Understanding the difference between an intolerance and an allergy is a very hot topic right now. A food “intolerance” or “sensitivity” is when the body reacts in a negative way when exposed to certain food or environmental items. This should not be confused with an allergy, which are mainly hereditary and come on quickly with a more severe reaction. For example, if you experience congestion or have sinus problems at certain times of the year or have itchiness or digestive issues following the consumption of certain foods, then you may have an allergy. If you feel fuzzy headed and lethargic later in the day or have bloating, that could be an intolerance. You could be intolerant to a food item or something in the environment. So, the question is, do I get an allergy test, or do I get an intolerance test? The answer is, probably both if you really want to create change.
What is intolerance?
An intolerance is the body’s inability to digest an item properly, whether this is a food intolerance or an environmental factor (a non-food intolerance). Intolerances are not as severe, and many times do not have an immediate reaction. The onset of symptoms is usually slower, and may be delayed by several hours, sometimes up to 2 days, after eating the offending food. These symptoms can present themselves in the form of headaches, excessive gas, bloating, localized itching or skin irritations such as eczema, excessive mucous production, excessive gas, fatigue and diarrhea.
what causes Intolerances?
Intolerances can occur for many different reasons. One reason is that the body may be lacking the necessary digestive enzymes(s) for a certain food and does not have the ability to digest the food properly or efficiently take the nutrients from it. Some symptoms may be the result of a sensitivity to a particular item or ingredient in the food. A sensitivity can also occur from overconsumption or overexposure of an item. The good news is that an intolerance can and does change depending on diet and lifestyle. It is possible to reduce them and even eliminate them.
Are you experiencing any symptoms like these?
If so, have a look at your diet and see if you can link any of these foods to how you are feeling.
Headaches – Common triggers include: Processed foods, cured meats
Weight Gain – Common triggers include: Refined carbs, added sugars, highly processed meats
Fatigue – Common triggers include: Dairy, soy, corn, gluten
Joint Pain and Muscle Aches – Common triggers include: Soy, gluten, dairy, eggs, corn, yeast, sugar, peanuts
Anxiety and Dizziness – Common triggers: Fermented foods such as wine, aged cheese, cured meats
Mood Swings – Common triggers include: Wheat, dairy, fruit
So, what do I do if I am having these symptoms?
We recommend you see an allergist to rule out any allergies then focus on fine-tuning the way you feel by making sure you don’t have any intolerances to feel like the best version of yourself!