So many aches, pains and health complaints can be attributed to what we eat. Sixty percent of the population has undiagnosed food sensitivities which interfere with their life and health.

Sensitivity to food can have an impact on your health, causing symptoms such as, but no limited to:

Headaches, migraines, depression, hyperactivity, mood swings, sinus problems, and asthma. Intestinal problems like bloating, gas, diarrhea and colic. Muscle and joint pain. Skin issues like hives, eczema and other rashes.  Often times there are feelings of just not feeling well and not being able to pinpoint a specific condition.

An allergy occurs when the body mistakenly believes a substance is harmful, causing the immune system to overreact, usually immediately. This type of reaction can be life threatening.

A food sensitivity doesn’t produce such a profound reaction, can take days for symptoms to occur, and is not life threatening.

Food sensitivity occurs when the body is unable to digest foods due to the lack of certain enzymes. Enzymes break down proteins into amino acids and without these enzymes larger particles of proteins, carbohydrates, fats and sugars get absorbed into the bloodstream leading to a range of chronic health complaints.

The top four food sensitivities are Wheat, Dairy, Eggs and Soy.

  • Wheat:  Contains a protein called gluten and is found in cereals, breads, pastas, and baked goods. Gluten gives bread its airy, chewy texture.  Wheat or gluten containing grains can also be found in salad dressing, candy, beer, wine, cold cuts, and vitamins.
  • Dairy:  Only 10% of the world’s population   makes the enzyme Lactase which breaks down the milk protein. Interestingly a person with dairy sensitivity might be able to tolerate cheese or ice cream; however, drinking a sip of milk can cause symptoms.  The processing of the dairy product breaks the lactase enzyme making the dairy tolerable.  The degree of sensitivity depends on the person’s tolerance. Some people can not tolerate dairy at all.
  • Eggs: Contain a variety of enzymes including Ovalbumin, which makes up half of the egg white and trigger the most reactions.  Some people can tolerate eggs in baked goods, yet when they eat a product with a concentrated amount of egg white, for example, white cake, it may trigger a reaction.
  • Soy sensitivity is also due to a lack of digestive enzymes or a lack of beneficial bacteria that live in the digestive track. It is estimated that 5 to 8 percent of children and 1 to 2 percent of adults are allergic to soy.

Food sensitivity is difficult to detect because a reaction might not occur every time an offending food is consumed. But by over consuming that food, or combining it with another sensitive food, symptoms may become evident.   It boils down to a very delicate balance between what your body, in particular, can tolerate and it may be that one more bite causes a reaction.

An effective method to determine if a particular food is causing an adverse affect is to avoid that food group for 3 days or longer.  By the 4th day a noticeable improvement should be observed.

The average American only eats fourteen different foods in one combination or another. By introducing new foods and rotating the same class of foods, every 4-5 days, such as wheat containing foods, it breaks up the normal eating pattern and thus reduces the possibility for reaction. There are many other foods that can trigger reactions.  Your sensitivity can be genetic, overexposure to the same foods, and /or the ability to make natural enzymes.  Understanding the connection between the foods you eat and your symptoms can be a turning point for better health.

This information is for educational purposes only and it not intended for diagnosis or treatment.