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8 Signs of Food Intolerances

8 Signs of Food Intolerances

Food intolerances are more common than one thinks. The impact these sensitivities have on individuals and the uncomfortable reality of food intolerances that disrupt  digestive systems are experienced by about 12% of the U.S population including children and adults. While food allergies and food intolerances can be interchangeable. Food allergies involve immune responses, and food intolerances stem from your digestive system not being able to easily or properly process certain foods.

While research shows food intolerances can be caused by enzyme deficiencies, genetics, and or negative digestive responses to natural chemicals in foods or added substances according to Food Allergy Research & Education. The most common cause, is the modern diet.The modern diet or western diet can be characterized as an extremely “processed nature”. If you’re wondering whether you have a food allergy, intolerance or both, don't worry we have you covered!  This article will dive into the 8 signs that indicate you may have a food intolerance.

  1. Acne

    Acne is a common skin condition that is primarily found on the face, back, chest, and shoulders. It is characterized by inflammation and results in the development of physical pimples and breakouts. Acne tends to appear without much provocation. According to Healthline, there is a link between the consumption of highly processed and sugary foods and a 54% increased likelihood of developing acne.

  2. Headaches

    Headaches resulting from food intolerances are often characterized by a 'pulsating pain around the cheeks and eyes,' although other areas of the head can also be affected. These headaches can persist for hours or even several days, significantly disrupting normal activities. It's worth considering the possibility that your headache or migraine may be linked to sensitivities or intolerances to certain foods.

  3. Bloating

    Have you ever felt excessively full or experienced the sensation of trapped gas in your stomach after eating? If so, you have likely experienced the discomfort of bloating. Inflammation in the abdomen can be both uncomfortable and painful. Identifying the specific foods that cause you to bloat can vary from one person to another, and potential contributors to food intolerance can be found in everyday diets. If you are experiencing symptoms such as gas or bloating, it may be prudent to test for food intolerances.

  4. Weight Gain

    Food intolerances can lead to bloating, and if left unaddressed or if you're unaware of which foods are causing the issue, it can result in chronic bloating, which, over time, may lead to weight gain. How does bloating contribute to weight gain? When our bodies become inflamed or bloated, a natural chemical called cortisol is released, causing an increase in insulin levels. This, in turn, leads to fluctuations in blood sugar levels, resulting in an excess of insulin and blood sugar in the bloodstream, which can be stored as fat. So, the next time you experience bloating after eating, it's a good idea to investigate which foods you might be intolerant or sensitive to.

  5. Arthritis

    Many individuals may not realize that their diet can play a significant role in the management of arthritis. According to PubMed, a controlled trial conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has shown that "30-40% of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients can experience substantial improvement by utilizing an elimination diet to identify trigger foods." One reason for the lack of awareness about the connection between diet and arthritis symptoms is that the problem foods are often part of one's daily consumption. Controlled trials have demonstrated that RA patients respond positively to elimination diets, and the benefits can be sustained by avoiding the offending foods.

  6. Insomnia

    Just as a healthy diet and proper eating habits contribute to overall physical well-being, including quality sleep, the absence of healthy eating habits, such as ignoring food sensitivities or intolerances, can have adverse effects. Factors like meal timing and stimulant levels in foods like coffee, candy, and spicy dishes are all linked to insomnia.

  7. Joint Pain

    Experiencing joint pain? One potential factor to consider might be hidden in your diet - food intolerances. It's surprising how what we consume can lead to symptoms like bloating, headaches, and even joint pain. According to a leading arthritis expert, approximately 5 percent of people with arthritis may have a food allergy that triggers these symptoms, affecting 2.1 million Americans. Testing for food intolerances is a great way to start developing healthy eating habits and alleviate the uncomfortable, and for some, painful symptoms.

  8. Acid Reflux

    Symptoms such as an upset stomach, upper abdominal and chest pain, and acid reflux are associated with food intolerance. According to the Centre Study Association on Food Intolerance and Nutrition of Ferrara, an evaluation of patients with typical reflux symptoms resulted in positive results for at least one food item on a food intolerance test. An even more significant finding was that nearly all patients (91.1%) were intolerant to at least 5 food items. The next time you experience acid reflux symptoms, consider investigating the foods you may be intolerant or sensitive to.

So, now that you’ve highlighted the 8 signs you may have food intolerances, it's clear that there are significant distinctions between food allergies and food intolerances. While a food intolerance may not typically result in a hospital visit, leaving it undiscovered can lead to escalating symptoms and chronic discomfort. These symptoms encompass a wide range, from bloating and acne to acid reflux, joint pain, insomnia, weight gain, arthritis, and headaches. To improve your quality of life, alleviate these uncomfortable symptoms, and embrace a healthier, more enjoyable lifestyle, it's essential to investigate any unnoticed food intolerances you may have.

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