Food sensitivities and intolerances
Foods can increase inflammation. For some, the first and most basic step in quieting some of this immune system reactivity and inflammation is addressing any food sensitivities. If food sensitives or intolerances are present, nutritional plans may not work ‘quite’ as well. As many of you know I talk about piecing the different bits of the jigsaw together – food sensitives can be an essential piece of the puzzle to fix. As hard as it is, particularly for children and teenagers, addressing this issue can help with symptoms.
Some of the common foods that can cause problems:
Some people react to a couple of these foods, some people react to all of them. This list isn’t exhaustive, and people can react to other foods as well. Obviously, it’s not always suitable to limit foods in some severe cases of food restriction.
Food intolerances can cause inflammation all over the body and present as an array of symptoms. Inflammation in the joints cause aches or stiffness, inflammation on the skin can cause hives, eczema or psoriasis for example. In the lungs or nose it can cause asthma, a cough or sinus issues.
Other symptoms can include aggression, defiance, irritability, anxiety, sleep issues, fatigue, brain fog, tics, language processing problems, fatigue, hyperactivity, constipation or loose stools, food addictions, skin issues (including rashes, eczema), mouth ulcers, bowel/bladder incontinence. Corn can also cause serotonin deficiency.
By reducing inflammatory foods that you react to means the cause of ‘some’ inflammation is removed and the body can begin repairing.
A few tips:
- If you have many food intolerances – food rotation can be a good solution (not consuming the same foods within 4 days of eating them).
- If you do suffer from a food reaction after consuming food you don’t tolerate, magnesium chloride baths can be helpful. Also ensuring no constipation, liver and bile supports (e.g taurine, NAC or castor oil), a binder, or for some just resetting the body with another meal can help!
- Healing the gut – with nutrient balancing, probiotics if tolerated and supplements such as butyrate.
- Although it can be time consuming, keeping a food diary can help to see any patterns emerge, especially if kept for long enough – e.g. 1-2 months.
- Gluten and corn can take a long time to be removed from the body, so these can slow the body’s ability to excrete toxins. It’s also important to bear in mind that once you have removed these from the diet it can take a little time before you see improvements.
- Bizarrely, on holiday (mainly abroad) food intolerances for some can massively improve. I have researched this and still don’t know why – it could be reduced stress (but don’t think it’s as simple as this), sea air, fresh/less polluted air and food. I will keep pondering this, but good excuse to go on holiday when lockdown is released!
- Ladies and teenage girls: food intolerances can also arise or alter in severity or expression at times of hormonal changes such as, menstruation, post pregnancy and menopause.
There are many thoughts whether these tests are accurate, I do think accuracy does vary between different companies. There’s only a couple of companies I do trust. Personally, the test I used many years ago (Cam Nutri) was certainly accurate for me, it even picked up kiwis which I hadn’t eaten in years and used to have an extreme reaction to! If you want further information on food intolerance testing, do let us know.