Food Sensitivity Symptoms to Watch Out For
Food sensitivities are a growing problem in the United States. A food sensitivity is an abnormal response to a food that your body mistakes for something harmful. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and can include digestive problems, headaches, skin rashes, and respiratory problems. Common symptoms of a food sensitivity include:
- Digestive problems: abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, gas
- Headaches: migraines, tension headaches
- Skin problems: hives, eczema, rashes
- Respiratory problems: congestion, wheezing, difficulty breathing
- Fatigue or insomnia
The symptoms of a food sensitivity can vary depending on the person and the offending food. Some people may have only mild symptoms, while others may have severe reactions. Symptom onset can also vary, from immediately after eating the offending food to hours or even days later.
What Causes a Food Sensitivity?
A food sensitivity occurs when your body reacts to a food that it mistakes for something harmful. When you eat the offending food, your immune system releases antibodies to fight off what it perceives as a threat. This can cause inflammation and other problems throughout your body.
Certain foods are more likely to cause sensitivities than others. The most common offenders are dairy products, gluten, soy, eggs, and nuts. But any food can potentially cause a reaction. If you think you might have a food sensitivity, see your doctor for tests to determine which foods are causing problems for you. There is no cure for food sensitivities, but by identifying and avoiding the offending foods, you can minimize or eliminate your symptoms.
What’s the Difference Between a Food Sensitivity and a Food Allergy?
While food allergies are more well-known, sensitivities to certain foods are actually much more common. Here’s what you need to know about the difference between the two, plus symptoms to watch out for.
A food sensitivity is an abnormal response to a food that your body mistakes for something harmful. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and can include digestive problems, headaches, skin rashes, and respiratory problems.
A food allergy, on the other hand, occurs when your body has a specific and measurable immune reaction to a particular food protein. When you eat the offending food, your immune system releases antibodies to fight off what it perceives as a threat. This can cause anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening reaction that affects multiple systems in the body. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include:
- Swelling of the face, throat, or tongue
- Difficulty breathing
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Drop in blood pressure
- Loss of consciousness
The most common food allergy offenders are peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, shellfish, fish, milk, soy, and wheat. If you have a food allergy, even a small amount of the offending food can trigger a reaction. That’s why it’s so important to avoid foods that you’re allergic to and to carry emergency medication with you at all times in case of accidental exposure.
How to Test for a Food Sensitivity
Immunoglobulin (IgG) testing can be used to help identify which foods may be causing a problem for you. IgG testing is a blood test that measures your body’s reaction to specific foods. IgG tests are generally considered to be accurate for food sensitivity testing. A CLIA-accredited lab or trusted physician can interpret your test results and help you make decisions about which foods to avoid.
If you think you might have a food sensitivity, don’t wait to get tested. With the help of IgG tests such as Haled’s 96- and 208-Panel Food Sensitivity Tests, you can quickly identify offending foods and make the necessary changes to your diet to feel your best.
Check out Haled’s Food Sensitivity and Allergy Tests here.
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