Are Food Sensitivities Causing Your Weight Gain?
Hidden food sensitivities or allergies can wreak havoc on the body and is something you should consider as one of the first steps in optimizing your health. Foods that we are sensitive too can cause an immune reaction unlike traditional allergies in that it may take hours to days before the symptoms occur instead of an immediate reaction. I’ve heard it referred to as a “food hangover” from patients who cheat on their diets and feel the effects the next day.
Anytime the immune system is activated from the common cold, allergies, intestinal bacterial overgrowth, autoimmune diseases or a generalized infection the immune system will shut down our energy production on a cellular level. This keeps us from going out and running a marathon while we are fighting a bug or sickness. But low level immune system activation as in food sensitivities or Intestinal bacteria overgrowths will make us just feel off, out of it, fatigued, hormonal, moody, and can even have physical effects.
Since our cells cannot make ATP when our immune system is over activated, our cells can not heal in a timely fashion and can lead to fatigue, weight gain, chronic disease and sickness. We know that many immune system chemicals can even influence our hormone and neurotransmitter levels, leading to migraines, PMS, hormonal issues, depression, anxiety, irritability, etc.
Another side effect of the immune system is inflammation, systemic and local. Systemic inflammation meaning your whole body can be inflamed and can contribute to things like back pain, joint pain and heart disease. As well you can have local inflammation inside your belly causing pain, gas, bloating, water retention, leaky gut, etc.
What is leaky gut?
Cells that line your stomach and intestines are bound closely together to prevent anything “bad” from being absorbed into the blood stream. As this barrier becomes inflamed it can start to allow “bad” things to leak into your body, wreak havoc and even further activate your immune system. It’s essentially a filter to only allow beneficial nutrients into the body and keep out toxins, bacteria and undigested proteins. And similar to purchasing a water filter, you want to have the best filter possible here!
So what are the most common 8 foods that we are sensitive to?
Milk, Wheat (Glutens), Corn, Soy, Eggs (White and Yolk), Baker’s yeast, brewer’s yeast, and nightshades
Milk and wheat products are becoming more known for their issues with human consumption. But many forget or don’t know about corn, soy, eggs, yeasts and nightshades. Almost all processed foods contain one or more of these 8 products and can be hard to get away from. Take soy for instance, it’s in everything including canned tuna. Nightshades are another tricky food group and consist of peppers(bell, sweet, and hot), eggplants, tobacco, tomatoes, and white potato (Not sweet potato).
So how do you know you’re sensitive to them?
Rotation diets are great and lab testing is becoming more affordable every year. Rotation diets have been around for a long time and just require someone to remove all of the suspected offensive food groups for 30 days and work them in one at a time to see if you become symptomatic. It’s cheap, and very effective but limiting a diet like this can be a pain and that’s where lab testing can come in to help. Many nontraditional labs will run IgG food sensitivity testing and sometimes even IgA. These can be of great benefit to helping find offending foods. And unfortunately most of the time the foods we are most sensitive to are some of our favorite foods. So food cravings and patterns of eating can lead you to narrow your search for offending foods.
Example: One of the most dramatic cases was a family with numerous issues, including fatigue, autism spectrum, migraines, trouble concentrating and the list goes on. Eggs showed up on sensitivity testing and the whole family significantly improved with removal of eggs from the diet.