While some people have the notion that food intolerances don’t really exist, I’d like to beg to differ. People can have reactions to foods that their bodies have trouble tolerating, as well as mild to severe allergic reactions to foods, some of which can be life threatening.
Before I found out I had a gluten intolerance, I couldn’t walk, I had an irregular heartbeat, and my immune system was basically going haywire while my muscles destroyed themselves. And then I have people tell me that I’m not “really” intolerant to gluten despite the fact that all my symptoms disappeared after less than a week of going gluten-free. Thanks for the support, guys.
Anyway, if someone is experiencing any adverse health symptoms, no matter how minor or severe, here are some ways to tell if they have a food intolerance...
Chronic pain is awful. You feel like you do everything you can to make it go away, but nothing quite works and if it does work, the pain always returns. Chronic pain can have a huge impact on your life. It can make even small activities seem impossible and other physical activities, such as sex or exercise, are often passed over as a result of pain.
When our bodies cannot tolerate a certain food, they react. One of the most common causes of this reaction is inflammation, which can cause chronic pain. Chronic pain could be anywhere—joints, lower back, legs, shoulders, neck. Migraines could also result from a food intolerance. If anyone is experiencing chronic pain, it’s time to get a food allergen panel done by a physician or holistic doctor.
Skin Rash or Acne
Some people have more sensitive skin than others, but the skin can tell us many things about our health. Anyone experiencing any type of weird skin rash or even bad acne, could have a food intolerance.
One of the most common food intolerances when it comes to skin rashes or acne or eczema is dairy. With all the hormones in cow’s milk and products such as ice cream and yogurt, your skin could be having a reaction to these growth hormones, giving you teenager-type skin well into adulthood. Get tested or try to eliminate dairy or gluten for at least 2 to 6 weeks to see if you notice a difference.
While many people with food allergies or intolerances experience gastrointestinal symptoms, many of them do not! Gastrointestinal symptoms could involve upset stomach, poor digestion, belching/flatulence, diarrhea, constipation, and stomach cramps. These could happen immediately after eating a certain food or hours after eating it.
If someone has experienced gastrointestinal problems their whole life, or even just recently, their body could have developed an intolerance to something they've been eating. And yes, the body can develop an intolerance pretty much overnight (happened to me!), for those of you who say “But I’ve been eating dairy/eggs/gluten/corn all this time and I’ve been fine!”
Mental or Mood Disorders
Anyone with ADHD or having issues with concentrating, forgetfulness, brain fog, solving problems, thinking, or is easily distracted might actually have a food intolerance.
Food intolerances can also affect our mood by altering our brain chemistry, making us easily irritable, or making us elated and then having a crashing effect, or just having mood swings. Gluten, in particular, is noted for altering brain chemistry and producing symptoms that can be linked to bipolar, schizophrenia, and depression.
The food we consume is fuel for our bodies. This is why it doesn't make a lot of sense that many of the top allergens are in all the foods we consume: dairy, eggs, soy, wheat (gluten), corn, and nuts. When we put fuel in our bodies that our body can’t work with, our body will not work as well as it should. Living with chronic pain, a mood disorder, stomach problems, or acne is not fun. Take charge of your health and wellness and get a food allergen panel done to understand which foods are best for you and your body. And remember, no one knows your body like you do, so listen to your symptoms and demand comprehensive testing to determine what's wrong.