Good digestive function is a key to optimal health and wellbeing. Many autoimmune and/or chronic inflammatory conditions are due to food allergies. These food intolerances can lead to inflammation, decreased nutrient absorption, toxin accumulation, and undesirable pathogenic growth of bacteria, yeast and/or parasites.
When the digestive tract is inflamed or out of balance, “leaky gut”, due to loss of gut lining integrity may develop. Undigested, large molecules can enter the bloodstream and cause further inflammatory and toxic effects. Even if you have had some allergy testing in the past, you may still have undiagnosed food intolerances.
Some typical symptoms of food intolerance include:
- Gastric reflux or heartburn
- Skin breakouts, including eczema and/or acne
- Joint pain
- Lung or nasal/sinus congestion
- Mood issues, including depression, irritability or anxiety
- Cold sores
- Thyroid imbalances, especially Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
- Estrogen dominance
The most common sources of food intolerance include: gluten (the protein found in such grains as wheat, rye, kamut, barley, and most oats), dairy, eggs, corn, soy, and yeast. The best way to determine whether or not you have a food intolerance is to do an elimination diet and to SLOWLY re-introduce one food type at a time.
For at least 2 weeks, preferably 3-6 weeks, eliminate ALL foods that contain gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, corn and yeast. Include high fructose corn syrup. If you are overwhelmed with the complete elimination diet, a less efficient process would be to eliminate one food group at a time and test individually.
Consider eliminating foods that you crave and/or eat frequently, as these are often the very things to which we are sensitive.
Check all labels, as these are hidden in most foods in our culture.
After at least 2 weeks completely free of the food type you are testing, reintroduce (that) ONE category of food. Wait another 72 hours before adding another food, if you are testing more than one group.
During the testing period, be honest, and take note of these signs of probable food intolerance:
- Reduced general state of health
- Reduced energy
- Irritability, anxiety and/or depression (mood changes)
- Increased pain intensity or change in quality
- Inflammation of joint(s) and/or tendon(s)
- GI changes (bloating, diarrhea, constipation)
Once identified, eliminating the offending food type WILL make a huge difference in your overall health. You will see the difference.