Could You Have A Food Intolerance? Watch For These 5 Signs
Oftentimes when people think of food allergies, they imagine the severe symptoms of their throat closing, having swollen eyes and even getting hives. Surprisingly, though, just because you don’t have symptoms like these, doesn’t mean that you don’t have a food intolerance.
In fact current statistics estimate that nearly 4 percent of adults in the U.S. have a food allergy of some sort, and it’s likely that significantly more have food intolerances. Unfortunately, food intolerances are notoriously difficult to detect due to subtle symptoms that can range in severity and can develop gradually. So, to help you identify whether your stubborn weight gain or skin irritations are due to a food intolerance, let’s take a closer look at what they are.
What are food intolerances?
When your body has difficulty digesting certain foods, it can cause a host of unpleasant symptoms. A food intolerance is a digestive response, rather than an immune system response that occurs with a food allergy. With food intolerances, the symptoms may be subtle enough that you put up with them, or attribute them to something else and continue to eat the food you’re sensitive to.
Subtle signs to watch for:
You feel fatigued all the time. When you’re consuming foods that your body is intolerant to, your body can’t properly digest them, which means you may have less energy as result. On top of that, you may feel perpetually fatigued due to your body’s inflammation response.
Your skin is struggling. Everyone knows that internal health plays an important role in external health, so when you are struggling with a food intolerance, it will likely show up on your skin. Whether it’s a rash and eczema, or rosacea, acne and dark circles, any and all of these could indicate an immune response by your body.
You’re packing on pounds. If you’re consistently eating a food that your body has difficulty digesting, it’s likely that your body will become inflamed, which triggers a whole-body response and can increase insulin resistance. And since insulin is a fat-storage hormone, over time this can lead to weight gain.
You have some serious tummy troubles. When your body can’t properly digest certain foods, you may experience inflammation throughout your body, especially in your digestive tract. If you notice symptoms like diarrhea, pain and cramps, gas, bloating and even constipation, this may be a sign of a food intolerance.
Your joints and muscles are achy. You may be seeing a trend here. Like many other subtle symptoms of a food intolerance, achy joints and muscles are the result of increased chronic inflammation throughout your body, namely your joints and muscles. You may experience joint pain, stiffness and even swelling.
So…you think you have a food intolerance, what’s next?
While starting a food diary to keep track of what you eat and any symptoms you experience, as well as trying an elimination diet may be a great start to uncovering and healing a food intolerance, the most effective way to find lasting relief is to seek the guidance and support of an expert. With experienced registered dietitians, knowledgeable primary care providers and extensive resources, GMC can provide you with a personalized nutrition plan tailored to meet your unique needs.