Food allergies usually involve an immediate immune response that can cause potentially life-threatening reactions, like anaphylactic shock. Other symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, blood in the stool, eczema, hives, skin rashes, wheezing, and a runny nose.
On the other hand, food sensitivities and intolerances are toxic reactions to foods that do not involve the immune system. In addition to those symptoms listed for food allergies, a food sensitivity may also cause fatigue, gas, bloating, mood swings, migraines, nervousness, and eating disorders.
Food sensitivities can cause delayed reactions, making them more difficult to pinpoint. You can have a negative result from a food allergy test and still have a food sensitivity that causes symptoms.
Research is growing that connects food sensitivities to nutrient malabsorption, leaky gut, acne, irritable bowel syndrome, joint pain, ADD, ADHD, anxiety, depression, brain fog, dizziness, and autoimmune conditions. There is also accumulating evidence that food sensitivities can increase the severity of symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and other diseases normally not considered food related.
How do you know if you have a food sensitivity?
Start by keeping a written journal. Record what you eat, how you feel, and poop observations. Pay special attention to how you feel within an hour after you eat. Do this for at least two weeks, and then see if you can make any connections.
Another way to check for a food sensitivity is the pulse test. Take your resting pulse for one full minute, and record that number as beats per minute. Eat some of the food that you want to test, and then wait 20 minutes while resting. Retake your pulse, and record the beats per minute. If there is a rise in your pulse rate by six or more beats per minute, you might suspect a food sensitivity. Make sure that nothing else was responsible for the rise in pulse, like moving around or becoming excited or stressed.
If you need to go a step further, there are newer blood tests that are reported to be very accurate in determining food sensitivities through Cyrex Labs. Check with your doctor to see if they do this type of testing and, if not, look for a doctor who does. A functional medical doctor, naturopathic doctor, or some chiropractors will most likely do this type of testing.
Feel free to share your discoveries and ask questions in the Learning to be Healthy with Lisa private Facebook group.
Keep learning to be healthy!
Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach
1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.