Do you have symptoms that seem to mysteriously come and go, such as brain fog, fatigue, headaches, joint pain, or digestive issues? Or are you generally not feeling your best from day to day, and suspect it might be related to your diet?
If so, there’s a good chance you could be dealing with an undiagnosed food sensitivity. And the food(s) you are sensitive to may be one you would never suspect. In fact, it’s quite possible that a seemingly “harmless” food that you’ve been eating (maybe even daily your whole life!) is to blame for your symptoms!
And yes, food sensitivities can be behind your symptoms even if you are eating a clean, Paleo, or AIP diet!
In this article, I will help clear up your questions about what a food sensitivity is (hint: it is NOT the same as a food allergy!), how to know if you have one, and what to do about it.
The Difference Between A Food Sensitivity and Food Allergy
The first thing I want to note is that food allergies and food sensitivities are two very different things. A food allergy triggers an extreme and potentially life-threatening reaction, known as an IgE-mediated immune response, whenever you are exposed to a certain type of food, such as peanuts or strawberries.1 Most allergic reactions happen within minutes and can range from mild—think hives or stomach cramping—to severe, such as anaphylaxis, which can impair your breathing, cause a dramatic drop in blood pressure, and affect your heart rate.2 Due to the severity of food allergies, you likely already know whether or not you have one.
A food sensitivity, on the other hand, is more difficult to diagnose because it triggers an IgG reaction in your system, which is a delayed immune response. It could take up to 72 hours for symptoms of a food sensitivity to present. The problem with this delayed response is that you likely eat a wide range of foods in the time it takes for symptoms to appear, making it difficult to spot a pattern between the specific foods you eat and your symptoms.
For example, let’s say you’ve been having migraine headaches and digestive issues. You eat scrambled eggs, fresh sliced tomatoes, and a banana every morning for breakfast, and you think maybe it’s something in your breakfast that’s bothering you. So on Monday you decide not to have the scrambled eggs to see if you get the migraines and digestive issues. Later on in the day, the headache and digestive issues are still there, so on Tuesday you decide to try eliminating the tomatoes and your symptoms once again return. Well, it could be that the eggs from two days prior are actually causing your migraines and digestive issues, and it’s just taken this long for the sensitivity symptoms to appear.
Additionally, food sensitivities can produce a wide array of symptoms depending on which area of your body the antibodies attack. So you may not even realize that your skin rashes or the joint pain you suffer from regularly are diet-related.
Common signs of a food sensitivity:
- Brain fog and difficulty concentrating
- Joint pain
- Headaches or migraines
- Rashes and skin irritations
- Stomach aches
- Acid reflux
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Unexplained weight gain or loss
- Behavioral issues (in children)
Fortunately, with a scientific approach, you can take out the guesswork and identify which foods are causing your symptoms.
Identifying Food Sensitivities with an Elimination Diet
The best way to discover your food sensitivities is to complete an elimination diet, which is where you eliminate the most common inflammatory foods to from your diet and then add them back in one at a time to see if you have a reaction. It’s like getting to do your own science experiment on your diet!
I walk you through exactly how to do this (including providing recipes and shopping lists) in The Myers Way® Comprehensive Elimination Diet, and here’s an overview how it works.
First, you’ll go through the elimination phase. One component of this phase is to remove the most toxic foods from your diet for good! These foods are damaging to your health, so even after completing the elimination diet, you won’t be adding these back in.
- Artificial sweeteners
- Additives, preservatives, and dyes
- High-fructose corn syrup
- Processed food, junk food, and fast food
- Trans or hydrogenated fats
The other component of the elimination phase is to remove any inflammatory foods from your diet for two weeks, including:
Most common inflammatory foods:
- Nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and eggplant)
- Gluten-free Grains
Once you’ve removed all of these foods from your diet, you will begin to slowly reintroduce the inflammatory foods one at a time in order to test your body’s response to individual foods.
Specifically, you will eat the food three times a day for three days. The idea here is to temporarily bombard your system with each food to produce a noticeable and definitive response. If a food is causing inflammation for you, I want to give your body the best chance to determine that, rather than letting silent inflammation creep in! You also want to make sure your results are clean and reliable, which is why you’ll test only one food at a time.
Here is the exact reintroduction process:
- Introduce one food at a time
- Eat the reintroduction food three times a day for three days
- Record whether or not you experience any symptoms
- Go back to the program for three days in between each reintroduction food
- If you have a reaction, take the food back out and go back to the program guidelines until you are symptom-free
- If you don’t have a reaction, take the food back out until you have finished the reintroduction phase
- Add all safe foods back in after you’ve completed the reintroduction phase
Note that you can follow this same process with any food if there is a food not listed that you would like to test. For example, if you suspect you are sensitive to avocados you can remove them from your diet for 2 weeks and follow the same reintroduction protocol to gauge your body’s response.
By paying close attention during this phase, you will be able to pinpoint exactly which foods trigger a reaction and what types of symptoms they produce. This can be a very enlightening and empowering process to finally identify what’s been causing your everyday symptoms, and best of all, put an end to them!
IgG Food Sensitivity Blood Test
I always recommend an elimination diet first because your body knows better than any test. However, even a comprehensive elimination diet only tests the most common inflammatory foods. If you are looking to go a step further, food sensitivity testing is a great way to get a more comprehensive analysis of different foods in order to be as informed as possible.
I’ve personally found the best results with a company called Cyrex, which uses a blood test to measure your immune response to 180 foods in both their raw and cooked form. Each food is then given a green, yellow, or red light ranking, so you know which foods are safe, which to watch out for or minimize, and which to avoid completely.
The advantage of doing the blood test in conjunction with following an elimination diet is that it lets you collect as much information as possible about what is going on inside your body. The downside of this type of testing is that it is not always 100% accurate. If your gut is leaky, you may show a reaction to food particles that are escaping into your bloodstream that would not normally trigger an immune response if your gut was healthy. Also, if you’ve already removed a food from your diet for health reasons, you could get a false negative since your body is not currently producing antibodies for that food for the test to detect.
At the end of the day, how you feel is the best indicator. Knowing and really listening to your body is going to be what gets you the best results.
A quick note from our founder-
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In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
See, every year 610,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease. Cancer claims another 584,000...stroke 130,000...Alzheimer's disease nearly 85,000 — and the list goes on.
Truth is, we now know... chronic inflammation is responsible for 7 out of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States! Hundreds of studies and scientific reviews prove it.
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To begin, I apologize for the dark nature of today's email.
However I promise what you'll discover today will be completely worth it.
Imagine a rotting corpse draped over your body from head to toe...
...suffocating tissue, restricting blood flow, damaging joints and infecting your healthy cells.
Shockingly, that nightmare is a reality for most:
64% of women and 74% of men carry too much body fat according to the National Institutes of Health.
It's choking their organs, assaulting their metabolism and sucking their energy dry.
But here's the worst part:
For most, this bodyfat has become "calorie-resistant":
It's completely unaffected by even the strictest diets... and most intense exercises.
This zombie fat is essentially... "dead tissue".
That's important for those who have 10, 25 or 50 or more pounds to lose...
AND for those who aren't technically overweight, but have what's called "pocket obesity"...
...unsightly patches of fat that cling to specific places, like:
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First though, here's the #1 reason why bodyfat becomes calorie-resistant:
It lacks blood flow. This has 3 effects:
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- 3) Metabolic hormones carrying the "burn calories" message don't reach the fat cell...
All this means one thing:
Your body can't transform into energy, the 135,000+ of calories the average person stores as fat!
You become a metabolic zombie: NO energy to think. NO energy to move. NO energy to motivate.
Update: calorie-resistant bodyfat can be now removed...
The discovery of this "metabolic jumper cable" can now reverse this process:
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This "metabolic jumper cable" isn't any exercise, machine or pill.
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I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat.
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d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
P.S. Make sure you check out the next page to get to know the 10 simple moves that will bring vitality back into your life!
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Is Bread Really the Staff of Life… or the Stuff of Disease?
For most us, there are few foods more comforting than bread.
Fluffy biscuits, crusty baguettes, flaky croissants… even a simple slice of toast topped with melted butter can taste like heaven.
And that smell… few scents are quite as pleasant as fresh bread baking in the oven.
But there is a lot of confusion as to where bread fits into a healthy diet.
The Bible practically commands followers to eat it: “Give us this day our daily bread…” The government put it at the base of the food pyramid. And for centuries, it has been called “the staff of life.”
Of course, there are some who disagree…
Well-known cardiologist, Dr. William Davis, calls wheat “the perfect chronic poison.”
And for a poison, we sure eat lots of it…
The average American consumes 55 pounds of wheat flour every year, making refined flour the #1 source of calories in the American Diet – a situation that nutrition expert Chris Kresser describes as, “a public health catastrophe.”
So, what is the truth about bread and wheat?
- Is it the perfect poison… or an essential daily food?
- Is “gluten-free” bread better for you than regular bread?
- And can you still eat bread… while maintaining a lean body and optimal health?
The answers to these questions may surprise you!
Be sure to read #5 – the biggest surprise of all!
Recently, Doctor of Naturopathy, weight-loss expert and best-selling Amazon author Liz Swann Miller, creator of the Red Smoothie Detox Factor, revealed 2 of the secrets to easy, steady weight loss. Secrets the big food corporations do their best to hide from us.
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Now prepare yourself for one of the biggest weight loss secrets there is. A secret that, when you use it properly, can transform your body and your health.
You probably know most of us eat too much processed food. What you may not know is that it’s full of toxic chemicals and substandard, dirt-cheap ingredients designed to make you eat more…and force you to gain weight.
Here’s how it works.
“That stuff is just a lot of calories your body can’t use,” Liz told me, “Some are poison. And all these foods are stripped of the anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that help your body detox. The result? Your body expends huge amounts of calories to eliminate some toxins—the rest, it stores in your fat to protect you. This is why most people are hungry all the time. They’re not getting energy they need.”
“So… what’s going on with me? Why am I losing weight but not going hungry?”
Liz paused, then dropped the bombshell.
Your body is designed to burn fat. You just have to let it.
“What? I thought we were designed to store fat?!?” We were Skyping and I was practically shouting. Then I heard Liz say…
What good is a fat reserve if you can’t burn it?
Liz continued: “You’re drinking smoothies packed with phytonutrients, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that pull toxins out of you like a tractor beam. Allowing your body to burn those toxin-filled fat stores… and releasing tremendous amounts of stored energy.”
So that’s why I’m losing weight without going hungry.
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- Which calories help you lose weight…and which ones help you gain it…
- The “diet” foods…some of them vegetables…that lead to weight gain and diabetes…
- The “low-fat” foods that can dramatically increase your risk of cancer.
- And the superfoods that rescue your body from this assault by detoxing you…
Revitalizing your metabolism so you can Shed pounds as well as toxins, renew your body and reset your internal clock by up to 7 years.
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Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.