Food allergies have always been well-recognized because a concrete diagnosis can be made through the use of blood tests for the presence of IgE antibodies, food sensitivities fall into a greyer layer. But now researchers are beginning to further validate sensitivity to food. This means, when you eat something an unexpected symptoms from certain foods rise shortly after consumption.
What they're discovering is that the best way to identify a sensitivity to certain foods is through the use of an elimination diet, followed by a challenge phase where food is re-introduced. From here you can assess for symptoms. This process can be time-consuming versus a simple blood test which detects food allergies but it's essential to make the connection, and an accurate one to identify your particular sensitivities so you can reduce your risk of eating an overly restrictive diet.
This is where the value of a food diary comes in and tracking other factors such as weather, mood, exercise and menstrual cycles. All of these as well as what you eat can affect your gasto-intestinal functioning and digestive system.
It's important to understand that food sensitivities can be difficult to narrow down and are rarely life-threatening.
Common foods that cause sensitivity:
- Dairy: Lactose intolerance is a root cause. Another cause stems from a protein called casein may be hard to digest and can result in allergy reactions digestive system inflammation.
- Peanuts: Peanuts are not true nuts, but actually are classified as legumes. Signs of a peanut sensitivity include respiratory or digestive symptoms.
- Shellfish: Sensitivity stems from the proteins found in this seafood group.
- Gluten: Some people are extra sensitive or even allergic to gluten. This is called Celiac Disease. Some evidence does connect irritable bowel syndrome to a gluten sensitivity.
- Beef, pork and lamb