Food Intolerances and Gut Problems

Food Intolerances

Studies show that around 85% of people suffer from gastrointestinal disturbances such as gas, heartburn and stomach aches. There are common causes of these problems such as nutrient deficiencies, poor diets and dehydration. However, both food intolerances and allergies can also play a role in your stomach and intestinal problems. Allergies are foods that cause inflammation and negative reactions in your body. A food intolerance is one that can simply upset your stomach or cause intestinal issues. Find out what the connection is between what you eat and how your body feels!

What is the Difference Between Food Intolerance and Food Allergies?

Many are surprised to learn that there is a big difference between what constitutes as a food allergy and a food intolerance. Let’s look first at what is a food intolerance:

Food Intolerance/Sensitivities

If you compare the symptoms and effects of food intolerances to food allergies, and the body systems they affect, you are better able to understand their differences. Food intolerances are much more common and do not involve the immune system.  A food intolerance response takes place in the digestive system. It is triggered when your body is not able to breakdown your food properly due to an enzyme deficiency. Other causes include:

  • pharmacological factors, like sensitivity to caffeine or other chemicals
  • reactions to food additives like sulfites or artificial colors
  • psychological factors, like an extreme dislike of certain foods
  • sensitivity to the toxins naturally found in certain raw legumes like lima beans

With food intolerance, you are able to eat small amounts of the problematic food without causing life-threatening problems. Symptoms may be delayed for hours after eating the problematic food, unlike with a food allergy.  The symptoms of a food intolerance may also last for several hours, even into the next day and sometimes longer. Intolerance to several foods or a group of foods is not uncommon. Chronic illness is sometimes misdiagnosed when the real culprit is a food intolerance.

Food Allergies

Food allergies do not allow you to tolerate even a small amount of the problematic food without triggering an immune system response and immediate symptoms. Food intolerance involves the digestive system where a food allergic reaction involves your immune system. Your immune system controls how your body defends itself. Either a food triggers an intolerance in your digestive tract, where your body is unable to properly break it down, or the body reacts to a food you are sensitive to. With food allergies, an abnormal immune system response results in the body making antibodies to ‘fight off’ a food. However, some people suffer symptoms after eating certain foods even when they are not producing antibodies against them.

A visit to Balanced Well-Being Healthcare can help you discover if you have a food allergy, intolerance or something else going on that is causing your symptoms.

The Chain Reaction Food Intolerance Has on Your Overall Health

Sometimes food intolerance symptoms are masked as a chronic condition. Some patients discover that they have been suffering for years from conditions that could be solved by eliminating certain foods from their diet.  Food intolerance symptoms can look like other issues which is why it is important to enlist the help when you are identifying the true causes behind your symptoms.

The symptoms caused by food intolerance and sensitivities are varied. They usually cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, constipation, cramping, irritable bowel and can include skin rashes and sometimes fatigue, joint pains, dark circles under the eyes, night sweats and other chronic conditions.  

What Does Gut Testing Entail?

Part of the process of determining if you have a sensitivity includes testing your gut for several different elements and biomarkers. Our gut testing is extremely comprehensive and involves four areas of examination with: 1) Organic Acid Test (OAT); 2) Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) Breath Test; 3) Stool Test; and 4) Allergies Testing.

Food Sensitivities and Food Allergies Testing

Different gastrointestinal disorders–especially Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)–are associated with food sensitivities which is why we will also be testing you for any sensitivities (known and unknown) that you have and/or allergies.  How you react to foods can cause further inflammation in the gut so you start there with determining a diet revision plan. Once you repair your microbiome, you can repair your gut and reduce or eliminate your food sensitivities.

Food impacts the diversity of the microbiome the most which is why when working towards repairing your microbiome you should start by slowly increasing fruits and veggies–especially those rich in polyphenols, bioflavonoids, and fiber–to increase the good bacteria that make short-chain fatty acids that heal the gut.

Food that feed the bacteria–like sugar, processed flour, alcohol and excessive animal products–should be eliminated from your diet. Removing sensitive foods like gluten, dairy, soy, corn, and eggs can also help with gut repair.

Call for a Gut Testing Consultation and Gut Health Evaluation

Learn how you can benefit from gut testing today by calling 970-631-8286 and discover how healthy you are on a biochemical, molecular level. Learn strategies and tips to balance your body physically, mentally and emotionally so you can have what you need for total body wellness.