A food intolerance or sensitivity is when your body reacts to a particular food via the IgG pathway of your immune system.
When you consume a food that you are intolerant to your body will have a reaction that is delayed. The reaction can happen between a half-hour and four days after you have eaten the particular food. This is why it is so hard to work out what is going on. The reaction can result in depression, anxiety, fatigue, tiredness, gut pain, bloating, arthritis, itchy ears, constant runny nose, postnasal drip, smelly stools, smelly flatulence, asthma, constipation, diarrhoea, headaches, migraines, insomnia, itchy skin, hives, sleep disturbances, fluid retention and weight control.
That’s a pretty big list, isn’t it? You may have only a few of these signs and symptoms or you may have most of them.
How do food intolerance’s develop?
Stress does play a large role in the development of food intolerance’s, but it’s not the only contributor. Food intolerance’s can develop due to poor food choices, pharmaceutical medications, too much alcohol and caffeine, and gut infections such as gastroenteritis.
You may have had food intolerance’s for many years and have just put up with the symptoms, not realising that your symptoms are from food intolerance’s, or you have known but have been unsure how to address the problem. When you have food intolerance’s it is commonly referred to that you have leaky gut syndrome.
The picture above may help you to understand the concept a little better. It is a picture of the inside of your gut lining.
You can see on the left-hand side that the junctions are tight and nicely formed, and on the right-hand side they are leaky and inflamed.
What happens is that the food that you eat is supposed to be broken down nicely by the digestive system, and the nutrients are carried through the tight junctions to be absorbed.
But, when you have leaky gut syndrome, your food is not broken down properly, large proteins from that food are absorbed through the leaky gut into your bloodstream. The immune system comes along and says ‘hmmmm…this should not be here’, and promptly, and quite rightly it mounts an immune response – which results in the reactions that you are having such as bloating, pain etc.
Sounds complex, doesn’t it? Sometimes I forget as it is an everyday occurrence for me explaining to my patients what is going on in their gut. It may sound complex to you, but don’t worry, it’s my job to make it easy for you – and I do.
You also may be thinking that it all sounds too hard and that there will be too many foods that need to be avoided so why bother? The reality is, is that sometimes it is only one or two foods that need to be removed, making it relatively easy to manage, and nowadays there are so many foods that are suitable as replacements for some of the foods that you currently love.
You do have options when it comes to addressing your gut health.
You can book in a time for an appointment where we can assess and discuss testing and treatment options according to your individual needs.
It’s also important to remember that your gut symptoms may indicate something else entirely – you may have SIBO, fructose malabsorption, candida, parasites, or gut dysbiosis.
Sometimes just knowing what is causing your gut problems is enough, but treating them is better.
Sharon – 🌱The Good Gut Girl 🌱