It’s Friday night, and the work week is over. You can’t wait to dive into a large slice of gooey, greasy, deliciously cheesy pizza that’s calling your name after a long, strenuous week. You devour every bit of it and more.
Your taste buds are singing with joy once you’ve had your fill, and you’re stuffed to the brim, ready to binge-watch your new favorite show. You’re settled and comfy, snuggled under your cozy blanket, when all of a sudden your stomach starts cramping.
The pain is super uncomfortable. You start feeling bloated, and you might even need to make a mad dash to the bathroom.
A few minutes ago, you were enjoying your food coma bliss. But now, your digestive system is screaming at you, and you can’t find any relief.
You don’t think anything of it, but then the symptoms happen again and again after you eat. You begin to notice a pattern.
Could it be that you have food sensitivity?
Let’s dive into some common food intolerances., and see if food sensitivity testing might be needed.
What Is Food Sensitivity?
Food sensitivity – or food intolerance – is when your body doesn’t have the specific proteins or enzymes needed to break down a certain food or chemical within the digestive tract. (1)
Keep in mind that food sensitivities and food allergies are not the same.
When you consume a substance that your body is sensitive to, it affects mainly the digestive system and is non-life threatening. Symptoms begin to show within an hour of eating as your body goes through the digestion process.
A food allergy affects the body’s immune system and symptoms can be fatal if left untreated. Usually, an allergic reaction begins within minutes after the food is ingested.
Types of Food Sensitivities/Intolerances
There are many different types of food sensitivities we can discuss. But for the sake of not overloading your brain with information, we are only going to go over the top 3 most common sensitivities that are seen today. Which are:
- Lactose Intolerance
- Gluten Intolerance
- Histamine Intolerance
Lactose Intolerance –
This is when your body doesn’t create enough lactic enzymes to break down lactase – a sugar found in most dairy products such as milk and cheese. Lactose intolerance is fairly common – in fact, about 65% of the population is considered to be lactose intolerant. (2)
Gluten Intolerance –
Gluten is a particular protein found in items such as wheat, barley, and rye. It is also found in a LOT of food we buy at the grocery store- even ketchup and BBQ sauce – weird right? Your body becomes sensitive to gluten when it has a harder time breaking this protein down in your digestive tract.
Histamine Sensitivity –
Histamines are naturally forming chemicals found in various foods from nature – such as fruits, vegetables, and even chocolate. Because wine is derived from grapes, it can also contain certain histamines. Again, the sensitivity occurs when there isn’t enough of the diamine oxidase enzyme created within the body to break this chemical down.
Are you noticing a pattern here? Food sensitivity or intolerance happens because your body isn’t equipped enough the handle the source of fuel it has been given. And discomfort ensues within the body as it begins digesting.
Symptoms of Food Sensitivity
When your body is struggling to digest a substance it has become sensitive to, many different symptoms begin to occur such as:
- Abdominal pain/discomfort
- Headaches or migraines
- Joint pain
- Skin rash
- A general feeling of being under the weather
Because the list of symptoms is so extensive, food sensitivity can be tricky to diagnose.
How Is a Food Sensitivity Diagnosis Made?
There are different options when it comes to learning if you have a food intolerance.
One way is through an elimination diet. This is when you stop eating certain inflammatory foods, and then gradually add them back into your diet. As you add the foods back in, you begin focusing on how that particular food makes you feel once you’ve eaten it.
Another way is through a simple blood test – which measures the levels of immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. If high levels are found, this can indicate a particular sensitivity.
It is imperative to have yourself tested if you find yourself experiencing symptoms of food intolerance regularly. If you continue ingesting particular foods that are harming your body, the long-term effects can turn out to be much worse.
It’s a good thing Dr. Hill is equipped to perform this test in her office.
Let’s get to the bottom of the discomfort so you can get through your evenings in peace!