Identifying Food Allergies


I have a particular interest in food allergies. After identifying my own over 6 years ago, due to debilitating health issues that conventional medicine could not figure out, I embarked on my own journey to figure out what was wrong with me. I was done feeling like crap all the time!

I took what I knew about nutrition, wellness and health, started listening to my intuition and my body, and self-diagnosed my celiac disease and lactose intolerance. I knew it was my responsibility to feel better and that I know my body better than anyone, yes, even doctors, and I treated it like an experiment. I figured I couldn't feel any worse than I already did.

This journey led me to better health, which I have chronicled over the years on my Blog since 2013, and ultimately, which led me to learn more about health, nutrition and wellness, by becoming an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach.

I firmly believe many people go about their lives suffering from unidentified food allergies. While you may not have specific food allergies, everyone can benefit from an anti-inflammatory diet, free of the common allergy triggering foods.

Some symptoms caused by potential food allergies: 


Do you think you might be suffering from potential food allergies and inflammation? Here are some common symptoms to look for.

digestive issues: "brain fog":
  • bloating
  • minor cognitive issues
  • constipation
  • forgetting things
  • diarrhea
  • general fuzziness of the brain
  • regular bouts of all the above
  • exsseive grogginess upon waking, even after 7-8 hours of sleep
irritations:
  • fatigue
  • skin - such as rashes, excema, psorasis
nasal drip, "seasonal" environmental allergy symptoms and regular colds or feeling worn down
  • mood swings
  • such as:
  • food cravings
  • itchiness
excessive anxiety/stress:
  • runny nose
  • while stress is inevitable in life, the anxiety and stress that may be allergy related is the kind that is ever present, even in a non-stressful situation
  • excessive mucus
generally feeling like crap all the time
  • constant tickle in the throat, or regular throat clearing/coughing
everything you eat makes you feel icky, you would rather not eat, you may have a constant lump in your throat
  • dry eyes and nose
 


Common Allergy Triggering Foods 


  • Gluten
    • aka wheat, barley, spelt, rye and sometimes oats, or any bread, pasta, cookies, crackers, etc.,
    • While it is estimated that 3 million or 1% of the population is actually gluten intolerant or celiac (an autoimmune disorder), I believe that the way glutenous grains are grown, processed and refined now triggers an inflammatory response in most people, especially in volume that many of us consume these products.
  • Dairy
    • It is estimated that 65-75% of the world's population cannot properly break down lactose beyond infancy (ie milk sugars, the stuff that causes the painful gas, bloating and diarrhea)
  • Citrus
    • While not a super common allergen, it can cause irritation to some, and can develop later in life, all of a sudden, and can also mask potentially much more harmful allergies with the "oral allergy syndrome" symptom (itchy throat, lips, mouth, sometimes even swelling of all the above, immediately after a trigger food is consumed). Helpful hint, if you all of a sudden are struck with oral allergy symptoms listed, chew on a piece of raw, fresh, ginger. It's rugged! But it works!
  • Caffeine
    • While some people are not allergic to caffeine per se, it is estimated that only 10% of people are rapid caffeine metabolizers, meaning caffeine has little-to-no effect on them regardless of the time of day they consume it, (know someone like that? I have one in my house!). That means for the rest of us, we must watch our caffeine consumption in order to find balance in our life, especially when it comes to sleep and water intake throughout the day.
  • Eggs
    • Eggs are one of the most common allergy-causing foods for children. Egg allergy symptoms usually occur a few minutes to a few hours after eating eggs or foods containing eggs. Signs and symptoms range from mild to severe and can include skin rashes, hives, nasal congestion, and vomiting or other digestive problems.

NOTE: There are the anaphylaxis inducing allergens that if you have, you know you have it, because you have most likely had it since infancy. The triggers include, but are not limited to: shellfish, peanuts, latex, some tree nuts, certain medications, bee and wasps, etc., obviously avoid these at all costs!


 

 

  

  

A few possible allergy triggers left to mention:
  • nightshades
  • sugar
  • soy
  • GMOs
  • corn
  • the waxy coating and pesticides sprayed on conventionally grown fruit
While for many these are not life threatening allergies, one can have a very adverse reaction to these. Once you have spent the time and energy to clean out the potential toxins in your diet, you may notice a sensitivity to these items as well. When in doubt avoid these things and try to always purchase organic,

Contact me for a guide on the Dirty Dozen–those foods that should always be purchased organic.
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