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What is a food intolerance?

Today, I thought I'd write a bit about food intolerances. I think as a general population, we're pretty familiar with what a food allergy is. Maybe you get an image of someone eating a strawberry and immediately breaking out into hives. Or maybe you know someone who has to carry around an Epic Pen in case they accidentally ingest something they're allergic to.

Food intolerances, on the other hand, tend to exhibit a more delayed response. In fact for some, symptoms might not show up until days after the problem food has been consumed. So what exactly is happening in the body?

When someone has a food intolerance, there is a glitch somewhere in their digestive system. Maybe they don't have the right enzymes needed to digest certain foods. Or maybe they have a "leaky gut" - which is actual holes in the lining of the intestines that allow food particles into the body where they shouldn't be, causing a whole host of problems.

What foods are people intolerant of? Gluten and dairy are common foods for people to have intolerances to, but really any food can cause an intolerance. Even "healthy" foods, such as blueberries, strawberries and broccoli can cause adverse reactions in certain people.

Many people live with food sensitivities for years without even realizing that's what's causing their symptoms. Symptoms can range in severity and be anything from headaches, anxiety and depression to gas, bloating and constipation. Dark circles under the eyes is an especially telling sign of a food allergy in children.

The good news? Food intolerances can be managed and in some instances reversed. Think you or your child has a food intolerance? Contact me for a free consulation!

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