
After the 10-14 days is up, you add back 1 food item every 3 days and monitor closely for a return of symptoms. For instance, on day 1 post-elimination, you may add back gluten, then on day 4 dairy, day 7 ham … but make sure you’re eating the items solo, and not eating for instance a pizza which may contain all 3 of those items. That would be problematic because if symptoms do return you wouldn’t be able to pinpoint which of the 3 food items caused it. If no symptoms appear within 24 hours of adding an item back in, it is safe to add it back to your diet. Be sure to add fresh, uncooked fruit one at a time as well. Finally, once you do identify which foods are safe to consume, be sure to consume a balanced diet and rotate the foods you eat regularly. This is important because if you consume too much of one food item on a daily basis, it may cause a new sensitivity to develop.
*Although this diet can be done on your own, it is recommended that you seek the assistance of a healthcare practitioner to guide you through the process.
What to Expect
The first 4 or 5 days on the elimination diet your body will be detoxing and you may experience strong cravings and one or more detox symptom, including: brain fog, light headedness, fatigue, skin eruptions, irritability, headache or digestive upset. After 5 days however, you will likely feel a whole lot better and any body aches, stomach aches, joint aches, or headaches that you may have been experiencing from consuming foods that you’re sensitive to, will disappear. At the end of the elimination period you will have cleared out all allergens or sensitivities, and suddenly it will be much easier to get out of bed. You’ll have a ton of energy throughout the day, your mood will be boosted, your brain will feel clearer, your concentration and memory enhanced, and any joint pain, headaches or sinus congestion will disappear.
Food sensitivities are often caused or aggravated by weakened adrenal glands. Your adrenal glands produce cortisol, and a high-stress lifestyle (which the majority of us lead), causes your adrenal glands to pump out extra cortisol. When the stress is ongoing, your adrenal glands can’t keep up and they burn out. This causes them to stop pumping out enough cortisol (a condition known as hypocortisolemia), and leaves you feeling extremely tired and emotionally unstable. Despite daylong exhaustion, you may find you can’t sleep at night because you can’t turn your mind off.
Fortunately, eliminating foods that you’re sensitive to will go a long way towards restoring your energy and adrenal health. Add to the elimination diet, the following simple lifestyle modifications and you’ll feel better than ever: establish a regular sleep schedule, practice stress reducing techniques regularly (meditation, yoga, deep breathing etc.), and eat something small every 3 hours to stabilize your blood sugar. For more severe cases, talk to your healthcare practitioner about adding in an adrenal-nourishing supplement such as Adrenal DMG (http://www.delgadonaturals.com/adrenal-dmg/) or bioidentical cortisol. Finally, pay attention to how you feel when you first wake-up. You should feel energetic and vital and not require any caffeine or sugar to get you going. If you’re not ‘a morning person’ it’s a telltale sign of poor health.