How Identifying a Food Sensitivity Can Change Your Health

You’re not feeling well, and you simply can’t figure out why. Perhaps you have gastrointestinal upset or you’re feeling fatigued, and when you try to trace back the cause of these symptoms, you’re stumped. You might want to consider whether a food sensitivity might be interfering with your wellness.

As one part of our thorough functional medicine services here at Magnolia Medical Center, our team offers food sensitivity diagnoses as we understand the widespread impact that this condition can have on your health.

How a food sensitivity influences your health

If you look around at many foods these days, you may notice labels that tout the absence of certain ingredients, such as gluten or lactose. Recognizing that 20% of the population may have a food intolerance, more manufacturers are catering to these food sensitivities by offering alternatives.

Food sensitivities or intolerances shouldn’t be confused with food allergies, which elicit an immediate reaction to the substance. 

With a food sensitivity, you can experience a wide range of sudden, delayed, or ongoing symptoms, such as:

  • Bloating
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Joint pain
  • Nausea
  • Sneezing

In many cases, people simply don’t feel “right,” and can’t pinpoint the exact symptom.

Common food sensitivities

While you can develop a food sensitivity toward most any food, some are more common than others, including:

  • Dairy products
  • Gluten
  • Salicylates — natural chemicals found in plants
  • FODMAPs — fermentable oligo-, di-, and monosaccharides, and polyols (which includes fructose, a monosaccharide)
  • Amines — which contain histamines
  • Sulfites — a preservative

Again, this list is by no means comprehensive, as eggs, yeast, and food colorings are also common drivers of food sensitivity issues.

Identifying food sensitivities

There’s no single test for food sensitivities, which leaves us to do a little digging to find out whether a certain food or compound is negatively affecting you.

First, we thoroughly review your symptoms, which provide us with valuable clues. We may also run some tests to check for any allergies.

Next, we may ask you to keep a diary of your symptoms in relation to what you eat.

Once we have several pieces of the puzzle in place, we can embark on a type of elimination diet. If we feel confident that we know which food you may be responding to, we may start by eliminating that food first to see if your symptoms improve. 

Another approach is to limit your diet considerably, only adding foods as we go to see which ones elicit symptoms.

Whatever approach we take, rest assured, we’ll work with you until we find the underlying cause of your symptoms so that you can feel like yourself again.

To learn more about food sensitivities, contact our office in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, to schedule a consultation.

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