Foods can do some crazy things in the body. Just because foods are good for you does not mean they are good for YOU.
Everyone knows about food allergies, those foods that your body reacts negatively to almost immediately – and the things that could potentially kill a person at times if severe. The common allergens are gluten, dairy, eggs, fish and shellfish, soy, and nuts; this list could go on with some frequent, but not as common, allergens as well.
But what about food intolerances?
A food intolerance occurs when eating a certain food triggers a negative physiological response in the body, but does not trigger the immune system like an allergen does. Symptoms can take several days to kick in, which can make it difficult to pinpoint food intolerances. Yes, digestive symptoms can occur with food intolerances, but often the symptoms not ones you may think are food related. These include, but are not limited to, fatigue, acne, headaches, and joint pain.
The interesting thing with the body as well when it comes to food and intolerances, is the body can change over time. Foods you were perfectly fine eating for years, perhaps your entire life, may all of a sudden have a negative reaction. And foods you were intolerant to and eliminate may eventually be tolerated by your system again.
The gut and gut health is a very interesting thing.
Let me tell you a story…about myself…
Ten years ago, I decided to do a food intolerance test. I had been experiencing digestive issues for awhile and decided it was time to do something about it. Little did I know, my body didn’t like many of the foods I was consuming on a regular basis, including chicken and broccoli – two of my staples. I eliminated those as well as other foods that showed up on the list.
Within weeks of eliminating them from my body, my digestive issues cleared up. Oh, and the acne issue I had had for years was gone as well. I never even thought the breakouts I had on my face were from the foods I was consuming. I also found myself experiencing more energy during the day and during my workouts.
After 6 months of a full elimination, I started reintroducing foods slowly. Some I was OK with as long as it was only once every 1-2 weeks and some were not.
About 7 years later, I noticed symptoms showing up again. I had another intolerance test done and things were completely different. The foods that were intolerances before were now fine and new ones showed up, including eggs, nearly all nuts and seeds, tomatoes, grapes, grapefruit, and a variety of other vegetables. Eliminate those and symptoms cleared up again.
About a year ago, I started noticing symptoms again. It seemed like the pattern was with chicken and turkey. Eliminated again and problem solved! What I have come to realize is I tolerate free range, organic poultry, but still in moderation. Learning what I have about poultry, I am not overly surprised that I have a negative reaction with poultry that is not free range and organic.
Tomatoes and grapes are still bad for me. (Yes, this means wine as well. I still drink it occasionally, but know it will cause me digestive issues three days later.)
That is my food intolerance journey…it is a constant journey of adapting to the changes of the body.
If you are experiencing things with your body that just don’t seem to make sense, maybe consider what you are putting into your body. I’m not saying it is the cause, but it is a possibility and one that can’t hurt to start looking into. Simply start tracking your food intake and start tracking symptoms. See if you can find any patterns. If you do, eliminate the food(s) for a period of time and see what your body does. Clients I have worked with have noticed nearly immediate changes in their symptoms when they eliminated foods their bodies didn’t tolerate well.
Have questions about your specific situation? Email me at [email protected]
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