By Dr. Patricia Selassie
Today, we’re talking about food intolerance. This is not to be confused with food allergies! Food allergies often cause severe and life-threatening reactions. Food intolerance is when someone has an immune response to certain foods; often the reaction is delayed and subtle, so the reaction may not be obvious, yet you are experiencing health challenges. The top seven foods that cause food intolerance are:
You may be dealing with chronic illness or persistent symptoms that never seem to improve; these include skin issues, migraines, chronic pain, and low energy. No matter what, you can’t seem to simply feel good. You’re always tired, you can’t shed extra pounds – so what’s going on? In many cases, this is due to food intolerance! To feel better, you might only need to eliminate certain foods from your diet. So, I want to share with you how you can figure out if you have a food intolerance without an IGE lab test, which tests for allergies but does not catch intolerances, and without an IGA/IGG test, which does test for intolerances, but is pricey.
For example, let’s say you suspect you may be intolerant to wheat. Your first step would be to go to the health food store and find substitutes for the things you normally eat. Maybe you’re big on bread; you want to look for gluten- and wheat-free bread, as well as substitutes for your normal pasta, noodles, waffles, etc. The first step is to set up your life with substitutes for your favorite foods and empty your cabinets of the gluten-containing foods you normally eat. (Rice is gluten free, so rice flour is a common substitute for wheat flour.)
For the next 14 days, you need to avoid wheat completely! Make sure you read those ingredients carefully. Wheat is hidden in foods like turkey slices, ketchup, and soy sauce, so be sure to check every label before you eat, and consume absolutely no wheat for those 14 days. Keep a journal to note your reactions and compare your symptoms from before to how you feel after the food is eliminated.
You’ll likely have an idea of whether or not you have a food intolerance after day 7. If you do, between days 7 to 14, you’ll start to feel better
But even if you feel better, it’s important to complete the next phase– the reintroduction phase– to confirm the food intolerance. After 14 days, you must reintroduce wheat into your diet – lots of it! Have wheat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks on days 15, 16 and 17. You need to assess your reaction when the food is included in your diet again to find out if you have a true food intolerance. If you do, you’ll start to feel worse after the reintroduction. Your symptoms will return, and you might experience low energy, digestive problems, migraines, skin problems, and other symptoms you may have had before the trial.
During the last 4 days of the reintroduction phase, you need to abstain from the food again – by then, you should have a really good idea if you can tolerate a certain food or not. If you feel great, you’ve got your answer!
Let’s stay connected! Visit my website at www.brooklynnaturopath.com.
Dr. Patricia Selassie and Dr. Millennia Ruth Lytle will be teaching Leaky Gut Syndrome and Chronic Inflamation a full-day workshop on June 19, 10-5:30pm.