Are my symptoms from food intolerances?

Posted by Andrea Rossi, RHN, R.BIE in Allergies

2018-02-27

Are my symptoms from food intolerances?

Food intolerances or "sensitivities" can affect you in so many ways. And they’re a lot more common than most people think.

Let’s start with going over the definition of what an allergy is versus an intolerance…

An allergy is classified as a reaction to a normally harmless substance, food or environment, for which there is an immune system response. This reaction results in an inflammatory response for which the degree of severity ranges. The IgE antibody must be identified for a true allergy to occur.

An intolerance refers to any other adverse reaction to a substance in which the involvement of the immune system is inconclusive. This reaction can result in anything from a minor irritation to a severe reaction. Although the substance in which the body reacts to is generally non-threatening, it is viewed as a threat to our wellbeing. When talking about food intolerances, often IgG antibodies can be found if doing a blood test for food reactions.

Today, I’m going to be talking about food intolerances/sensitivities and not food allergies. So ultimately meaning that you do not tolerate a specific food very well and it can cause immediate or chronic symptoms anywhere in the body. Symptoms can take hours or even days to show themselves. And symptoms can be located just about anywhere in the body.

This is what can make them so tricky to identify.

As a BioEnergetic (BIE) Practitioner, I use muscle testing (also known as Biofeedback Analysis or Applied Kinesiology) to determine the stressors that cause the body to be imbalanced and create the symptoms you experience.

BioEnergetic Practitioners consider a stressor to be any given substance for which a negative energetic change is experienced to the flow of energy through the body (bio-energy). Ultimately, it’s any item that your body does not recognize and therefore treats as foreign and must attack it! Stressors can also lead to allergic reactions.

For today’s topic, these stressors would be various types of foods and their various components (such as proteins and sugars, but also could be pesticides).

Symptoms of food intolerances

There are some common food intolerances that can have immediate and terribly painful gastrointestinal symptoms, such as dairy/lactose intolerance or gluten intolerance. These can cause stomach pain, gas, bloating, and/or diarrhea; symptoms can start immediately after eating dairy or gluten.

On the other hand, other more insidious symptoms may not be linked to foods in an obvious way.

Symptoms like:

● Chronic muscle or joint pain
● Sweating, or increased heart rate or blood pressure
● Headaches or migraines
● Exhaustion right after a meal or even after a good night's sleep
● Autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto's or rheumatoid arthritis
● Rashes or eczema
● Inability to concentrate or feeling like your brain is "foggy"
● Shortness of breath

If your body has trouble digesting specific foods, it can affect your hormones, metabolism, or even cause inflammation and result in any of the symptoms listed above. And these can affect any (or all) parts of the body, not just your gastrointestinal system.

How to prevent these intolerances

If your immune system is viewing harmless items like the food we use to fuel our bodies as foreign, the first step is to heal the immune system.

When our immune systems are on overdrive, there is often a lingering infection such as a parasite, yeast, or even a serious food sensitivity that you’re not aware of. Doing a digestive cleanse and healing the intestinal lining is often the first step.

In some cases, it’s hard to figure out what came first, the food sensitivity or the hyper-reactive immune system. Therefore, removing triggering foods is an important first step. Once the immune system has calmed down, then you can reintroduce the foods (or have them retested) to see how you react. Most often people are able to tolerate these foods after their immune system is not in a hyper-active state.

Figuring out what foods are bothering you can be difficult if you’re not working with a health care practitioner with the tools to help you. Doing an elimination diet, food journaling, or via trial and error and the best DIY ways to check. (See below for a link for a food journal)

If you’re a client of mine, you know this step is much easier and faster using the BIE Process and muscle testing! If you haven’t seen me before, sign up for my free 30 min consultation below to find out if you have an underlying infection, or any specific food sensitivities.

If your doing this with the help of a health practitioner on or your own, the main thing you want to do is to figure out which foods or drinks you may be reacting to and stop ingesting them.

I know, I know...this sounds so simple, and yet it can be SO HARD.

So, if you’re not sure what foods are bothering you, I’m going to suggest you start with the 2 most common triggers and work from there.

You will eliminate all traces of the below 2 foods for 3 full weeks and monitor your symptoms.

If your symptoms improve when you eliminated these 2 foods, then you can try a re-introduction process to see if 1 of the 2 was a problem of if they both were - all while monitoring your symptoms. If your symptoms return, then you need to decide whether it's worth it to stop ingesting them all together or keep them for special occasions.

Tip: For the foods you know are triggers for you, I highly recommend you take a good quality digestive enzyme when you do decide to splurge and consume those foods. 😉

Start Here: Two most common food intolerances to eliminate

Here are two of the most common triggers of food intolerances:

Dairy/Lactose (eliminate all forms of dairy; including cheese, yogurt, and milk from all animal sources; cow, goat, sheep - try milk alternatives such as nut, coconut, hemp, or even flax milk instead).

Gluten (in wheat, rye, and other common grains - look for a "gluten-free" label - try gluten-free grains like rice, quinoa & gluten-free oats).

Gluten Free Grains: amaranth, buckwheat, corn, millet, oats (if stated gluten free), quinoa, rice, sorghum, teff

Grains with Gluten: wheat, barley, bulgur, farro, kamut, rye, spelt, triticale.

Now these 2 foods of course are by no means a complete list of problematic foods, but it's a good place to start because even just lactose intolerance is thought to affect up to 75% of people, while "non-celiac gluten sensitivity" can affect up to 13% of people (although I suspect these numbers to be even higher!). 

So, if you can eliminate all traces of dairy and gluten for 3 weeks, it can confirm whether either or both are a source of your symptoms.

Good news is that there is a high demand for gluten free and dairy free products that shopping and even eating out are much easier than they used to be! I find most restaurants can be accommodating, even if they don’t list gluten free options on the menu. Don’t be shy to ask!

A reliable way to monitor how you feel after eating certain foods is to track it. After every meal or snack, write down the foods you ate, and any symptoms so you can more easily spot trends.

I put together a 7 day food + symptoms tracker that you can download below.

And, as mentioned earlier, symptoms may not start immediately following a meal. You may find, for example, that you wake up with a headache the morning after eating bananas. 

You might be surprised what links you can find if you track your food and symptoms well!

IMPORTANT NOTE: When you eliminate something, you need to make sure it's not hiding in other foods, or the whole point of eliminating it for a few weeks is lost. Restaurant food, packaged foods, and sauces or dressings are notorious for adding ingredients that you'd never think are there. You know that sugar hides in almost everything, but did you also know that wheat is often added to processed meats and soy sauce, and lactose can even be found in some medications or supplements? So make sure you read the labels.

When in doubt you HAVE to ask the server in a restaurant about hidden ingredients, read labels, and consider cooking from scratch.

What if it doesn’t work?

If eliminating these two common food intolerances doesn’t work, then you need to go further. Review your food journal and see if you can find patterns on how you feel based on what you ate. Start with the ones where the time of the discomfort was within the timing before the next meal. So if you bloat in the evenings, look at dinner. And if you bloat in the afternoons, look at lunch, etc.

In my experience, the most common foods (aside from gluten and dairy) that affect people are: eggs, almonds, garlic, corn, and peas (incl. pea proteins). If you’re still experiencing symptoms after your initial 3-week experiment, try removing some of these foods to see how you feel.

Feel free to reach out to me for guidance on this process. This is what I’m here for!

And don’t worry, although this might all see like to much effort, feeling your optimal self is invaluable. Just think of all the new food experimenting you get to do! 😉

If you’re the DIY kind of person, you’ll love this homemade milk alternative recipe using nuts or seeds. Check it out below!

Now, if you don't want to try an elimination diet or if you have but need more help identifying what's causing your symtoms, make sure to sign up for my free 30 min consultation below where we'll go over your Whole Body Health Profile and find out where your main inbalances are if the BIE Process can help you reach your health goals!

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Much Love,

 

Homemade Nut/Seed Milk {Dairy Free}

Makes 3 cups

½ cup raw nuts/seeds (almonds, cashews, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, or sesame seeds)
2 cups water (ideally filtered)
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

1. Soak nuts/seeds for about 8 hours in salt water. This is optional, but highly recommended for soaking nuts removed their enzyme inhibitors which can cause inflammation or digestive upset when ingested.
2. Dump soaking water & rinse nuts/seeds.
3. Add soaked nuts/seeds and 2 cups water to a high-speed blender and blend on high for about one minute until very smooth.
4. Strain through a small mesh sieve with 2 layers of cheesecloth. Squeeze if necessary.

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: You can double the recipe and store the milk in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.

 

 

References:

http://www.dietvsdisease.org/11-warning-signs-you-have-a-food-intolerance/ 

https://authoritynutrition.com/lactose-intolerance-101/ 

https://authoritynutrition.com/signs-you-are-gluten-intolerant/ 

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/food-sensitivities-health-infographic 

Get your FREE copy now of

7 Soups & Stews for Optimal Digestion