What Is A Food Sensitivity?
A food sensitivity or a food intolerance is caused by an inability to digest a food and occurs in the digestive tract and not the bloodstream, like a food allergy. Symptoms are “delayed onset”, where symptoms do not appear for hours or even days. Food sensitivities are not fixed, and can come and go during the course of one’s life.
Strangely, people often crave foods to which they are sensitive to. Some researchers suggest that our bodies can become addicted to the chemical messengers, such as histamine or cortisol, which are secreted by immune cells in response to allergens in the body. The body may experience a soothing response from the presence of the chemical messengers, increasing the desire to eat more of that food.
Note that food sensitivities and allergies can change every year. Just because you’re diagnosed with a food sensitivity or allergy one year does not mean it will hold true for the rest of your life. This is why we encourage our patients to get tested at least once a year.
What Are Some Symptoms Of A Food Sensitivity?
• Gas / Bloating
• Weight Loss Resistance
• Thyroid Dysfunction
• Chronic Pain / Inflammation
• Stomach ache
• Acid Reflux/GERD
• Blood in the stool
• Chronic pain/Arthritis
• Dark circles under the eyes
• Anxiety / Depression
• Sinus problems
What Causes A Food Sensitivity?
Too much of one food. You can become sensitive to any food you eat too often. Many people eat a relatively small number of foods several times a day. For example, wheat, a common food sensitivity, is found in breakfast cereals, the bread used to make a sandwich at lunchtime, and the spaghetti eaten at dinnertime.
Leaky gut syndrome. The digestive tract plays a vital role in preventing illness and disease by providing an impenetrable barrier. When the lining of the gut is inflamed from a food sensitivity, small openings develop between the tightly woven cells making up the gut walls. This is called “leaky gut syndrome". With leaky gut syndrome, partially digested dietary protein can cross the intestinal barrier into the bloodstream. These large protein molecules can cause an allergic response, producing symptoms directly in the intestines or throughout the body. Additionally, hundreds of yeast and bacteria are released from the gut into the bloodstream where they set up infection anywhere, including muscles, joints, bones, teeth roots, coronary arteries, or even the brain. The early introduction of solid foods to infants before six months of age contributes to leaky gut syndrome and subsequent food allergies and sensitivities.
Deficiency of Probiotics. One of the causes of leaky gut is an absence of probiotics or ‘friendly’ bacteria in the intestines. The friendly bacteria help maintain the health of the intestines by producing fuel for intestinal cells and killing bad bacteria. Parasitic infections, treatment with antibiotics and other toxic pharmaceuticals, stress, poor diet (sugar and flour), smoking, alcohol, excessive hygiene, candida overgrowth and bottle-feeding your baby can disrupt the proper balance of friendly bacteria to bad bacteria.