How food sensitivities develop
The list of symptoms and issues that can indicate food sensitivities is long and all-encompassing. Here are the most common:
- Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, or any kind of digestive distress. These issues can range from mild discomfort after eating to serious IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
- Headaches of any type, including migraines.
- Skin issues. Eczema is the classic food sensitivity skin response, but any number of rashes or irritations can be connected to food sensitivities.
- Pain and inflammation
- Brain fog
- Excess mucus production
- Food cravings
- Hair Loss
- Allergies and asthma
- Bad Breath
- Anxiety & Mood Changes
- Auto-immune issues
Does having one or more of these symptoms mean you have food sensitivities? Maybe. And it’s certainly worth further investigation to determine whether you do.
How does food sensitivity lead to all these different symptoms?
This is a really good question. How does the simple act of eating a particular food cause this huge range of symptoms in the body? Here’s the basic process:
1. You eat the “offending” food (we’ll talk about how it goes from healthy to offending in a moment).
2. Your immune system recognizes this food, perceiving it as an invader that you need to be protected from, rather than as nutrients that need to be assimilated.
3. Your immune system, since it has recognized this invader, mounts a defense against it. It mobilizes your white blood cells, antibodies and other immune components to protect you from the “invasion” of this offending food.
4. As part of this defense mechanism, your immune system releases mediators – histamine, prostaglandin, and cytokines primarily – to deal with the invader. I think of these mediators as your body’s soldiers; they’re out in the field doing the hard work.
5. In the course of protecting you from the offending food, the mediators cause fall out damage – inflammation in particular. It’s this inflammation that you experience as a symptom. Where you experience the inflammation is going to be specific to you. Usually it’s in your constitutional weak point. For me, that’s usually migraines and skin issues. For someone else, it might be chronically stuffy sinuses and sleep disturbance.
So the next question becomes: