We have all heard of food allergies and food sensitivities, but understanding the difference between the two and getting to the bottom of the foods that are causing unwanted symptoms is a huge step in getting better. I often ask my patients if they suddenly feel like they cannot tolerate a certain food or if they feel different after meals. If this is the case, food sensitivities are often to blame.
One of the big issues with food sensitivities is that they can be difficult to uncover and if they are left unaddressed, they can lead to a food allergy or even an autoimmune condition. More on that later.
In this post, I am going to break down what a food sensitivity actually is, what the symptoms are, and what you can do about it starting today.
Food Sensitivities: What are They?
A food sensitivity is different from a food allergy. It is an inflammatory reaction that can occur over a certain period of time without you even realizing it. What many people don’t realize is that food sensitivities can occur at any time and with any food. People can have a very different reaction to food and you may be surprised to learn that food sensitivities can even occur with healthy food options. However, some of the most common foods people react to happen to be inflammatory foods which we will talk about later.
Research has shown that a sensitivity to a certain food can worsen the symptoms related to things like rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, as well as other conditions that are not necessarily related to food. (1)
What’s the Difference Between A Food Allergy & Food Sensitivity?
One way food sensitivities are different from food allergies is that symptoms tend to take longer to appear than with a true food allergy. This is one of the reasons it can be difficult to detect which food you are reacting to. You may consume a reactive food such as gluten and not experience any symptoms until a couple of days later.
The symptoms of a food sensitivity are often different than the symptoms of a food allergy, however, keep in mind that this is not the case for everyone. With a sensitivity, you may experience things like migraine headaches, cough, and congestion, and digestive issues whereas with a food allergy things like hives and respiratory issues may occur immediately after consuming the reactive food.
Are you Dealing with a Food Sensitivity?
Many people suffer from food sensitivities without even knowing it as the symptoms can vary from person to person and can affect more than one area of the body. Here are some of the most common symptoms associated with a food sensitivity.
- Digestive discomfort
- Leaky Gut
- Autoimmune disease
- Skin issues: Rashes, eczema, itching
- Mood changes
- Weight gain
- Muscle & joint pain
- Sleep disturbances
- Dark circles under the eyes
The Most Common Food Sensitivities
While people can react to any food, there are some food sensitivities that are more common than others. Here are some of the foods people are commonly intolerant to.
What you can do Today to Uncover Your Food Sensitivities
The best thing you can do to uncover potential food sensitivities is to get rid of inflammatory foods with an elimination diet. An elimination diet will help you remove reactive foods from your diet over a period of time. After the elimination period, these foods will then be reintroduced one by one to determine which foods you are reacting to.
The large majority of my patients have suffered with one or more food sensitivities and found their path to health using an elimination diet and I know that you can too.
If you are tired of feeling sick, not like yourself, and unable to get to the bottom of what may be causing your symptoms, I encourage you to start your own elimination diet. Not sure where to get started?
In my elimination diet program, I walk you through this step by step to give you tons of tools to help you through this important process. I also teach you how to detoxify your body and start to heal your gut so that you are able to tolerate more foods long term.
Here are just a handful of benefits of an elimination diet:
- Weight loss
- Healthy looking skin
- Increased energy
- Deeper sleep
- Decreased joint pain
- Reduces headaches
- Improved gut health
- Helps those with leaky gut
- Can improve autoimmune conditions
- Less bloating/digestive discomfort
If you are ready to get started, Join me in my elimination diet do it yourself program.
(1) Food Sensitivities. The World’s Healthiest Foods
Food Intolerance: Causes, Symptoms, and Diagnosis. (2016) Medical News Today