Why should you read this, you ask? Well, almost everyone has food intolerances which have various negative effects on our lives including symptoms such as nasal congestion, skin conditions, water retention, headaches, itchiness, lethargy and a variety of other maladies.
Continue reading to determine what food intolerance you might have and find out how to get rid of it for a healthier, more energetic and happier life!
Food intolerance vs. food allergy. What is the difference?
(Just to be clear, these can be to drinks as well as to any smaller components of foods and drinks such as additives etc.)
Although the treatment is very similar and both have a negative effect on your health, there is a difference between the two. I will try to put it into very simple terms, as I’m not a doctor and you probably don’t have all day to study this article.
Basically food intolerance is less harmful than a food allergy; symptoms will be more subtle and develop slowly when having food intolerance, however in the long run can get really bad. With a food allergy you feel the symptoms straight away after consuming it (few minutes to few hours) such as cramps, gas, bloating, diarrhoea and some more severe ones as well such as vomiting, trouble breathing, skin rash etc. A food allergy has an effect on the immune system; food intolerance has an effect on other system(s) organ(s) of the body. Actually the official name for food intolerance is non-allergic food hypersensitivity.
How do food intolerances and allergies occur?
Food intolerance will definitely occur if you constantly eat the same foods. The body won’t be able to digest this food properly and the undigested food particles pass through the gut wall and into the liver. The liver then becomes so full of all the food additives, chemicals and pesticides that we consume that some of these undigested food particles actually get into general circulation. This causes either an immediate or delayed immune response from the body (which becomes stronger if you continue to eat those harmful foods) producing the above mentioned symptoms.
How to determine whether I have food intolerance/allergy or not?
First of all, you might already know your food intolerance by having that weird sensation in your stomach after eating your fries, or feeling bloated after eating white bread and pizza or having no friends due to the gases leaving your body after drinking your whey protein or eating cheese and other dairy products. If this is the case, you don’t need to say bye to these forever. As a general rule of thumb, cutting out the problematic nutrient for 6 weeks in most cases does the trick. If you have a hereditary digestive problem, then you might need to cut the food out forever or take supplements to help you digesting them.
If signs are not so obvious, the easiest and most accurate way is to go to your doctor and get an allergy test. This sounds simple enough, however the nutrient you might be sensitive to can occur in many different foods, when the doctor will very likely prescribe an elimination diet to figure out what exactly the problem is.
An elimination diet is when you cut out certain suspected foods let’s say nuts and seeds for a while and reintroduce them one by one to see if you have a reaction or not.
This can be effective however it takes a long time and you need to be really disciplined and careful not to have a certain food by mistake.
If you know of a mild intolerance you have or you don’t think you have any the best way to avoid developing one is a food rotation diet, or in everyday words, a balanced, varied diet. This sounds simple enough, however can be tricky to get right. I’ve been experimenting with this and with little planning it isn’t too hard to stick to at all.
Here is the main guideline of a perfect food rotation diet:
(Only try the above diets at your own risk. Before trying any of the above advice consult your doctor.)