Allergies, Food

Undiagnosed allergies and other food sensitivities affect more than half the population. Almost everyone has at least one sensitivity.  Many people are not aware, however, that their symptoms may be caused by inappropriate food choices.  They continue to eat the same foods, day after day, never getting complete relief from supplements or lifestyle changes.

Food sensitivities are of two basic types: allergies and intolerances.  An allergy is an unnatural immune response to a specific protein in a food that is otherwise harmless to most people.  An intolerance is an inability to digest or metabolize a particular food constituent, due to exceeding the body’s ability to handle it.  In either case, if our body’s functioning is impaired in any way by an offending food, then we need to stop eating it.

Unless you are specifically looking for food sensitivities, you are unlikely to find them.  Their symptoms are elusive.  They can mimic almost any ailment and affect almost any organ or tissue in the body.

The most telltale sign of food sensitivity is chronic fatigue – not the usual kind, but an almost painful tiredness that is not helped by bed rest.  No matter how much sleep one has, one never feels rested.

Other symptoms of hidden food sensitivities can include:

  • · dark or puffy circles under the eyes.
  • · spastic colon, colitis, irritable bowel.
  • · minor, chronic complaints that recur.
  • · high blood pressure.
  • · bed-wetting, uncontrolled urination.
  • · enlargement of lymph glands in neck.
  • · insomnia, sleep disturbances.
  • · heavy sweating not related to exercise.
  • · fluid retention.
  • · muscle spasms, aching muscles.
  • · painful, stiff or swollen joints.
  • · depression or crying spells.
  • · sinus attacks.
  • · catch colds easily.
  • · repeated bouts of bronchitis or pneumonia.
  • · hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder.
  • · constipation or diarrhea.
  • · marked fluctuations in weight.
  • · eczema, psoriasis, rashes, dermatitis.
  • · irritability.
  • · bladder infections.
  • · dry stuffy nose, tendency to pick nose.
  • · runny nose.
  • · bloating or puffiness in face.
  • · bronchial asthma.
  • · migraine headaches.
  • · chronic ear infections.

Almost any food has the ability to cause adverse reactions, depending on one’s individual sensitivity to it.  Some people react to food additives, such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), sulphiting agents, benzoate preservatives, and tartrazine food colourings.  Most sensitivities, however, are to everyday natural foods.  Common offenders include milk products, wheat, eggs, chocolate, caffeine, oranges, strawberries, peanuts, nuts, corn, potatoes, sugar, shellfish, tomatoes, pork, beef, sugar and soy.

Addiction and sensitivity are two sides of the same coin.  Any foods that we crave or feel we cannot do without are often the culprits causing untoward bodily responses.  Unless we track down and totally eliminate the offending foods, complete relief is not possible.  The biggest mistake that most people make in dealing with sensitivities is believing that a little bit won’t hurt.  A little bit of a poison is still a poison.  Even one molecule can be too much.  Unless elimination is total, complete relief is not possible.

There are a number of self-help ways to track down and identify hidden sensitivities – including food diaries, elimination diets, pulse testing, and blood pressure monitoring.  It may also be helpful to consult a nutritional practitioner who specializes in the detection and management of food sensitivities.

See also the chapter, “One’s Food is Another’s Poison” in Nutritional Solutions for 88 Conditions:


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