Do You Have a Food Allergy?
Do you have a food allergy?
Fatigue, headaches, bloated stomach? It must be a food allergy, right? Read on…
An estimated 45 per cent of the population suffers from food hypersensitivity according to the charity Allergy UK. While serious food allergies typically occur within minutes of exposure to the offending food, in the case of mild intolerance symptoms can take up to 48 hours to appear. So how do you identify the trigger?
This is the gold standard for identifying problem foods. It involves eliminating the suspect substances for three or four weeks and then slowly reintroducing them and monitoring the way your body reacts.
After a month off, do you experience a runny nose when you drink milky tea? Do you notice you are not as ‘regular’ when you have spaghetti for the first time in weeks? Or maybe you find that onions and garlic (part of the FODMAP group of foods) are giving you gas.
If you find that your favourite food is the cause of your problems, don’t be too disheartened. It doesn’t necessarily mean you need to give up the food forever, but cutting out the offender in the short term allows you to feel better and explore other possible reasons for your symptoms.
Eliminating Stress, and ‘Fast’ Food
You might find that when you eat that piece of warm salty sourdough on holiday, it doesn’t make you bloated. There are several possible reasons for this. Proper preparation of food – for instance using sprouted grains and a natural sourdough starter– can make wheat far more digestible. But eating in a relaxed state also helps.
Often clients come to me saying they have given up gluten and dairy and still find themselves with a distended stomach at their desks. Stress often plays a role here; when you have adrenalin and cortisol streaming through your system, your digestion affectively shuts down. Instead of your body secreting enzymes to break down food, all the energy is diverted to your brain and muscle to combat the perceived threat to your life – perhaps an ‘URGENT’ email or unrealistic demand from your boss.
In summary? Be your own detective. Start off by cutting out the suspect foods and if you still have issues, try switching the environment you eat in, rather than the food you consume. There will be an answer to everyone’s healing puzzle – taking enzymes can also be a game-changer – and if food is still negatively affecting you seek help from an experienced practitioner.