Food sensitivities are often portrayed as dramatic lip-swelling after eating shellfish or choking after consuming peanuts. While these are very real and very lethal reactions to food allergies, not all autoimmune responses are that immediate.
In fact, most food allergies don’t “express” themselves in an obvious way at all. Instead, food sensitivities result in delayed immune reactions or IgG.
What is IgG?
Immunoglobulin G or IgG, is an antibody found in lymph fluids. When it comes to the body fighting bacterial or viral infections, IgG is front row calvary. The body releases IgG as its first line of defense to fight a new infection.
When it comes to responding to food sensitivities, IgG creates a delayed reaction. Because of the immediate response of the immune system, if something you’re sensitive or allergic to is consumed, there won’t be an immediate swelling, itching, or redness. Instead, symptoms will develop slowly and over time.
Due to its untimely nature, these symptoms are broad and become a challenge to pinpoint and recognize as a food sensitivity or food allergy. Until now. Here are a few delayed signs your body is telling you to pursue allergy testing.
1. Stomach Pain and Bloating
Even if it takes 30 minutes or 72+ hours, stomach pain and bloating are nearly a guaranteed symptom of food sensitivity when paired with the other symptoms.
In the event that you’re eating something you’re sensitive to, the body doesn’t contain enough or any of the enzymes required to digest and absorb the food. Gas will get built up in the small intestine as the bacteria (that would normally be broken down by enzymes) gets backed up.
The idea of food literally rotting in the intestine is an uncomfortable and unpleasant reality for many Americans. Food sensitivities and intolerance that result in stomach pain and bloating can include complex carbohydrates like vegetables, legumes, grains, cereals, nuts, and seeds.
Dairy, gluten, amines, fructose, fermented foods, and sulfites can all create the same or a similar reaction.
2. Migraine Headaches
Few people would suspect that food could be what causes migraine headaches. A tip to consider the next time you feel a migraine setting in is noting what you’ve eaten.
The caffeine in coffee, the sulfites in wine, tyramine in aged cheese or bananas, soy and MSG are all common ingredients that have shown to induce migraine headaches. These foods are very unsuspecting culprits to many lost hours of sleep, concentration, health, and quality of life.
Tyramine occurs naturally in foods including:
- Aged cheeses
- Smoked fish
- Cured meat
- Some types of beer
- Fermented foods
3. Constipation and/or Diarrhea
Constipation and/or diarrhea can occur if the body is sensitive, intolerant, or allergic to any food category but most commonly occurs because your body is attacking an ingredient or food that is mistakes as harmful or toxic.
As a result, your body will try to force it out of you by any means possible. Or, it halts your system entirely.
Unfortunately, the initial reaction to getting sick like this after eating is the assumption that something was spoiled or had sanitary issues. But they may, in fact, be a vicious way of your body begging you to quit eating certain foods or ingredients.
4. Abdominal Pain
Not quite vomiting and not yet diarrhea, abdominal pain induced by food sensitivity is a dull ache that comes in waves or just sits there.
A similar symptom to other abdominal issues or an “upset stomach”, abdominal pain is yet another by-product of food intolerances that easily flies under the radar. Avoid resorting to treating the symptom and never getting to the root of the issue. The first step to treating the problem is through a reliable food sensitivity diagnosis.
Ever wonder why you have trouble falling asleep? Wonder why you have random onsets of panic, stress, and anxiety? Coffee and energy drinks have become so mainstream and popular that no one sees them as a threat.
Caffeine sensitivity may not make you sick or upset your stomach, but it can cause nervousness, jitters, rapid heartbeat, insomnia, and restlessness. I bet you’d never guess it could be due to your ritual coffee breaks
6. Gut Inflammation (Colitis)
Salicylates are natural chemicals fruits, vegetables, teas, coffee, spices, nuts, and honey create to protect themselves from insects. I know what you’re thinking. Wait. Plants too!? And unfortunately, yes. There’s no denying the health benefits of these important food groups.
However, if you find yourself walking away from a healthy meal feeling sick and uncomfortable, that salad may be doing you more harm than good.
It’s impossible to eliminate salicylates from your diet and you wouldn’t want to. But once you’ve tested and confirmed your food sensitivity, it’s important to limit your intake to avoid more severe symptoms.
Unfortunately, salicylates aren’t the only food to cause gut inflammation. Dairy, gluten, eggs, fish are other primary culprits. Unidentified and untreated, colitis can cause ulcers to appear on the lining of the stomach.
As severe as it is, gut inflammation is a common reaction to food sensitivities. According to this study, 52% of individuals with food sensitivities experienced this symptom.
7. Other Food Sensitivity Symptoms
Unfortunately, I wish we could stop at stomach pain and bloating but the list of symptoms goes on. Other food sensitivity symptoms include:
- Joint pain
- Skin rash
- Depression or anxiety
- A runny nose
- Flushing of the skin
- Stomach cramps
- Low Blood Pressure
Are you ignoring your symptoms? Self-diagnosing and getting it all wrong? EverlyWell wants you to put an end to the mystery of your symptoms and let you enjoy food again. This at-home test measures your body’s immune response to 96 foods to help provide guidance on what foods may be the best to choose for an elimination diet.
Do I Have Food Sensitivities?
According to Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), over 15 million Americans suffer from food sensitivities, including 6 million under the age of 18.
Thirty percent of these 15 million have multiple food sensitivities. However, these only accounts for those who have been diagnosed. Are you one of many suffering in silence?
Don’t Ignore Your Symptoms
By not identifying your food sensitivities, you put yourself at even greater risk of autoimmune attack. Ultimately, these reoccurring symptoms will not only be uncomfortable but will create inflammation and inflammation weakens your autoimmune response even further.
Along with your at-home food allergy testing kit, keep a food diary. In your diary write three things: What you ate, when you ate it, and how you felt afterward. In combination with an elimination diet (remove and test foods) along with your allergy test results, you’ll be able to live and eat symptom-free.