You’re careful about your health. You do your best to eat well, and you pay attention to the ways that your diet affects your energy levels….but something seems off. You’re experiencing annoying symptoms that you can’t explain. You’re often gassy and bloated, your skin may not be clear and glowing anymore, you may be ready for a nap after a meal and you wish you could remember where you put your keys. Why does your memory feel so foggy?
These issues are frustrating (and often embarrassing) and they’re also very common. Many patients that come to see me are already living a fairly healthy lifestyle, but are baffled by continuing digestive issues, mysterious rashes, and low energy levels. If this sounds familiar, it may be time to take a good look at your diet. Even a “healthy” food can make you sick if your body is sensitive to it, even if you’re eaten it your whole life without issues until now. For many, the food mystery becomes both frustrating and overwhelming when trying to understand what foods are nourishing you and not making you feel terrible.
The good news is that you may not have to look very far to make changes that relieve your symptoms. With a bit of detective work through muscle testing, and a bit of help from you, we can get you started on feeling great again.
What are the Symptoms of Food Sensitivity?
Food sensitivities can be tricky to diagnose. Symptoms can vary widely from person to person and can even be different depending on what else is happening in your body. For example, you might respond differently at different stages of your menstrual cycle, or if you’ve been under more stress or not sleeping as well.
Food sensitivities can cause or contribute to:
- Bowel problems
- Chronic illness
- Autoimmune diseases
- Sore joints
- Brain fog (forgetfulness)
- Painful periods, endometriosis
- Fertility issues
- Eczema and psoriasis
Another reason why a food sensitivity is often a missed diagnosis is that these symptoms can be delayed up to 72 hours after a meal, so many people don’t make the connection between what they ate and how they feel. Even the most incredibly observant people can find it difficult to notice that they feel brain fog 3 days after eating a “normal” food.
Similarly, it’s difficult to measure how many people suffer from food sensitivities because a lot of us don’t seek medical help, figuring that it’s “normal” to feel gassy and tired all of the time. In fact, conventional medical practitioners can be skeptical about food sensitivity symptoms, which can lead to frustration for patients. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
What Causes Food Sensitivities?
It’s important to recognize the difference between food allergies, food intolerances, and food sensitivities. Food allergies are immune reactions. After eating a certain food, your body’s immune system launches an attack by making its own protein, called immunoglobulin E (IgE). The next time you consume that food, your body is ready to attack again. The IgE causes your body to release histamine, which triggers the physical symptoms of an allergic reaction. This is the type of allergy reaction one has to pollens and dander. With food, it can cause frightening anaphylaxis reactions.
A food intolerance occurs when the body loses the ability to produce a certain digestive enzyme. Lactose intolerance occurs when the body cannot produce the lactase enzyme, and fructose intolerance occurs when a body cannot produce the fructase enzyme. Eating foods with lactose or fructose will then cause gas/bloating and diarrhea to occur.
A food sensitivity reaction occurs when you eat a food and it forms an antigen/antibody reaction. That is, a different part of your immune system binds to the food, the IgG reaction. Those immune complexes can cause intestinal and systemic problems in the body and mind.
There are specialty labs that can detect these reactions. In my practice, I use a non-invasive method of muscle testing to identify these responses. Along with foods, we can check sensitivity to digestive enzymes (what break down your food into particles), bacteria in the gut, food additives and more.
If we continue to eat that foods that bother our body, the lining of the gut can become inflamed and damaged. Eventually, it can become permeable, so the undigested food particles leaks into the bloodstream. Not surprisingly, this is called leaky gut syndrome.
What is the root cause of food sensitivities? And why are they becoming increasingly common?
There are many medical reasons:
- Eating the same food over and over: the gut loves variety and is healthiest when many different foods are eaten regularly. Simply eating cheese, wheat and eggs all the time increases the risk that you might develop a sensitivity to one of them.
- Antibiotics and other drugs that harm the gut: many medications can harm the gut, the ability to digest, the beneficial bacteria in our intestines. Common anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen and naproxen are devastatingly damaging to the gut as well.
- Poor diet: A diet high in processed foods, sugar, chemicals, Genetically modified organisms, too much coffee or alcohol—all these things can over time increase the inflammation of the gut lining and the risk of developing a food sensitivity.
- Lack of protective nutrients: Ingesting foods high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory chemicals help protect all cells in your body, including your intestinal lining.
- Dysbiosis: When you have low beneficial bacteria or an overgrowth of problematic fungal or bacteria species, this can cause leaky gut and food sensitivities.
- Eating too fast, eating too much: Poor eating habits can stress the gastrointestinal tract.
Which Foods Can Cause Food Sensitivities?
You can have a sensitivity or intolerance to any food, not just the main culprits of wheat, dairy and eggs. Yes, even fruits and veggies could be upsetting your tummy. Uncovering food sensitivities is a fantastic reason for seeing a BIE Practitioner. We have the method to help identify if a particular food is making you sick and a tool to fix it. With BIE, we can re-introduce the food to the body as a good substance, thus alleviating your symptoms.
How Can You Treat Food Sensitivities?
The most common approach to food intolerances is to simply not eat the food. But for many that poses difficulties. As an adult, it may be easier to avoid dairy or wheat, but as a child it is not. That means going to your best friends 5th birthday party, but you cant have the pizza or the ice cream because they both have dairy. Or you can’t have the pizza and cake because they are made of wheat. But…..what if your intolerance isn’t to the food, but to the digestive enzyme itself? This is why BIE is an actual answer to the problem. Not only can it change your body’s response to foods to learn the food is not harmful and to stop producing all these negative symptoms, we can also tell your body digestive enzymes are good and to use them. I will work with both the foods themselves and the physical digestion to alleviate your symptoms.
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Uncovering food sensitivities is a truly a game-changer for my clients. All the things they thought they had to live with they learned they don’t. Chronic gas, pain, bloating, bathroom trips 15 minutes after eating are no longer part of their daily lives. If you suspect that something is off, think it may be foods but not sure, give me a call and see if BIE is right for you!