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Food sensitivities are not life-threatening like food allergies, but they can have a significant impact on your quality of life. Most people with food sensitivities don’t initially realize they have one. Instead, they attribute their symptoms to poor diet, illness, or age. Most of the symptoms are mild but put together; they can interfere with your daily routine and make you feel run-down. Your physician can do tests to determine which foods are your triggers, and they may recommend an elimination diet to find out the cause. If you notice any of these signs, talk to your doctor about being tested for a food sensitivity.

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Stomach Cramps

One of the most common symptoms of food sensitivity is stomach cramps. These typically occur after eating and may be very painful. This occurs because your digestive system is not able to properly process the food, leading to pain and cramping. In many cases, these pains may be accompanied by additional symptoms, like sweating or nausea. Over-the-counter medicines can sometimes help. For example, people who are lactose intolerant can take lactase supplements to help them more easily digest dairy products. For most people, the best course of action is to completely avoid the foods that cause their stomach pains once those foods have been identified.

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Bloating and Gas

If you have a food sensitivity, you may experience bloating and gas. This is especially true if you eat a lot of processed foods that contain the substance you are intolerant towards since it can cause major changes in the levels of bacteria within your gut. Everyone has flora in their digestive tract that helps to break down and absorb food, but when you eat large quantities of foods that you can’t easily digest, bad bacteria can build up in your gut, leading to feelings of gassiness and visible bloating. To prevent this discomfort, try utilizing an elimination diet to narrow down what food is causing the problem, and take probiotics to get your flora levels in check.

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Brain Fog

Many of the foods that cause reactions, like gluten, sugar, and dairy, contain substances that metabolize in the body and cause addiction-like reactions in the brain. This means that when you go without them for periods of time, they can cause brain fog and a general lack of clarity, which makes it hard to concentrate or get work done. Some people experience greater reactions than others, so if you are more sensitive to these withdrawal symptoms, they may have a severe impact on your life. Completely cutting the food out of your diet can help to eliminate this issue, although you will have to endure some symptoms in the first few weeks without them.

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Heartburn

Heartburn is not a fun experience, and if you experience it regularly, it could be a sign that you have a food sensitivity. Typically heartburn occurs when stomach acid levels are too low to properly break down foods, causing the food and acid mix to travel into your esophagus and cause a burning sensation. This is commonly caused by certain types of food, like spicy dishes or acidic beverages. To avoid this symptom of food sensitivity, try to avoid eating food that triggers your heartburn, especially before bedtime. You can also limit beverage intake during meals and take digestive aids meant to combat this symptom.

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Acne

It isn’t just teenagers who suffer from acne. Skin blemishes like acne, eczema, and rosacea are often signs of a food intolerance, especially one to dairy, gluten or sugar. Although there are many other causes of skin issues, like oil production and improper cleaning, if you are doing everything right and still find yourself fighting acne blemishes regularly, it may be that your diet is to blame. Food sensitivities can cause itching and rashes as well, although a severe rash or itching may indicate an actual allergy. To find out what is causing your skin problems, try eliminating primary suspects like dairy and gluten for a month to see if it cures your acne or dry skin.

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Fatigue

Eating food that you have a sensitivity towards can cause excessive fatigue and tiredness during the day. If your body struggles to digest the food that you eat, it may not be able to absorb the nutrients and process the wastes from it correctly. This means that you don’t get the energy you normally would from it, even though you still feel full. It also means that it creates inflammation, which can trigger a response from your immune system, causing you to feel tired despite not being sick. If you notice unexplained fatigue, your diet is one of the most common culprits.

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Diarrhea

If you have a food sensitivity, you may experience bouts of diarrhea after eating the food in question. This is because your body is unable to digest the food properly. As a result, you may experience loose, watery bowel movements that occur shortly after eating. If you have diarrhea several times a week, it can lead to dehydration and other complications, so it is important to figure out what is causing your symptom and eliminate it from your diet. Continuing to eat the food will produce the same results since your digestive system cannot absorb the nutrients or process the food properly.

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Joint Pain

At first, joint pain might seem as though it has no connection to your diet. After all, food as to travel a long way to get from your plate to knee or elbow joints. However, when food is difficult to digest, it can cause inflammation all throughout the body. Although you may notice inflammation throughout your body, the joints are typically one of the most painful areas. This is because inflammation can cause bones to rub against each other, causing friction. By removing the foods that cause inflammation from your diet, you can eliminate the pain in your joints in a short period of time.

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Constipation

While many people with food intolerances experience diarrhea, others have the opposite problem: constipation. Constipation usually occurs along with bloating and gas. When someone is constipated, they are unable to have a bowel movement. This can lead to feelings of discomfort and even pain. In people with food sensitivities, constipation occurs due to a breakdown in the digestion of food. The body is unable to process the food you are sensitive to, so instead of absorbing the nutrients and eliminating the waste, the digestive system allows waste to build up in the body. This can alter the composition of gut flora and can increase digestive problems later on.

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Headaches

Another common sign of food sensitivity is a headache. There are many reasons behind this. First, inflammation can trigger pain in the muscles, causing a headache. Other symptoms of food sensitivity, like diarrhea, also have the potential to trigger headaches by causing dehydration. Finally, the same withdrawal-like symptoms that cause brain fog and confusion can lead to head pain. If you notice that you frequently get headaches after eating large quantities of a certain food, you should resolve to eliminate it from your diet. Food sensitivities to things like alcohol, chocolate, and gluten can even trigger debilitating migraine headaches that may require emergency care.

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.