Dying From the Inside
Why what you eat & drink is affecting your health…
…and what to do about it!
Sometimes you have just got to be blunt.
The majority of people consume too many substances that are devoid of any nutrients useful to the body and it is having a serious effect on their health.
Things such as take away Food, drinks loaded with too much sugar and stimulants, even food that has 30 plus unidentified and unpronounceable ingredients, they are all detrimental to the body.
Simply put, all of this is killing us from the inside, you just don’t know it…yet.
You see so many people are ignorant of their health, they have lost the ability to listen to their bodies. They ignore all the signals and signs that certain things they are eating or drinking are having an adverse effect to their long term health. These signals are just dismissed out of hand, a worrying fact I am sure you’ll agree.
So what’s the deal?
And why should it matter to you?
Well these signs and signals could well be down to one thing that I see on a daily basis…
I am sure looking good AND feeling good are something you crave. Whether it is getting on the matt to train or compete or having boundless energy to accomplish the task, feeling good is important to you. Food sensitivities can be very debilitating for people, especially if they participate in sports. They can rob you of energy and make you feel like there is something missing.
If you feel like that in general or when you are training then listen up, I am going to share with you how to feel better, have more energy and vitality to perform at your best.
What are Food Sensitivities?
FACT: What we consume has a direct effect on how we perform, both physically and mentally. If you are not careful about what you eat and drink it can have a detrimental effect to your health.
So let me ask you…
Do you always feel full of energy every moment of every day?
Do you wake up in the morning buzzing, jumping out of bed ready to make the most of your day with a smile on your face?
If the answer is yes? Then well played!
If not, then join the 1000’s of people every day who are affected in some way by food sensitivities, intolerances and allergies.
You might be thinking what are food sensitivities and why do they matter?
Well funny you should be thinking that, I am going to tell you.
According to Theron Randolph, known as the father of environmental medicine and clinical ecology, approximately 90% of people have some kind of allergy, intolerance or sensitivity. And 9 out of 10 of those people don’t realise that their symptoms are related to the food they’re eating every day. They just dismiss it as the way it is, never thinking that they could be free of it.
Vary Your Diet Regularly
You are commonly sensitive to things that you eat all of the time, which is why you should vary your diet regularly.
Food sensitivities can cause serious difficulties with your health and should not be ignored. I have heard from many people being told that it is all in their head or it was hormonal such as the menopause in women. Men are told to man up and just get on with it. The younger generation have been told that they are just lazy. Older people are told that, well, they are old and shouldn’t expect vibrant health in their “declining years”.
I do not agree at all and you shouldn’t accept these claims just because it didn’t tick the boxes from medical science.
If you are plagued by nagging health issues that have gone unexplained by Doctors, it simply means it is beyond their remit. Doctors know a lot about their chosen field, which is great. But when health problems fall outside of that (and they do), then other health practitioners should be consulted.
YOUR HEALTH IS YOUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY!
It is quite possible that food sensitivities are responsible for how you feel and could be causing serious difficulties with your health, so find someone to help who can investigate with great care.
For example, the most effective method for allergy testing is to eliminate common allergy causing foods from your diet completely for at least two weeks. Once you have a clean slate, you can reintroduce certain foods into your diet to see if your symptoms return. The problem with standard allergy tests is that they aren’t precise enough to detect the lower levels of food substances that could be causing your symptoms.
So what is the difference between Food Sensitivities, intolerances and Allergies?
Let’s explore that a bit further shall we?
While food allergies are an immediate, potentially life-threatening immune response to food proteins, intolerances and sensitivities trigger more subtle symptoms that may take hours or days to appear. For example, symptoms you may be tempted to dismiss such as bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhoea etc are not normal at all.
Food allergies exist when an individual’s immune system reacts negatively to a food or liquid causing swelling, difficulty in breathing, wheezing, itching, rashes, or flushing of the skin soon after eating a food.
The symptoms of food allergies normally causes a quick and obvious reaction and are potentially life threatening.
Most toxic responses to food are a result of food intolerance rather than food allergy. A food intolerance response is defined as any reproducible, toxic response to food that does not involve the immune system. Food intolerance responses can occur for many different reasons. Usually the body has difficulty breaking down or digesting certain foods causing an intolerance response. Lactose intolerance (dairy) is an example of this type of toxic food response. Food intolerances can also be caused by food additives such as sulphites which are added to processed foods to extend their shelf life.
There are many types of food intolerances. The most common are intolerances are:
- Lactose in dairy
- Preservatives and Additives
- Gluten in wheat
Food sensitivities exist when an individual experiences difficulty in the digestion of specific foods or certain groupings of foods. Unlike food allergies, which have an obvious effect and can be very dangerous or food intolerances, where the symptoms are reproducible for a certain food, the symptoms of food sensitivities are not as immediate or clear on the cause.
Symptoms of food sensitivities:
The symptoms associated with food sensitivities are very broad. The following are some of the major symptoms:
Dark circles under your eyes, Runny Nose, sour taste after eating (usually next morning on waking), brain fog, itchy eyes, itchy skin, Fatigue, lethargy, needing to sleep after you have eaten; mood swings, depression, restlessness, headaches, migraines, joint pain, gas, bloating, bad breath, stubborn weight loss and indigestion.
Illnesses associated with food sensitivities:
Many illnesses experienced by children and adults are associated today with food sensitivities. There are more serious medical conditions where food sensitivities can play and primary or secondary role, which can include:
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis, functional diarrhoea, Migraine, ADD/ADHD, Depression, Insomnia, Fibromyalgia, Inflammatory Arthritis, Atopic dermatitis, Psoriasis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Obesity, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
So you see, it is really important to get checked out.
So what should you look out for if there is no immediate response to what you eat? Well there are some common things to be aware of which may indicate sensitivities to foods. These include
- Trying different diets frequently but still not losing weight
- You feel puffy and bloated or have swollen joints
- You just don’t feel right
- You feel like hay fever lasts all year.
- Moodiness Brain fog and headaches
- Joint pain
- Acne, Eczema & Dark Circles
- Gas Bloating and Constipation
Common Causes of Food Sensitivities
Food sensitivities can be caused by many different factors. The following are a few of the major causes creating this difficulty with your health, vitality and energy.
1. The Food industry
The food industry is massive, from production to distribution and sale, it truly is a global trillion dollar market. Foods are often picked before they are ripe and stored in chemical gas warehouses until needed to prevent ripening. Also chemicals banned in our country are often not in the country of origin, the result being that the food we consume contain chemicals and preservatives we know are harmful to your health.
2. Food Additives and Preservatives
Additives are used to maintain that “fresh look” of the food we buy. This means from how long it sits on supermarket shelves to enhancing the flavour of the food, food additives involve the use of over 5000 chemicals and are used for many reasons including colouring; flavouring; preserving; thickening; emulsifying; and bleaching. Food additives were also linked by Dr Benjamin Feingold to learning and behavioural difficulties in children. Nevertheless, the food industry has continued to increase the types and quantity of food additives used in the manufacture of food today. Chemicals are poisonous to our bodies, affect the chemical systems in our bodies which in turn creates food sensitivities and health issues.
3. Parasitic Infections and Candida
Now you may not want to hear this but many people today can be seriously infected with different parasites, whether that is infections caused by bacteria and viruses or infections caused by parasites. They are all foreign invaders that can wreak havoc in our bodies. These affect the functioning of the immune system and weaken it since it tries so hard to eradicate these infections.
What makes these symptoms worse are the antibiotics people take to eliminate them. These drugs MAY get rid of the infections, but they do not discriminate between healthy good bacteria or bad bacteria. It kills everything. Our gut relies on a balance of good to bad bacteria and since antibiotics kill everything, it leaves space for another problem, candida.
Candida is a fungal infection and can spread throughout the body, into your joints, muscles, and the membrane in and around your brain, affecting you physically, mentally and intellectually, and emotionally.
Infections and candida create chemical imbalances leaving your vulnerable to infectious bacteria resulting in common colds and viruses to suffering more uncommon types of symptoms and ailments nobody seems able to diagnose, often feeling so fatigued and listless, with swollen and painful joints and muscles.
The presence of parasites and their toxins changes the chemical system within your body so you can have a chemical imbalance. Then you begin to have difficulty digesting many different foods as well as absorbing the nutrients from the food you are eating. This is why food sensitivities are often challenging to diagnose. They increase in types and intensity and you experience poorer and poorer health.
4. Metal & Chemical Poisons
From the mercury from dentistry fillings and vaccinations to the heavy metals that come through our domestic water pipes, people are quite sensitive to metals and chemicals and as a result can hold metal and chemical poisons in their bodies for many years. These poisons unbalance the inner working of your body and create serious food sensitivities, or often a difficulty digesting many foods.
5. The Mind / Body Link
Why is the mind and body one of the causes of food sensitivities? Simple. What we eat creates the hormones our body uses that affects our behaviours. Everything is linked. So the food we eat is also linked to our emotions too.
Medical science has now identified different types of chemical reactions your body creates when you are happy or sad. Essentially your endocrine system responds very differently depending on whether your emotions are loving or fearful. Whether you laugh and smile or get upset or cry, it is known that fearful thoughts create physical and mental stressors to the body and as a result deliver a hormonal cascade which affects how we behave. Our stress hormone cortisol for example can be very damaging over time if it is constantly released into our bloodstream.
Problems occur when we don’t allow our emotions out. If you ignore them, they can manifest in other ways. It is a proven fact that not addressing our emotions and keeping them buried affects our body chemistry, too many people ignore their own feelings and look to use other means to bury them. These emotional blocks created by our emotions cause imbalances and can lead to food sensitivities, as well as many other illnesses.
Common Food Issues
Everyone’s immune system is different and just because someone is allergic or sensitive to a food, doesn’t mean everyone is. More often there is one food that can cause the problem, but others simply add to the issues. Find the cause and eliminate all the symptoms.
The most main culprits that are associated with the most common food sensitivities are:
Wheat gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, shellfish, tree nuts
However other foods that are known to create sensitivities include bananas, peanuts, yogurt, kidney beans, brewers and baker’s yeast. If you are allergic to one or more of these foods, it will be a bit of an adjustment (because changing anything seems overwhelming at first) but it is absolutely possible that you can eliminate one or more of these from your diet without ever missing them.
How Can I Develop A Healthy Diet?
- Avoid foods to which you are intolerant and/or allergic.First and foremost, get in tune with your own body and find out what foods are toxic to your body. Food sensitivities are very individual. You can be sensitive to a food that no one else you know finds problematic. Many healthcare practitioners are knowledgeable about food sensitivities. If you are experiencing significant symptoms, you should consider talking with a reputable healthcare practitioner about your diet and suspected food sensitivities.
- Eat organically grown foods whenever possible.If food sensitivities are suspected then you should avoid foods with pesticides, artificial colourings and preservatives. Synthetic food additives are notorious for causing food sensitivities. Avoiding these artificial additives is essential in developing a diet that promotes your optimal health.
- Support healthy digestion. It is important to have a fully functional digestive system. From the saliva in your mouth, to stomach acid and enzymes further down the chain, every step has to do its job. After chewing, the food’s next stop is the stomach, where an adequate amount of stomach acid is needed for the breakdown of proteins. Without proper breakdown, all proteins are potential toxic food molecules, which can cause sensitivities. Low stomach acid is common and various factors can inhibit sufficient stomach acid production including the pathogenic bacteria, and frequent use of antacids. If necessary, these digestive factors can be replaced with appropriate supplementation. Digestive enzyme support can also be obtained from fresh pineapple or papaya, which contain the enzyme bromelain, and other fresh vegetables and herbs.
- Support the gastrointestinal barrier.The gastrointestinal cell wall is the barrier between potentially toxic food molecules and the inside of your body; therefore, the integrity of this barrier is vital to your health. Support for the cell barrier in the gastrointestinal tract is very important, especially in the stomach. The mucus layer is one way the stomach protects itself against the damaging effects of stomach acid. Alcohol, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., aspirin or ibruprophen), and pathogenic bacteria can all reduce the mucous layer, leading to lesions in the stomach. This must be protected. Choline provides nutritional support for a healthy mucous layer and is found in vegetables such as cauliflower, lettuce and also eggs. Some foods also help combat or protect against the damage of pathogenic bacteria; these include, carotenoids found in vegetables, and vitamin C, found in many fruits and vegetables.
We are all entitled to vibrant health: mentally, physically and emotionally. With a little detective work and experimentation, you can easily find out what foods are not supportive to you, and eliminate them to start improving your health immediately.
Food sensitivities can be a minefield. The majority of people don’t even realise that they are effected. However, if you just tune into your body and listen to what it is saying, eventually you will be able to be more intuitive with your nutrition because you’ll learn the subtleties of how foods affect you.
If you don’t “feel” right, or if you have unexplained symptoms then seek help. If the medical profession cannot explain it that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. You know when you don’t feel right, so start tuning into your body and seek out a health practitioner, such as a naturopath or nutritionist who can help you.
Truly knowing and understanding how your own body functions best is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself because it’s the most empowering way to achieve lasting health and well-being.
As always it is your call.
To your strength and Health
- 7 signs you have a food sensitivity – http://www.prevention.com/food/food-remedies/do-you-have-food-sensitivity
- Differentiating food allergies from food intolerances – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21792544
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