8 Unusual Symptoms of Food Intolerances

Content by: 180 Nutrition

food intolerences

180 Nutrition: When you think of a food allergy or intolerance, your mind immediately goes to the stomach. Cramps, pain, gas, vomiting and discomfort are all the result of eating a food or food group that your body struggles to process.

But did you know that there are other ways a food intolerance might show up in your body that isn’t related to your stomach?
If you’re suffering from any or all of the following symptoms either on an ongoing, or an occasional basis, it might be time to pay attention to what you’re eating and identify if there’s any correlation.

1. Excess mucus

Excess mucus either in the form of a blocked nose, post nasal drip, blocked sinuses, or a chesty cough might be more than just a seasonal cold. Often, those mucus symptoms are the cause of an ongoing food intolerance. Dairy is a common (but not an exclusive) offender in producing excess mucus because of the proteins found in milk and cheese (namely Casein) which are harder to digest so require more stomach acid to break them down. The surplus acid left over after the food has digested, causes the mucus production.

2. Acne

While a good skin care routine is thought to be the cure for acne, prevention often starts from the inside and works its way out.
The skin is the bodies largest organ, and all toxins in the body are released via your pores. If you eat something that your body doesn’t agree with (again, dairy is a common factor, but not exclusive) the inflammation increases in your body which can result in blocked pores and infection. While antibacterial face washes and antibiotics can have an effect on reducing acne; preventing the condition by not exposing your skin to the allergens in the first place is where the solution may lie.

Unfortunately, because it takes time to digest foods such as dairy and wheat (common allergens) and they’re incredibly prolific in the diet, it’s not always that simple to pinpoint your symptoms as a result of their consumption.

3. Skin complaints

Psoriasis, rashes and itchy skin are common symptoms of a food intolerance or allergy. When you eat food that the body perceives as a threat, your body creates an excess of chemicals to help ward off the danger. The toxicity of those chemicals can cause a rash, itchy skin, and blotches.

4. Headaches

If your body identifies something that it perceives to cause it harm, the immune system kicks in and inflammation in the body increases. This inflammation is one of the leading causes of headaches and migraine and will usually occur quite soon after consumption of the offending food item.

5. Fatigue

If you’re getting enough sleep yet you’re suffering from chronic bouts of fatigue during the day; it could be a symptom of a food intolerance. Your body recognises food it can’t digest as an attacker which puts your immune system into overdrive to try and expel it from your body. This extra energy used up by your immune system makes you feel as though you’re fighting off an infection (the same process) which is why you end up feeling like you have a bug or illness of which a lack of energy is a symptom.

6. Anxiety and depression

Apart from affecting your body, consuming unwelcome foods can also have an adverse impact on your mind. When you eat food that the gut sees as an invader, it causes chronic inflammation as it tries to expel it. This can reduce the feel-good hormone known as serotonin which can lead to feelings of sadness and anxiety.

For those susceptible to Generalised Anxiety Disorder, feeling unwell after eating with no clear reason why can often cause an anxiety or panic attack too.

7. Breathing difficulties

Wheezing, asthma, anaphylactic shock and a heavy chest can all be the result of ingesting foods that your body perceives as foreign objects. When the immune system identifies something as an allergen, it releases an excess of histamines to protect your body. Histamines are chemicals that commonly cause wheezing and difficulty in breathing and can make existing breathing conditions, such as asthma, worse.

8. Treating Food Intolerances

Diagnosing a food intolerance is neither a fast nor a simple process due to the number of other possible factors that could produce the same symptoms. If you have any ongoing, persistent symptoms which you can’t explain, then visit a doctor or healthcare professional who will refer you to an allergist for further testing.

If you do have concerns, keep a food diary for a month making a note of everything you eat and all the symptoms you experience so that an allergist can correlate any possible indicators.

While some allergies and intolerances develop from birth, others come much later in life as the hormones in the body change so a food intolerance or allergy can never be ruled out regardless of your age.

Nourish Your digestive system with natural superfoods

180 Nutrition

This article was curated by 180 Nutrition who were founded in March 2010 with the goal to offer the very best in natural health supplements and resources. The passionate team are aligned with leading health and wellness professionals including nutritionists, naturopaths, functional medicine and exercise specialists. They regularly connect with... Read More

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2 Replies to “8 Unusual Symptoms of Food Intolerances”
Stuart says:

What are your thoughts on Kinesiology Muscle Testing for Allergies? I had it done and was not convinced that holding a glass tube with the essence of each food in one hand, and the person’s ability to pull my arm whilst resisting, was a valid test that my body was allergic to that food or substance. I’m quite open to ideas but it seemed a bit far fetched to me given no skin contact.

Guy Lawrence says:

Hey Stuart… I’m aware of it but never tried it personally so wouldn’t want to comment! Apologies for not being more helpful!

Comments are closed.