Are Hidden Food Allergies Making You Fat?

Are Hidden Food Allergies Making You Fat?

Most people think of food allergies in terms of a severe reaction such as a child going into anaphylactic shock after exposure to peanuts. These types of reactions only account for 5% of people with food allergies. 95% of people with food allergies have "delayed onset" food allergies. These reactions cause symptoms anywhere from 30 minutes up to as much as 3 days after exposure to the offending foods. Many people are consuming allergenic foods several times per day. Each time they consume the food, the immune system goes into frenzy. As symptoms can be delayed up to 72 hours after eating the foods the damage is often repeated over and over, meal after meal! Eventually, inflammation seeps throughout the whole body, establishing an environment ripe for weight gain and chronic disease.

When the lining of the gut is in a constant state of inflammation, small holes open between the tightly woven cells that make up the walls of the gut. This leads to "leaky gut syndrome" which allows bacteria and partially digested food molecules to escape the protected digestive tract and enter the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, the immune system sets forth a full system attack as white blood cells surround the offending particle and systemic inflammation ensues. This inflammation is often not obvious but is like a smoldering fire created by the immune system as it tries to fend off a daily onslaught of food allergies.

Common Symptoms of Hidden Food Allergies Weight gain

Skin conditions Digestive symptoms

IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) Headaches

Joint pain Asthma or other respiratory conditions

Mood disorders ADD/ADHD

Two Ways to Identify Food Allergies

1.Blood testing called ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) can help to identify hidden food allergies. A simple blood test can uncover offending foods which should then be completely eliminated.

2. An elimination diet can be very useful in determining allergenic foods. Eliminating the top inflammatory foods from the diet for a period of 3-6 weeks is difficult but the challenge is worth it. Foods to eliminate include dairy, gluten, soy, corn, eggs, yeast (baker's, brewer's yeast and fermented products like vinegar), citrus fruits, nuts and nightshades (tomatoes, bell peppers, potato and eggplant). After eliminating these foods for a set amount of time, each food is then re-introduced every 3 days to determine the sensitivities.