Food sensitivities are on the rise, and most people don't even realize they are struggling with them. When left untreated, they can cause a range of mental, physical, and emotional symptoms and much-unneeded suffering. Read on to discover how to identify and eliminate food sensitivities, and regain your health and vitality.
Food Allergies Vs Food Sensitivities
Before working to identify food sensitivities it is important to first understand how they differ from allergies. Food allergies occur when your immune system mistakenly identifies a food item as a harmful invader and produces IgE antibodies in an 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.
Why Food Sensitivities Are So Hard to Identify
Food sensitives are rather common but there is a myriad of possible symptoms, the symptoms usually start our subtly and gradually build, and the reactions can take up to 24 hours to appear, all of these factors make them difficult to identify. Making them additionally hard to diagnose is the fact that most conventional doctors only offer allergy tests that look for IgE antibodies and as mentioned above, food sensitivities are caused by IgG antibodies. This is unfortunate because a failure to identify food sensitivities could mean years of unnecessary suffering. Moreover, every time you consume foods that you are sensitive to, you degrade your gut health and increase inflammation - and both of these things raise your risk for chronic disease and accelerate aging.
Commonly Intolerant Foods
The most common food intolerances are to: dairy, tomatoes, caffeine, gluten, wheat, fructose, eggs, MSG, sulfites (chemicals that are primarily used as preservatives in foods and drinks), and salicylates which are natural chemicals found in foods such as fruits, vegetables, teas, coffee, spices, nuts, and honey. Some people are also unable to break down histamine, and histamine rich foods can trigger symptoms in these people. The foods that are highest in histamine include fermented foods, cured meat, citrus, dried fruits, avocados, smoked fish, vinegar, aged cheeses, beer, and wine.
Digestive issues are commonly caused by food sensitivities, and they may include diarrhea, constipation, gas, cramps, bloating, heartburn, and/or stomach pain. Cognitive issues such as brain fog, mental fatigue, forgetfulness, migraines, and headaches are also common. You may also experience physical fatigue, food cravings, weight gain, irritability, moodiness, weakness, heart irregularities, depression, runny nose, stuffy nose, or insomnia. Or you may have skin reactions such as rashes, itchy skin, acne, psoriasis, rosacea, eczema, skin flushing, or dark/puffy eyes.
How to Identify Food Sensitivities
If you suffer from any of the symptoms above and there is no other identifiable cause, it may be a food sensitivity. A great way to identify food sensitivities is with an elimination diet. Eliminate the following common dietary triggers for 10-14 days: wheat, corn, soy, dairy, eggs, tomatoes, nuts, coffee, alcohol, beef, pork, lamb, and shellfish, as well as any additional foods you suspect are triggering your symptoms.
During this time, consume a simple wholefood, 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. After the 10-14 days is up, add back 1 single food item every 3 days and monitor closely for a return of symptoms.
*If the elimination diet is unfeasible you can purchase an IgG Food Allergy test - it measures sensitivities to up to 132 different foods.
How to Reverse Symptoms and Restore Health
Fortunately, identifying and eliminating foods that you’re sensitive to will go a long way towards restoring your energy and vitality. Add to the elimination diet, the following simple lifestyle modifications and you’ll feel better than ever: consume a wholefoods based diet, establish a regular sleep schedule, practice stress reduction techniques regularly (meditation, yoga, breathwork, etc.), and eat something small every 3 hours to stabilize your blood sugar.
Optimize Your Adrenal Gland Function
Food sensitivities are often caused or aggravated by weakened adrenal glands, and weakened adrenal glands leads to a worsening of symptoms. If you suffer with low energy, brain fog, poor immunity, or insomnia (signs of adrenal fatigue), I highly recommend you support your adrenal glands with Adrenal DMG. This clinically formulated nutraceutical contains a proprietary blend of herbs that nourish the adrenal glands back to health. It also contains adrenal cortex and small amounts of naturally occurring cortisol, and cortisol helps reduce the inflammation that is behind many food sensitivity symptoms. Most users report a noticeable increase in energy and mental clarity immediately, and with continued use, the alleviation of adrenal fatigue symptoms and restoration of vitality.
* For more information on identifying and eliminating food sensitivities, check out my YouTube interview with Dr. Michael Grossman, MD: