Food Allergies: You’re Not Sick, You’re Allergic

You can be allergic to virtually anything!

For our purposes here, when I use the term “allergic” I am including sensitivities as they can often go totally unnoticed. And even if you have never had a problem with a particular food or substance in the past, you can develop an allergy or sensitivity at any time in your life. It’s very possible, regardless of your symptoms, that you’re not sick – you are allergic.

You can be allergic to any drug or compound in a drug.

For example, I am allergic to the antibiotics penicillin, erythromycin and recently found myself also allergic to Arestin. You can have an allergy to latex, be highly sensitive to poison ivy as my son Matt is, be allergic to dog or cat dander, mold, peanuts and essentially any food.

We are one-of-a-kind individuals who are metabolically unique.

Even identical twins react differently to different foods and substances. Most often we have become sensitive to a food, usually one we eat regularly, which can cause symptoms that we attribute to other things. Inflammation is the underlying cause of all disease and food sensitivities and gut imbalances cause inflammation. New research reveals that damage to the digestive system can lead to leaky gut, which triggers a system-wide immune response, leading to inflammation all over the body. This can result in obesity by increasing insulin resistance as well.

So, food sensitivities or allergies could be the reason you can’t seem to lose weight.

Perhaps you have developed migraines and regardless of what remedies you try you can’t seem to resolve them. Or you may have bloating and other digestive problems you never had before that just won’t go away. The answer may be in a food you eat regularly that has become toxic to your system. This is exactly what happened to my daughter. She was experiencing some distressing digestive symptoms as well as struggling to lose weight. Once we made some specific changes to her diet, not only did her symptoms resolve quickly, but she has been able to lose 30 lbs.

When you think of allergies, sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, hives, rashes, throat closing, swelling, wheezing, redness, or pain most often come to mind. But symptoms of an allergy or sensitivity can affect any organ or system of your body. My allergy to Arestin, a dental antibiotic, caused an intestinal blockage that necessitated removal of part of my colon.

I realize a digestive problem seems more likely to be connected to a food allergy or sensitivity, but there are myriad symptoms that you may never connect with a food you are eating. I’ve read about people becoming “drunk” on potatoes or oranges. Or resolving migraines and headaches by eliminating chicken and eggs. Eczema, asthma, acne, behavioral problems, arthritis and joint pain, ulcers and irritable bowel all have a connection with eating foods that are toxic to you.

Any food can cause an allergic reaction in anyone at any time.

If you are dealing with mysterious symptoms that are not responding to any other treatment, you may want to consider that an allergy may well be the underlying cause. Having specific definitions of foods as “healthy” or “not healthy” can be extremely misleading because even foods we currently define as healthy can have adverse reactions in our bodies—depending on how much of them we eat, how they’re produced, and our own individual genetic makeup.

There is no one perfect diet for everyone and what disagrees with you will be specific to your metabolic makeup.

So, the first step is to find out what foods may be causing your distress. The simplest and most effective way to do this is an elimination diet. Cut out the most common food allergens, including gluten/wheat, dairy, eggs, corn, yeast, soy and peanuts. Even if you’ve never had a problem with any of those foods that you know of, try this step first. I would also suggest cutting out any food you eat or drink daily as those are usually the foods, we become sensitive to.

You may be surprised at the results.

Once you’ve eliminated those foods for 10 days to three weeks, you slowly begin reintroducing foods, one at a time, so you know if a particular food affects you. If it causes symptoms, you know it’s one to avoid. The more foods you’ve eliminated, the longer this reintroduction phase takes. The more carefully you control this phase and observe your reactions or lack thereof, the better you can safely determine offending foods. I would also strongly suggest keeping a food log so you can note how specific foods affect you and not rely on your memory.

Successfully changing your eating patterns can give you a sense of empowerment knowing that you are in control of food and not the other way around. You can be “addicted” to all kinds of foods, even “healthy” ones like oatmeal, beans, chia seeds and nuts!

Here are some basic principles to keep in mind as you adjust your diet:

  • Choose high quality food.

This means organic, grass-fed/finished, wild caught and pasture raised.

  • Choose one-ingredient foods in a form as close to how God made them as possible.

What I mean by this is to choose foods that are ingredients as opposed to those that have ingredients. For example, chicken, lamb, salmon, cucumbers, broccoli, raspberries, walnuts. You get the idea.

  • Choose those foods that agree with your particular metabolic makeup.

No matter how healthy a food is, if you are sensitive to it, consider it toxic for you, so don’t eat it!

– Ann

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