Do you generally feel unwell and cannot seem to pinpoint the issue? Maybe you have brain fog or feel swollen constantly. These symptoms can stem from food sensitivities. Many never experienced food sensitivities as a child and don’t suspect to have them as an adult.
In my mid-twenties, I started to feel generally unwell but couldn’t pinpoint what was wrong. It took me a while to realize that these vague symptoms were coming from food. I never had serious issues eating these same foods before.
My first stop was the usual Western Medicine route of getting an endoscopy to see what was wrong. Maybe I had Celiac disease? I never tested positive for Celiac and the only diagnosis I was ever given was minor inflammation along with a prescription for antacids. That didn’t help but it was one step closer to ruling out causes.
I was so sick after certain meals that the aftermath would affect me sometimes for up to two days. I usually needed to sleep it off. Not only did my stomach immediately feel inflamed and in discomfort but the reaction took over my whole body. The symptoms included a mix of brain fog, exhaustion and a general feeling of intense irritation. I was scared to eat anything.
After Western Medicine left me at a dead end, my first stop was a holistic doctor in my home town. She immediately tested me for the most common food intolerances. I scored very high for gluten, dairy and egg whites. I started removing these foods immediately and it was amazing how much better I felt. It was the first step in the right direction on my long journey to recovery. I also needed to take high doses of probiotics and glutamine to help heal the damage to my intestinal lining.
How do you know what foods to avoid? Dr. Blum explains in her book The Immune System Recovery Plan the most common food intolerances are gluten, dairy, egg, soy and corn. You may also want to test nightshade vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplant, white potatoes and peppers as these can also cause inflammation in some individuals.
Keep in mind, food sensitivities may not be limited to just these items but it’s a good place to start. I also had an issue with spinach! In general, if there is any food that makes you feel unwell then it’s best to just remove it for a while. It doesn’t mean you have to remove these foods forever but you may have a condition called Leaky Gut Syndrome. In a nut shell, Leaky Gut is damage to your intestinal lining causing dysfunction. Your gut will need time to heal itself before reintroducing certain foods again.
To test yourself, remove all of these foods for 3 weeks and reintroduce one by one to evaluate your reactions. Some reactions may not be immediate so it is important to evaluate how you feel for a few days before introducing the next food.
I am by no means a doctor but through my own health journey, I made simple changes to my diet and lifestyle that have helped me come a long way. Identifying and eliminating my food intolerances were life changing and overtime helped me to reduce my chronic inflammation and feel better. It’s easy to test on your own and doesn’t require a visit to pricey doctors.