Food Sensitivities Causing that Back Ache?

March 01, 2011

Do some meals leave you feeling fatigued, bloated, or nauseous? Could it be a food sensitivity? Find out here

An increasing amount of research has revealed that food sensitivities are more common and have a wider, more varied impact on our health than previously thought. Some experts estimate that about 40 percent of the general population has some sensitivity to certain foods. In general, food sensitivities are the result of a toxic response to food and are most commonly equated with food allergies, but also include food intolerances which, unlike allergies, do not involve the immune system - but are often more difficult to diagnose. Food sensitivities can develop over time and cause a number of symptoms.

Food sensitivities induce chronic activation of the immune system and gives rise to the inflammatory processes, which include excess production of free radicals and other mediators of inflammation. This type of inflammation has been linked to countless chronic conditions, including; digestive disorders, migraines, obesity, chronic fatigue, ADD, aching joints, skin disorders, arthritis and more.

Symptoms of food sensitivity are not always immediate and can actually occur up to two days after consuming the offending food. The variety and the possible delayed reaction make diagnosing food sensitivities complex and confusing, as well as difficult to study.

So what are some ways in which food sensitivities differ from classic food allergies? True food allergies refer to foods that trigger the immune system to acutely produce the chemical histamine; causing a range of complications from swelling of the throat, restricting breathing - to skin rashes, and other non-life-threatening reactions.

Food sensitivities are much more common than food allergies and thought to be one of the most misdiagnosed medical conditions. Many remain ill for months or years even after visiting a variety of doctors and specialists. When sensitivity is at play, a small amount may not provoke noticeable reaction but a large amount will. It is common to be sensitive to many foods at one time. The more symptoms you have, the more likely it is you have multiple food sensitivities. Adverse reactions to foods and food chemicals can play a role in many common illnesses including irritable bowel syndrome, eczema and hives, joint and muscle pain, arthritis, heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and weight imbalances.

If you suspect you have a food sensitivity ask your doctor to perform the tests needed or to direct you to a specialist who can. You can also visit ALCAT Worldwide for more information on food sensitivities.