Find Out If Hidden Food Allergies Are Causing Your Indigestion
by Christine H. Farlow, D.C
Hidden food allergies are different from true food allergies.
Real food allergies are rare. When you have a food allergy, you’ll know it. When you eat a food you’re allergic to, you’ll have a reaction anywhere from immediately to up to 2 hours after you ate the food. You will be able to associate eating that food with feeling bad.
With hidden food allergies, your reaction won’t start until 3 hours up to 3 days or longer after you’ve eaten the food. By the time you’re feeling the effects of the intolerant food, it’s been so long after eating it that you have no clue what caused your discomfort.
When you have hidden food allergies, also known as food sensitivities or food intolerance, your body is unable to completely digest the foods to which you’re sensitive. Partially digested foods enter your bloodstream and are attacked by your immune system as foreign invaders – like bacteria and viruses. This causes an inflammatory reaction in your body.
Hidden food allergies can cause many different ailments, including a wide variety of digestive disorders.
Case Study From My Practice: Deborah and Food Sensitivity
Deborah was very conscientious about eating healthy food – fresh, raw, organic whole food. But no matter what she ate she always felt bloated and uncomfortable. She was at wits end. She didn’t know what to eat anymore. Everything she ate caused discomfort.
We did a test for food sensitivities and her results came back with a short list of intolerant foods. In fact, I was shocked at her short list because she had so many symptoms and they were so severe.
She eliminated all her sensitive foods and followed her rotation diet and within a week, she was ecstatic. She was feeling so much better, and she still is to this day.
The foods that Deborah was eating that were causing her severe symptoms were all healthy foods, like asparagus and walnuts. They were her favorite foods that she was eating regularly, often daily.
My Own Experience With Food Sensitivity
In my case, I’d been taking digestive enzymes with each meal every day for about 30 years. If I didn’t take the enzymes, I had all sorts of digestive symptoms. Even though I know you shouldn’t need to take digestive enzymes indefinitely, I just couldn’t heal my digestive system so I didn’t need them.
I tested myself for food sensitivities and, unlike Deborah, my list of intolerant foods was very long. This really surprised me because I’d been eating very healthfully, taking the best nutritional supplements and living a healthy lifestyle for over 30 years. My sensitive foods were really healthy foods like salmon, trout, kiwi, grapefruit, papaya, pineapple, potatoes, red leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, to name just a few.
I Couldn’t Take My Own Supplements
Because of the vast number of foods to which I was intolerant, I couldn’t even take my supplements because they contained ingredients to which I was sensitive. I had to replace my digestive enzyme. I couldn’t imagine how I would get along without it.
After about a week or two on the new enzyme, I started experiencing burning in my stomach. At first I thought it was just a detoxification reaction, but after a couple days without relief, I decided to see if maybe I didn’t need the enzyme.
It took a week or so for the burning to completely stop. In the meantime, I wasn’t taking any digestive enzymes at all when I ate. I also wasn’t having any digestive symptoms. There was one time between the time I stopped the enzymes and now that I was a little bloated after dinner. I took one enzyme, one time and I haven’t had any since. This has been several months and there are no indications that I have any digestive problems at all.
Health Will Improve After Eliminating Sensitive Foods
Now, everyone is a unique individual and everyone has a different reaction to their intolerant foods, so I can’t say what the effect will be for you when you eliminate your sensitive foods, or how long it will take to see results.
What I can promise you is that when you remove the sensitive foods from your diet and you eat only safe foods on a rotation basis, your health will improve. For some it improves faster than others. You have to take into consideration how long your body has been suffering. It takes time to heal.
I can also promise you that if you keep eating your sensitive foods, you will continue to increase the inflammation in your body and your health will decline.
Try Elimination Diet to Find Out
So, how do you find out if you have food sensitivities?
You can try to do it on your own using an elimination diet. However, this is a long, tedious and frustrating process. I have never known anyone who has successfully identified all of their food sensitivities this way.
The easy way is the ALCAT Test for Food and Chemical Sensitivities. It’s a special blood test that tells you which foods are safe for you to eat and which you should avoid.
Note: This is not a substitute for medical advice. If you have health problems, please consult your physician.
(This guest post is by Christine H. Farlow, D.C. Dr. Farlow provides nutritional consultations in her office and by phone. You can request a FREE consultation to learn more about food sensitivities and how the ALCAT Test can help you to improve your digestion and your health at http://christinehfarlowdc.com/).