Sneaky Sensitivities

Posted by Healthful Elements Staff

This post is an installment in our 52 Health Hinges series. Remember, “Small hinges swing big doors.”

Most people are aware of food allergies. You know, where someone has a severe and acute reaction in reaction to any one food. I know someone with a life-threatening allergy to all nuts, and another with an allergy to chicken. It’s scary stuff.

What’s happening in these individuals is an overproduction of Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies in reaction to their allergen.

Anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening reaction, is a typical result if the allergen is accidentally ingested. Clearly, having a food allergy is an acute and serious situation and needs immediate medical attention.

But what about food sensitivities?

A food sensitivity, or food intolerance, is the result of an overproduction of another type of antibody; the IgG antibodies. This is not an acute, emergency situation like that of a food allergy, because it isn’t necessarily producing an immediate or detectable symptom. Rather, it causes silent, hidden inflammation within your body. And remember, inflammation is the foundation for chronic disease.

Food sensitivities can show up in various ways, like:

  • Gas, bloating, diarrhea, and/or constipation
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Congestion or sinus issues
  • Moodiness, depression, or ADHD
  • Joint pain
  • Skin issues, like acne, eczema, or psoriasis
  • Autoimmunity
  • Weight loss resistance
  • And more

The top seven food sensitivities are: corn, eggs, dairy, soy, nuts, wheat/gluten, and nightshades.


Did you see some of your favorite foods on that list?

Does it make you want to punch me in the face for suggesting that you give up your morning latte?

Do you shudder at the thought of never eating a bagel (or pizza, bread, eggs, you name it) again?

I get it.

When I first learned of food sensitivities I chose the “ignorance is bliss” route. I never felt anything after eating any foods (remember, it’s called “silent inflammation” for a reason), so I thought I was off the hook.

Except ignorance was not bliss, because my symptoms were still there.

How about you? Have you considered that some of your favorite foods may be wreaking havoc on your health? (Or do you still have your head underground, ostrich-style? It’s okay…it took me two years to pull my head out of the ground. Keep it in there as long as you need, and join in when you’re ready.)

I’ll talk more about food sensitivities and how to sleuth them out in upcoming posts. And don’t despair! It doesn’t mean that you can never eat that food again. 

But for today, let me leave you with my top two reasons to address your food sensitivities:

  1. They’re causing silent inflammation, putting you at risk of developing chronic, degenerative disease. Inflammation is a normal function that’s useful in helping heal our bodies. But silent inflammation lies just below the level of pain, so it’s undetectable, but contributes to the development of chronic disease like diabetes, cancer, autoimmunity, and more.
  2. They’re distracting your immune system. You want your immune system at the ready to keep you healthy and well. If your IgG antibodies are being activated to deal with food sensitivities, your immune system may be overtaxed and distracted from its main purpose of zapping pathogens, bacteria, and viruses that enter your system.


Posted by Healthful Elements Staff

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