A food allergy is an excessive immune reaction to a particular food, but an increasing number of people who don’t have a food allergy are learning that they do have food sensitivities. Food allergies can be pretty obvious because the symptoms usually occur quickly and can even be life threatening. Food sensitivities are much more subtle. They may show up a day or so later, contributing to problems like allergies, asthma, arthritis, indigestion, weight gain, fatigue, migraine headaches and more. Also known as food intolerances, they may be a big factor in the development of autoimmune disorders.
Many people are finding they have intolerance to grains containing gluten, dairy products, nightshades, citrus fruits and other common foods. They are discovering that eliminating these foods from their diet improves their digestion, increases their energy, improves their mood and removes vague and annoying symptoms like skin problems, itchy ears, sinus congestion and even aches and pains.
There are several possible contributing factors to the recent rise in food sensitivities. The first is the increasing use of toxic pesticides, herbicides and fungicides on our crops. Genetically-modified crops may be another. Leaky gut syndrome and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) also seem to be factors, as well as the level of stress people are under.
In this month’s Herbal Hour, we’ll explore the problem of gluten intolerance and other food sensitivities. We’ll discuss how to determine if food sensitivities may be a contributing factor in your ill health. We’ll discuss things you can do to heal your GI tract and possibly overcome these sensitivities, as well as special diets you can adopt that can improve your health and energy.