If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve realized the connection between the foods you eat and how you feel. That’s a great start, but even the “healthy” foods you eat on a regular basis can make you fat, sick and miserable. The worst part is, you probably don’t have a clue that your symptoms are being caused by hidden food sensitivities. Unfortunately, most symptoms are often falsely attributed to other health issues such as poor metabolism, adrenal fatigue, or chronic sinusitis.
Identifying and treating food sensitivities is crucial for permanent weight loss, reducing inflammation, improving overall health, and preventing chronic disease. Not to be confused with food allergies or intolerances that produce quick noticeable symptoms, food sensitivities are low-grade reactions to food that produce symptoms within hours and up to several days after the offending food is consumed. As long as you continue eating the foods you’re sensitive to, your body will continue to produce IgG antibodies that interfere with nutrient absorption, weaken immunity, and promote inflammation.
Food sensitivities can produce a variety of symptoms including: weight gain, inability to lose weight, fatigue, digestive issues (IBS, constipation, diarrhea, GERD), gut dysbiosis/infections, depression, chronic headaches, migraines, difficulty sleeping, insomnia, sore throat, frequently clearing throat, post-nasal drip, sinus congestion, ringing in the ears, hearing loss, ear infections, blurred vision, watery/itchy eyes, excessive mucus, dark circles under eyes, asthma, acne, hair loss, hives, psoriasis, eczema, muscle weakness, arthritis, fluid retention, and frequent urination. In addition, food sensitivities have been linked to heart disease, diabetes, cancer and many other inflammatory conditions.
The good news is, food sensitivities are treatable. By eliminating trigger foods and addressing the underlying causes, you can allow your gut to heal. Once the gastrointestinal tract is healthy, you’ll be able to reintroduce most foods without problems, lose weight, increase energy and improve digestion.
Unfortunately, food sensitivity tests are not a standard protocol for doctor’s visits. Tests cost around $350 and are not usually covered by insurance. Although none of the labs will find all of your sensitivities, they’ll find enough to reduce your overall load to help you feel better and heal your body.
If testing is not within your means, then try an elimination diet by cutting out the most common culprits, along with any other foods you suspect or those you crave regularly. That’s right, the foods you crave are typically the ones causing harm. Although almost any food can cause a reaction, the usual suspects include: gluten, dairy, yeast, eggs, corn, soy, peanuts, and citrus fruits. If you’re still not finding relief, then eliminate nuts, seeds, coffee, and nightshades.
Using either testing method above, eliminate all reactive foods for 12 weeks. During an elimination diet, make sure you always read food and supplement labels and avoid all reactive foods and any ingredients made from those foods. A four-day food-rotation diet is especially helpful for those sensitive to a large number of foods. After 12 weeks, reintroduce one food at a time, eating it for 3 consecutive days. See how your gut feels and monitor your symptoms to determine if further elimination is needed.