Do you suspect you have a food sensitivity? Are you avoiding certain foods and wondering if all the hassle is worth it? What’s the difference between a food allergy and a sensitivity? All excellent questions!
It seems like everyone is “allergic” to gluten these days. Is gluten causing a problem for you? It sure would be nice to know before you stop eating bread, pasta, and crackers! I’d rather not skip some amazing homemade lasagna because I “think” gluten “might” be making me feel crappy. It can be really hard to figure out what foods work fine and which don’t! I totally get it. Maybe it’s dairy and not gluten that bugs your system, or corn, or soy, or sugar, or alcohol, or nuts, or _______, or……….? It can be super overwhelming to say the least!
First off, this may sound hokey, but take a moment to feel into it – which foods are you suspecting and why? Write it down: the food and the reasons. I swear that helps! Get some awareness around it, on paper, outside of thoughts spinning around in your big brain. There’s a reason you’re suspecting a food (or foods) and deep down you know why. If it’s just because your best friend said so, then check in with yourself and see what resonates for you. A little research never hurt anybody – find out what symptoms certain foods commonly cause and see if that your experience or not. Best to have a good feeling and knowledge before you dive in and make your diet potentially a drag.
Second, is there a certain food you can’t possibly imagine living without? Not even for a few days? Bingo! That’s a likely suspect (sorry!). Foods we have cravings for are usually hitting that addictive hot spot in the brain. We’re getting a lot of bang for our buck from those foods, meaning a lot of stimulation that hits our nervous system ever so nicely. Ahh….! That “ahh” probably isn’t serving our highest health, unfortunately.
Foods, that people tend to have sensitivities to, cause problems primarily due to the inflammation they create. Inflammation is really the root of all evil. If we’re getting an inflammatory response then that is a problem. Let’s make an example out of gluten – that bad girl. Gluten can cause inflammation in the gut, leading to the junctures between the cells moving farther apart, now big ole not broken down gluten molecules can escape out of your intestines and into your blood stream. Now these big undigested molecules wreck havoc because they aren’t supposed to be there. They head over to your joints and voila you’ve got joint pain. Or junk up your liver and now you’re foggy brained or your energy is dragging. Or your lymphatic system sucks them in a quest to get rid of the invader and poof you’ve got an unexplainable itchy, red rash. There really isn’t any way that an inflammatory food CAN’T affect you, so often times your symptoms are uniquely yours.
For the record, true food allergies are hard to mistake. You eat something and you get an instant bad reaction, like you need an EpiPen to survive – bad reaction. The reaction can be less life-threatening, but you know something is wrong right away: hives, itchy throat, swelling, etc.
The cool part is if you do have a food sensitivity and you stop eating that food you will feel 1000% times better! I was able to get rid of almost all of my asthma and ALL of my environmental allergies just by stopping eating gluten and dairy 8 years ago! It totally blew my mind! I was able to eventually stop taking all the nasty steroid medicines I had been using daily (for over 10 years). Never mind I still had allergies all year round while on the meds! Who knew it could be such a simple fix, for me. You’re experience may be different, but my hope is to save you some trouble and frustration.