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Beware: Food Sensitivities

Posted by Tracii H.

What is a food sensitivity? We?ve all heard of true food allergies, which cause throat swelling, anaphylactic shock, and sometimes death. The difference between food allergy and food sensitivity is that, with food allergy, the effects are immediate and unmistakably serious, whereas with a food sensitivity, the effects may set in days after ingesting the offending food and do not constitute an emergency. Symptoms of food sensitivity are varied and may include headache, gas, nausea, depression, fatigue, frequent ear infections, constipation, mood swings, asthma, and a number of bizarre behavioral phenomena; for instance, people with autism and epilepsy nearly always report sensitivities to more than one substance. Furthermore, eating foods to which you are sensitive can sabotage a healthy eating plan or weight loss diet by causing uncontrollable cravings in the sensitive individual. In fact, one way to find out which foods are causing you trouble is to ask yourself, ?What food(s) do I eat everyday and could not live without?? In addition, eating too much of one thing too often can actually cause sensitivity to it, which is one reason it is a good idea to eat a varied diet. One way to determine whether you have food sensitivities is to follow a strict rotation diet, doing away with the suspected food for a month or longer. As you slowly reintroduce it into your diet, record any symptoms that recur. This method is difficult, though, because many foods have derivatives that go by different names?for instance, there is wheat or gluten in common additives like caramel coloring, vanillin, barley, rye, oats, and many food colorings. An easier method is to have a blood test performed by a chiropractor or other doctor who offers food allergy testing.
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