On Food Intolerance & Allergies

Many of us walk through life with something constantly weighing us down. Not having the same energy levels or the same level of health as other people. That silent nuance that could become a silent killer is a food intolerance and/or allergy.

Food allergies come in many different forms, but there are some that are more common than others. The FDA requires that food manufacturers list the top eight food allergens that could be in their food. The top eight food allergens are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat.

If you have a food allergy the symptoms may be minor, but if you notice that any particular food gives you trouble then it would be wise to be tested for an allergy to it.

A food intolerance is actually totally different from a food allergy. An allergy by definition requires an immune response that produces antibodies against a chemical substance found in that particular food item. Meaning that you body basically thinks that it is a virus or bacteria that will make you sick. The allergy is the response your body gives against the assumed threat much in the same way that your body will produce a fever when it thinks it is sick.

A food intolerance is usually associated with an inability by the body to properly digest a certain food. One of the most common, especially in children, is a lactose intolerance. This is where the body is unable to digest the sugar in milk known as lactose, and exhibits symptoms ranging from bloating to nausea.

Once you discover that you are actually lactose intolerant the problem becomes avoiding it. Lactose is found, not just in milk products, but in all kinds of foods ranging from processed meats to breads and cereals.

Another intolerance that has been getting major press these days is gluten intolerance. This is the protein found in wheat and other related grains. Just like lactose, gluten has been used as a food additive for a wide assortment of processed foods, and is somewhat difficult to totally remove from your diet.

The best way to discover if you have a food intolerance or not is to totally remove the suspect food for at least 30 days and measure the results. You can do the same for a food allergy, but allergies are more easily diagnosed through fairly easy allergy tests. Food intolerances on the other hand are fairly difficult to test for with any certainty.

If you have a symptom that has been chronic for any length of time such as migraines, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), heartburn, nausea, or any other symptom that could possibly be food related, it would be wise to look for the likely culprits through testing or food elimination diets.

This is our 8th challenge in The Personal Health Challenge Series…

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