5 Signs you might have food intolerance without knowing
About 9 months ago and after struggling for almost two years, I found out that I suffer from food intolerance. It took many doctor visits, sleepless nights, chronic pains and one IGG blood test later to find out that my body could not anymore handle Eggs, Dairy, Gluten, Almonds, yeast, cocoa, amongst others.
Needless to say, these were all a staple of my healthy diet back then. And although it was very tough to give up everything on my "off-limits food list", the result has been life-changing for me. I now not only feel great, but my skin is clearer, I feel lighter, my weight has stabilized and I no longer suffer after every meal with pain.
And so, If you are regularly suffering from strange symptoms that you think might be triggered by certain foods or beverages, the below signs based on my personal experience will help you find out if you have any food intolerance before its too late.
First, What is a Food intolerance (or food sensitivity)?
A food intolerance — or a food sensitivity — occurs when a person has difficulty digesting a particular food. This can lead to symptoms including intestinal gas, abdominal pain or diarrhea. However, its important to note that food intolerance is different from food allergy.
Although they might be under the same "umbrella", what separates them is the body's reaction to it. So for example is someone is intolerant of to a certain food, their body would have a difficult time digesting it. However, if someone is allergic to that same food, it could be life-threatening due to a reaction called anaphylaxis.
If you dont have any food allergies, or have not been eating the food you are allergic too but still not feeling good, here is how to find out.
Sign#1 You are constantly bloated
The first (and worst) sign for me was my constant bloating. I was actually following the #leanin15 diet and eating on plan, and yet, I couldn't help but feel tired and bloated the entire time. The more I stuck to the plan, the worst it got and for good reason. As the plan focused on eggs, dairy, lettuce and occasional gluten (my list of food to avoid now), my body struggled with it. Pay attention to the bloat and see if it comes after specific food (Like drinking your morning latte or your pasta dinner). This will be your first sign.
Sign#2 You have joint and muscle aches
This is a surprising one but for me, everytime I eat my off-limits food, I end up with a very bad back pain. Bad enough that everytime I actually excuse myself to go home and sleep. If you noticed that you have joint or muscle pain that is too strong to bear, and is worsened after eating, it could be another sign of food sensitivity.
Sign#3 You're not losing weight, or you are actually gaining at a rapid pace
This for me was my main sign. For months I was following extensive diets, exercising and really being conscious about what I eat, and my weight loss pace was tooooo slow. I kept chalking it to turning 30 and my desk job but deep down I knew something wasnt right. On the other hand, around the holidays period when I let go for a couple of days, I found myself gaining almost 2-3 kilos per week! Turns out this is usually a strong sign of food intolerance as your body struggles to digest this food and so its stored in your gut for weeks, resulting in rapid weight gain.
Sign#4 Your digestion is all over the place
If you are bloated, chances are your digestion will not be working properly. Either you will be struggling with diarrhea, gas, constipation or even stomach rumbling. This, however, can be a result of many other factors, so it's really recommended that you check with a doctor who will be able to illuminate other gut diseases (For ex. IBS) before checking for food sensitivity.
Sign #5 You are constantly low on energy
This is another sign that could be due to many other factors (Stress, lack of sleep, proper nutrition) but if you believe you are eating well, drinking enough water and getting enough sleep but still having low energy or sleepy especially after eating your meals, then you could be struggling with digesting some food.
If any of the above signs seem familiar to you, the first step is to try to pinpoint the food(s) causing the problem. A food dairy, including notes on when your symptoms flair, is very helpful in narrowing it down. Then, as with any other medical condition, seek guidance from your doctor even if you aren't completely certain it's a food intolerance. When it comes to your body, it’s better to be safe than sorry!