CAN THE FOODS YOU ARE EATING MAKE YOU SICK?
Do you have unexplained aches and pains? Have you been diagnosed with a condition listed in the chart below? Stop suffering already! You may benefit from an elimination diet. The foods you eat may play a much bigger role in your ailment than you think.
|Irritable Bowel Syndrome
||Migraine||Fibromyalgia||Atopic Dermatitis||Polycystic Ovary Syndrome||Interstitial Cystitis||Obesity|
||Autism Spectrum Disorders||Psoriasis|
||Epilepsy||Chronic Fatigue Syndrome|
|Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome
||Restless Leg Syndrome|
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FOOD INTOLERANCES, FOOD SENSITIVITY AND FOOD ALLERGIES
Food intolerance is when you have trouble digesting foods. The reaction in your body is usually not as severe as a food allergy, but symptoms can range from mild to severe.
Lactose intolerance is when you have low levels of the enzyme lactase needed to properly digest the lactose (sugar found in milk). After ingestion of lactose, you may experience bloating, gas and diarrhea. Fructose intolerance is another food intolerance in which your digestive system doesn’t absorb fructose (sugar found in fruit) properly and may cause abdominal pain, diarrhea and gas.
Food SensitivityFood sensitivities affect 20-30 percent of Americans. When you have a food sensitivity, your immune system can attack itself (and any organ system in the body) in response to something you’ve consumed. Food sensitivities are often more difficult to pin down because symptoms may show up within minutes or up to 72 hours after ingestion. Also, if you only eat a small amount of the offending food, you may or may not have a negative reaction. It is common for someone with sensitivities to have reactions to multiple foods. This may require more intense diet therapy than just eliminating one item – like dairy – from your diet.
AllergyFood allergies can be life threatening. In some cases, a protein molecule of an allergic food can trigger a severe reaction from your immune system. Food allergies usually involve restricting the airway, skin irritation or problems in the gastrointestinal tract. A reaction can occur seconds to an hour after ingestion of the allergen. Common food allergies are peanuts and shellfish. It’s estimated that food allergies affect 1-2 percent of Americans.
HOW FOODS CAUSE SYMPTOMS
Most people fail to make the connection between food and unwanted symptoms, and suffer unnecessarily for far too long. When you consume a food item, your immune system determines if this is a safe food that will be passed on for digestion, or a foreign body that must be destroyed. If the body deems the food foreign, triggering mechanisms activate white blood cells that release mediators such as histamine and pro-inflammatory cytokines. These mediators are responsible for inflammation in the body, tissue damage, pain receptor activation, smooth muscle contraction, edema, excess mucous, neurological issues, endocrine issues and increased gut permeability.
HOW DO I FIGURE OUT WHAT FOODS ARE BOTHERING ME?
Your symptoms may truly be a result of ingesting any food item, from broccoli and salmon to red food dye and preservatives. However, some foods tend to be more inflammatory. For example, if you were to eat a grilled chicken sandwich from a fast food restaurant (plain grilled chicken patty on a bun) you are likely to consume up to 77 ingredients. If you made that same sandwich with a fresh chicken breast, a few seasonings and whole wheat Farm to Market bread, you could drastically cut that number down to around 10 ingredients or less. SO if you had developed a headache or bowel issues after having either meal, you would be more likely to determine which food items contributed to your symptoms in the homemade meal because fewer ingredients were involved.
SAMPLE ELIMINATION DIET
The key to figuring out what might be creating your unwanted symptoms is first discussing your symptoms with your physician. He may recommend adopting a clean diet that eliminates some of those food items that are known to be more inflammatory than others. A registered dietitian can help with the process.
Here is an example of an elimination diet. This diet is not meant to be followed long-term and should be discussed with physician and dietitian who knows you and your health history.
|Grains||Meats||Fats||Fruits||Vegetables||Nuts/ Seeds||Beans/ Lentils||Misc.|
|Brown Rice||Wild Caught Fresh Fish||Olive Oil||Blueberry||Asparagus||Almonds||Pinto Beans||Sea Salt
|Oats||Organic Chicken||Coconut Oil||Raspberry||Kale||Pumpkin Seeds||Black Beans||All Spices|
|Buckwheat||Organic Turkey||Strawberry||Spinach||Sunflower Seeds||Cannellini Beans||Pure Cane Sugar|
|Grapes||Green Beans||Chia Seeds||Lentils||100% Pure Maple Syrup|
|Lemons||Parsley||Flax Seeds||Organic Chicken Broth/ Stock|
|Oranges||Potatoes, White and Sweet||Stevia|