Is Your Favorite Food Making You Sick?
Maybe you’ve experienced this…
You’ve worked hard all week and the weekend is finally here! You’re looking forward to treating yourself to a great dinner with friends and family!
You indulge, but either later that evening or the following morning, you are not feeling great — at all!
Perhaps it was the waffles, the milk, or another sneaky culprit. All you know is something feels off.
There are many reasons that certain foods might not agree with you, but if you’ve noticed that you’ve been feeling bloated, gassy, or you’re just struggling with your digestion repeatedly (and your diet isn’t changing that much), there’s a strong likelihood that you have a sensitivity, intolerance, or allergy to a particular food in your diet.
Ready to get to the bottom of that discomfort?
Here’s what you need to know to decide where the discomfort may be stemming from, along with some methods to help you feel better.
IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD MAKING YOU SICK?
Food allergies are intense reactions that are hard to ignore.
They’re an immune reaction, which means that they’re much more severe, and often occur soon after eating the suspect food.
If you have a food allergy, you may need to avoid the food you’re allergic to completely.
However, there is some good news! There are many tests to check for potential allergies to keep yourself out of harm’s way!
Food sensitivities are also immune reactions. However, they’re caused by slower-acting antibodies, which means the symptoms are much more subtle, longer-lasting, and less severe than allergies.
They’re like food allergies’ little sister, but she’s definitely not well-behaved.
Food intolerances happen when you lack a particular enzyme to digest what you just ate.
Meaning rather than being a more harmful immune response, they’re a digestive reaction.
These are the least severe of the three, but they can still be damaging if ignored for too long, which can lead to chronic inflammation, bloating, indigestion, and skin problems.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
If you get hives, experience face swelling, or have trouble breathing when you eat something, you’re almost certainly allergic to something you ate.
Other symptoms of allergies include hives, rashes, flushing, sweating, nausea, vomiting, and anaphylactic shock.
FOOD SENSITIVITY SYMPTOMS
Some symptoms of food sensitivities include brain fog, inflammation, fatigue, and headache.
Remember, these are much longer-lasting and less obvious than allergies, so that constant headache you assume is just a part of normal living might actually be a clue that you have a sensitivity!
FOOD INTOLERANCE SYMPTOMS
Signs of food intolerances are most common and least threatening but still can cause issues.
Symptoms include gastrointestinal issues, bloating, indigestion, and abdominal discomfort.
COMMON FOOD CULPRITS
Here is a list of some common foods that are known to cause issues to see if we can help you draw some connections.
- Milk (including all dairy products that contain milk, like ice cream, cheese, and yogurt)
- Tree nuts (including almonds, cashews, and pistachios)
- Wheat (which is different from a gluten sensitivity)
- Fish (some people who are allergic to fish aren’t allergic to shellfish, and vice versa)
COMMON FOOD SENSITIVITY INGREDIENTS
- Milk / Dairy
- Gluten (found in barley, wheat, and rye, and this would be a gluten sensitivity)
- Beef, pork, and lamb
COMMON FOOD INTOLERANCE INGREDIENTS
- Again, pesky milk and dairy products
- Salicylates (chemicals made by a plant to keep animals (or people) from eating it, found in many teas, spices, fruits, and vegetables)
- Amines (made in the fermentation process of food, and contained in foods like sauerkraut, cured meat, and aged cheese)
- Fructose (a simple sugar found in fruits and vegetables, but also sweeteners like honey)
As you can see, there are a variety of foods that could be causing problems, and certain foods (like dairy) could be a repeat offender and the culprit behind all three!
WHAT TO DO NEXT
The good news is that you’re here now, learning about how to tackle these problems head-on. Some investigative steps you can take include:
FOOD ALLERGY AND SENSITIVITY TESTING
If you suspect an allergy (symptoms should be fairly obvious), you should get tested.
Unfortunately, there’s no perfect test to confirm or rule out an allergy. The best thing you can do is see an allergist or doctor who will take in multiple factors to determine your allergies, including:
- Your symptoms
- Your family history
- A physical exam
- A skin test
- A blood test
THE RESET DIET FOR A FOOD INTOLERANCE
While a food allergy is easy to test for and diagnose, a food intolerance is not.
An elimination and reintroduction diet is the best way to track down what ingredients might be causing you pain and discomfort.
During an elimination diet, you remove suspect foods or ingredients from your diet for an extended period of time.
After the extended period of time, you can add one food back in each week for four weeks and assess any problematic symptoms.
If any of the food causes symptoms, remove them entirely from the diet. Then the body will have to contend with one less stressor!
Once you have found which foods aren’t problematic, you can include them in a rotation diet. A rotation diet means that you rotate a variety of foods and nutrients over a 4 to 5 day period. This method helps to avoid the development of a food intolerance.
Taking back your health by identifying any food intolerance, sensitivities, or allergy can be an easier process than you think.
Just imagine a day where you don’t have bloating, gas, or abdominal pains — it is possible!
What foods do you think are causing issues within your body? Tell us in the comments!