Let’s face it, we all deal with discomfort. I’m talking about those common, everyday health issues that interrupt our lives. How often are you slowed down by digestive disorders, aching joints or fatigue? Now add skin disorders, hyperactivity, ADD, asthma and even weight gain, and you’ll be listing symptoms that may seem disparate, but they have something in common. Ready for this?
Research shows that these common health symptoms may be linked to food sensitivities or intolerances.
Food, therefore, is the common denominator of the discomfort. And, if you think about it, food is also something concrete that can be controlled. But how do we know where to start? Let’s start by reviewing the 7 ways that these food sensitivities or intolerances can manifest in our bodies.
1. Digestive Disorders
When we feel excessive gas, bloating, pain or diarrhea, our body is trying to communicate with us. And this communication isn’t subtle! Food, such as gluten, dairy, corn, soy, or even eggs have aggravated your system, and now your body is eliminating those problematic foods in extreme and discomfiting manners.
Sometimes our body responds immediately. The benefit of this is that we can determine which food created the disturbance. Other times, however, the body responds to foods that have been lingering on for days or even weeks. If you keep track of what you consume, you can begin to recognize the patterns in your body and, thus, determine the foods you must eliminate to find relief. By working with me, we can identify your digestive symptoms and get to work on fixing the underlying problem.
2. Skin Disorders
When you eat foods you’re allergic to, you heighten the immune system, which results in inflammation and histamines. These reactions show you that something isn’t okay. Once again, your body steps up and finds a way to usher those allergens away from your skin. This may take the form of rashes, eczema, hives, bumps or itchiness. The foods that created the disturbance may sound familiar to you: gluten, casein (in dairy products), eggs, corn, and soy. Other foods that include preservatives or food colorings are also problematic.
Walk down the “Skin/Medicine” aisle in any convenience or grocery store and you’ll find a ton of products available to remedy these skin conditions. You may also find that slicing open an aloe plant, scoring the natural gel found within and applying it to your skin offers an inexpensive, natural way of easing the irritation.
Let’s not forget the root of the problem, however. We will customize a dietary plan to replace those disturbing foods with varieties that help your body achieve the health and vitality you deserve.
3. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Soon after eating a meal, you may notice that you feel lethargic. Sometimes this is a welcome reaction—such as the familiar Thanksgiving tryptophan feeling. But to function in our normal daily routines, we need foods to energize and revive us instead of putting us to sleep. The same food culprits mentioned above may also create the insatiable yawning when our day isn’t close to being over. Sugar plays another role in the fatigue syndrome. That instant jolt from the sweetness is followed fast by the lull that we can’t overcome. In addition to this issue, sugar causes other problems, such as overgrowth of Candida Albicans, yeast, parasites or infections.
Remembering to hydrate your body as well as creating a specialized diet plan are clear steps towards reducing your fatigue and replacing it with energy and improved focus.
4. Aching Joints
When the joints in our body plague us with soreness or tightness, we typically think of our physical activity (or lack thereof) as the sole source of our problem. Surprisingly, nutritionist scientists are determining that the root cause of joint pain could be coming from your gut issues.
An elimination diet may be the most helpful immediate defense that you have. In addition to the standard food elimination mentioned with the first two disorders above, consider trigger foods such as potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers—the nightshades (Google this term and you’ll be swept away by countless warnings to monitor or even eliminate these types of foods).
If your symptoms persist, the most efficient method to find relief is with a customized nutrition health plan that gets to the root of your problems.
Do you find yourself waking up with headaches or, even worse, migraines? It’s hard to get out of bed when that alarm clock goes off, but the pulsing pain in your head makes it feel impossible. Migraines may also interrupt you during that important meeting or while driving to your next appointment until you feel powerless.
Surprisingly, food sensitivities have been a culprit for this pain. Again, the good news is this can be controlled as we monitor what goes into our bodies. Add chocolate, caffeine, MSG and aged foods to the foods mentioned earlier, and you’ll find a common source of dietary issues. If you keep a journal to track your food intake, you can get to the source of the problem to rectify it.
6. Weight Gain
Your immune system can overreact and cause systemic inflammation due to the types of foods you eat and the ways that these foods operate within your body. When inflammation enters the picture, you hold onto weight regardless of the types of dietary supplements or exercise routines you use. I have worked with numerous patients who fall into this category. Trying to find the right diet pill will not help; instead, we must get to the root of your dietary problems to fix the core imbalances in your body. Only then will your body behave appropriately and shed the pounds. This is when you will feel relief and see the weight loss.
Food allergies and intolerances never discriminate—regardless of your age, sex or physical composure. Food sensitivities or intolerances add to the problems of inflammation and digestive disorders, compromising the body even more. By following an elimination diet and further testing (if needed), the proper diet can heal you, allowing your body to thrive.
Finding out which foods you are reacting to may seem like a daunting task, especially if you find yourself reacting to many types of foods. When left undiagnosed and untreated, any food can become a trigger and can cause a rise in food sensitivities and intolerances leading to health symptoms. In addition, foods with additives such as partially hydrogenated oils, artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, and GMOs frequently lead to adverse health issues.
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Working with a trained clinical nutritionist can help you identify which foods are nonreactive or “safe” foods and which foods are moderately or severely reactive. As a functional nutritionist, I help to create therapeutic meal plans designed to maximize compliance with diet modifications while recommending a healthy alternative diet that fits with your lifestyle.
Together, as a team, I help my patients achieve their health goals by gaining control of their health in order to attain the vitality they so richly deserve.