Are you suffering with bloating, constipation, loose bowels or pain?
If you’re feeling tired all the time and life feels like a drag because your non- existent energy and symptoms are weighing you down…it might be a food intolerance.
Food intolerances can often be the underling reason for digestive issues, an upset tummy, low energy, fatigue or the inability to concentrate, lose weight or disrupted sleep.
The Food Intolerance Diet
Eating a specific diet to you and what agrees with your digestive system is a highly individualised approach. What works for others might not work for you, and vice versa. That’s why knowing the 101 on food intolerances is the key to improving your symptoms. If you’ve wondered what a food intolerance is….
Food Intolerance Definition
A food intolerance is when you have a hard time digesting certain foods, or when you have an unpleasant physical reaction to them.
The three most common food intolerances are:
- Dairy, or more specifically lactose, the sugar in dairy
- Gluten, found in grain based products
- FODMAPs foods
Food Intolerance Symptoms
A food intolerance is when your digestive system has a hard time processing certain foods and you might also have a physical reaction. Food intolerances symptoms can range from:
- skin issues like rashes, itchiness or sensitivity
- digestive issues like mild to excessive bloating and tummy pain
- tiredness or fatigue
- brain fog or trouble concentrating
- joint pain
- irregular or elevated heart beating which usually come on immediately after consuming the food up to a few hours after
Food intolerance or food allergy?
A food ‘intolerance’ is not the same thing as a food allergy.
A food allergy is a reaction triggered by your immune system, where it mistakes proteins from the food you’re eating as a threat.
Food allergies are common in particular foods – fish and shellfish and nuts, milk, peanuts.
A food intolerance can trigger symptoms if you eat reasonable amounts of the food (unlike an allergy, where a tiny amount can trigger a reaction) and can be caused by a whole lotta different foods.
Food Intolerance Examples
Common food intolerance examples are fructose (the sugar in fruit), FODMAP foods, gluten, dairy and artificial flavours and sweeteners.
This is what happened with Mary-Jane. She came to me and had symptoms like bloating, fatigue and tummy pains.
After working together over a few sessions and doing an elimination diet, Mary-Jane realised that the cause was the hidden sweeteners and honey in her granola, plus the excess fruit she thought was healthy – and so from there she made her own version of granola and added healthy fats like chia seeds and nuts and found she got rid of her symptoms and had more energy and clarity.
Food Intolerance Causes
These are some common causes that trigger food intolerances:
- dairy products, such as milk, yogurt and sob, cheese.
- eggs, especially egg white.
- MSG (monosodium glutamate) flavour enhancers
- citrus fruits
- histamine and other amines in food
- artificial sweeteners
- various toxins or bacteria in contaminated food
- artificial food colours, preservatives or flavour enhancers
Taking A Food Intolerance Test
There are a few ways of knowing if you have food intolerances.
The easiest way is to record how you feel after eating specific foods, then monitor your symptoms for a period of time.
This is an intuitive approach that allows you to get in tune with your body, and how you react to certain foods.
Taking this to the next step could be a complete elimination diet. This process involves avoiding particular foods for at least two weeks, and slowly re-introducing them in specific quantities one at a time to see which foods produce any symptoms or reactions.
You can try this, along with keeping a food log or diary that records what you ate and the symptoms you felt.
If you are interested in food intolerance testing, the most accurate way is through a blood test, because the test is directly assessing the blood’s reaction to specific triggers.
If you want to address your food intolerance symptoms so that you can develop a plan to improve gut health, boost your immunity and feel energized, it is best to get professional help.
That’s because you want to follow any approach properly, and for long enough, to be able to resolve the issue. A Nutrition Coach and/or allied health professional can help you to get a food intolerance test, however food intolerances may change within a matter of weeks so ongoing investigative work in your own monitoring, and consistency in avoiding the foods your body doesn’t tolerate is essential.
“There’s more to life than feeling stressed, fatigued and overwhelmed and my job is to help, support and empower you to take back control.”
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