This is the third post in my series about Food Sensitivities.
Many of us have dismissed our symptoms thinking things like, “I can handle a little bloating for some bread” or “If I eat this cheese, I think it will make me break out a bit, but it’s ok.” Or maybe, you have vague symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog, occasional bloating, changes in skin texture or breakouts, or even digestive problems, but you are not sure what is causing it. These symptoms are our body’s way of communicating with you. It is important for us not to ignore our symptoms. Have you heard the saying “If you ignore your body when it is whispering to you, it will have to start yelling”?
What Happens When You Ignore Your Food Sensitivities?
If you need a review of how food sensitivities are created, see How to Avoid Getting Food Sensitivities. If you are unsure if you have food sensitivities, see Food Sensitivities, Food Allergies, and Food Intolerance: What’s the Difference?
So, you know that food sensitivities are created and/or exacerbated when a condition in the gut sets in called intestinal permeability (commonly referred to as leaky gut).
Let’s Review the Main Drivers of Leaky Gut:
- Poor digestion: When your body is low in hydrochloric acid (stomach acid) and/or deficient in digestive enzymes, your food does not get fully digested. It also sits in your gut too long and causes inflammation. Over time, this inflammation weakens the lining of the gut and little holes develop making it “leaky”.
- Alterations in the microbiome: This is called dysbiosis. It can be not enough good guys (probiotics), too many bad guys (pathogenic bacteria), and/or infection by parasites. See Protecting Your Microbiome to review how to take care of this crucial organ.
- Stress: Stress increases intestinal permeability.
- Overuse of antibiotics
- Eating factory-farmed meats and eggs which eat foods containing herbicides and pesticides, are often not fed the appropriate diet. Unfortunatly, many are sick themselves.
- Eating farmed seafood: same goes as above for the factory-farmed meats.
- Eating conventional produce grown with commercial fertilizers and pesticides. Pesticides like RoundUp actually puncture the lining of your intestines, leading to a “leaky” gut lining. This can cause or exacerbate food sensitivities.
- NSAIDS like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc): These can cause holes in the intestinal lining with just one dose. Utilize Homeopathy instead!! It is effective, affordable, and has NO side effects!
- Repeatedly consuming foods you are sensitive to: Eating foods you are sensitive to causes your immune system to send out cytokines that cause inflammation. This inflammation weakens your intestinal lining even further causing more intestinal permeability and leading to new food sensitivities!
What Happens When You Ignore Your Symptoms?
Aside from the fact that your symptoms will continue to worsen if you keep eating foods you are sensitive to, and you will begin to develop other food sensitivities, here are a few more reasons to listen to your body’s symptoms:
- Autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s, Lupus, Graves, Sjorgen’s, psoriasis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, etc. all have one something in common: A confused Immune System (and likely Leaky Gut). Over time when the immune system gets called in over and over to attack the “antigens” (the food mistakenly. identifies as toxins), the immune system becomes confused and often overreactive. Also, during these attacks there is collateral damage. Where that damage occurs, depends on your genetic weakness and your toxic exposure. In order to prevent and reverse autoimmune disease, you need to heal your gut!!! Your body has a hard time healing your gut while it is being assaulted with “toxins” even if these toxins are actually harmless foods. (At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Homeopathy has solutions for Autoimmune Disease if you have already developed one.)
- Symptoms are exacerbated: Your brain fog deteriorates to short-term memory loss, digestive symptoms compound, joint stiffness turns to pain, etc. The body sends symptoms to communicate. If we don’t listen, it has to get our attention by increasing the volume or “yelling” at us with more severe symptoms.
- There is information that food sensitivities cause silent inflammation for years before we start noticing symptoms. Silent inflammation is the driver of most modern ailments and diseases such as heart disease.
Oh Crap! I think I have Leaky Gut! Now my life is ruined!
Not so fast!! Think of intestinal permeability as a continuum. Because the digestion and assimilation of nutrients is crucial to your existence, your body puts a high priority on repairing your intestinal lining. With the proper nutrients in abundance, your body replaces your intestinal lining every 3-7 days. That’s great news!
To fully heal yourself from your food sensitivities, you have two choices:
- Eliminate all your food sensitivities at the same time while undergoing a gut healing protocol. This usually take 3 months for most people, but for some it takes 6 or more. It has a couple of drawbacks though. I used to do this for my clients because I thought it was the only way. Now I know better!
- First, it is expensive. You need an MRT Food Sensitivity Test as well as a GI Map Stool test so that you can identify your food sensitivities and the state of your microbiome. (These test run about $700 for the 2 at this time.) You also need a supplement protocol. As many of you know, pharmaceutical-grade supplements (the only ones we should be taking) aren’t cheap! These sorts of protocols easily run $500-$700/for 2-3 months.
- Second, it is HARD! Depending on the amount of sensitivities you have, you may need to only eat at home for 3-6 months. That is a lot of missing out on social events and possibly being hungry at work events to tolerate. The added stress of this may make it hard for your body to heal your gut lining despite all your hard work!!
- Sensitivities often return if a person resumes leading the life they led before the protocol.
- Often certain foods can never be added back in. Upon removal of some foods, the body can end up reacting more strongly upon reintroduction if complete gut healing hasn’t occurred.
- Enlist the help of a Homeopath who utilizes multiple methods of Homeopathy, but specifically Phenolic Therapy and Banerji Protocols. This has several benefits.
- Homeopathy is affordable. It is downright cheap when compared to supplements and pharmaceutical meds.
- Long-lasting.:While conventional allergy desensitization has mixed results and often the symptoms end up returning after time, Phenolic Therapy can uproot the sensitivities which, of course, means the results last!
- Not stressful or depriving. Depending on the symptoms caused by the food, a person may eliminate or keep a food in rotation. It is also not necessary to address all food sensitivities at the same time. So, a person can start on a handful of foods while continuing to eat out or at other people’s home when desired.
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Stress is such a huge factor – I’m so glad to see it on this list! For some of us, it’s just not possible to slow down our schedules, so we need to learn to prioritize to leave time for rest, fun and family. There’s no substitute for healthy stress management. Rest is usually what I’m lacking and I have to be deliberate about it. Great article!
Boy, I am feeling the realness of this post! We had an incredibly stressful December and January after my spouse was offered a job in a new state. It left us hustling to get our house ready, sell it and find a new one site-unseen in a state I’d never even been to! Needless to say, my stress levels were out of control and by the time we arrived, my psoriatic arthritis was angrier than it’s ever been! I did an anti-inflammatory elimination diet (cutting out gluten, processed foods, citrus, alcohol, most sugar and most dairy) for about 2 months. And, sure enough, it gave my body enough time to heal! Now I’m slowly reintroducing foods, starting with gut-healthy fermented dairy products from our own goat milk. It’s made a world of difference and it’s super encouraging to read your post about it and know I’m on the right track!
I am so glad you made it through your stressful time and were able to give your body the time it needed to heal! Best of luck in your new home 🙂
Very interesting and comprehensive list of items one should be aware of.Thanks a lot for the research.
Autoimmune diseases are on the rise these days and cause are very often unknown. One would not expect that food sensitiveness could be the reason.
You are right! People don’t realize how important each bite of food is!
I’ve gotten more in tune with my body over the last 5 or so years and am getting better at remembering which foods my body doesn’t like. I really need to make a comprehensive list. I’m looking forward to your next post about food sensitivity testing. I’ll be interested to hear what you think about them.