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Intolerance to specific food can show up:
An intolerance to certain foods can show up anywhere in the body. This means that food intolerance can manifest in the most superficial layers, such as in the skin, and it can even show up in deepest layers of the body, like within the joints.
Also, the effect that food has in the body is not confined to the physical body. Food can also affect the mental and emotional aspects of our body. When we remove the offending food, suddenly our skin clears up, our outlook and energy improve, and we no longer have nagging aches and pains.
Many of us who grew up eating the standard American diet were not taught that what we eat could affect our health. Or, if we were educated about food, it was often through “high fiber, low fat” advertising and food packaging. Unfortunately, it turns out that many children and many adults actually have intolerance to foods common to the American diet, such as dairy and many grains.
Intolerance can develop:
Digestive enzymes break down large food molecules. This takes place in the mouth, stomach, and throughout the small intestine. When large food molecules are broken down into smaller pieces, these smaller pieces can pass through the lining of the gut and nourish the body. There are three macronutrients present in the foods that we eat:
For example, dairy contains all three macronutrients: fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. In this case, how do we figure out if we have what is called “lactose intolerance”, or if something else is going on?
When enzymes are not present to break down milk sugar, this sugar molecule moves through the gut until resident gut bacteria feast on these milk sugars. What happens if gut bacteria get to lactose before the right digestive enzymes do? Sugars that are fermented by gut bacteria produce gas, bloating, cramping, and even diarrhea or constipation.
Intolerance to certain foods can develop from an immune response mounted against a food. This can happen very early in life.
The immune system can read most any food as a foreign invader, or what is called an “antigen.” This is especially common when the gut is permeable, and when large food molecules are able to pass through the lining of the gut. Once the immune system has a record of an antigen, it will react every time this antigen is found present in the body.
Often times, this immune response also involves what is called “cross-reactivity.” Cross-reactivity is when the immune system is confused. In cross-reactivity:
Until you know that you are cross-reactive, treating gluten sensitivity can be futile. So far only one laboratory, called Cyrex Labs, has fully developed a test to check for gluten cross-reactivity.
When we understand why certain foods irritate our digestion or cause reactions in our skin or respiratory tract, we can figure out which other similar foods we may want to also avoid.
Food intolerance can cause a number of symptoms like skin rashes, respiratory issues, digestive problems, and even emotional problems. Food intolerance will normally develop after the body has an immune response to food or because of a deficiency in digestive enzymes.
To determine if you have a food intolerance to lactose, a milk sugar, drink raw dairy to aid in digestion. It is also important to supplement with enzymes and eat fermented dairy since it contains lactose in very small amounts.
Food intolerances that involve the immune system can become cross-reactive, causing the body to react similarly to another food. This is a very common issue in those who are gluten sensitive. Understanding why certain foods cause irritation can help us know which foods to avoid to protect our health.
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