What is a food sensitivity?
Well, simply put it is an adverse reaction your body makes to a given food. It is not a result of an IgE antibody reaction as most serious food allergies are, but can do just as much harm in the long run. Typically it is an IgG antibody reaction or an IgA, or other immune response to the troublesome food. Either way, it is an autoimmune reaction to what would otherwise be a harmless substance. If you want it in down to earth terms... it's the body making a big stink over nothin'...or, an overreactin' and frustratin' immune system.
What is it like to have a food sensitivity?
Frustrating, annoying, but manageble. Your body goes through many steps before the offending food is out of your system. Think of it this way: let's say you have a sensitivity to corn. One day you knowingly or unknowingly consume (eat) some corn or food product that contains corn. The first place the food goes is in your mouth, where it may or may not cause discomfort. It might burn, or itch. It may not bother you at all.
Second, it goes down your esophagus where it can cause irritability, swelling, or acid reflux symptoms, usually minor.
Thirdly, it hits your stomach. Here is where most of the problem originated. There is not enough, or to much acid to break down the food proteins properly. Most people take antacids to combat the discomfort this situation brings on, not realizing they are only adding to the problem. Also, there is usually a deficiency in digestive enzymes as well. These are so necessary to properly break down the food into something your body can absorb and use.
Fourthly, it goes into your small intestines where more enzymes are put to work turning the soupy mess into useful energy. Here is where most of the problem is: when the stomach hasn't properly broken down the food particles, and they enter the small intestines this way, they cause inflammation. Your immune system starts freaking out because of these larger than normal proteins that are being absorbed into the blood stream. It sends antibodies to attack and 'destroy' these invaders in order to protect the body from harm.
Fifthly, what's left to this undigested food matter makes its way through the large intestine or colon. Here it causes symptoms of IBS, colitis, and crohns disease. The symptoms from this range from mild to severe. Irregularity, diarrhea, and cramps are often included in the mountainous list of symptoms.
Many people think it ends here. They ate the food, it tore them up, it made its way out of their system, and now it's all over, right? WRONG! The damage done can last for up to 2 weeks depending on the food and your bodies response. The damage it does to your already screwy immune system makes this a monotonous circle. If allowed to continue (if the offending food is still being eaten, and not removed from the diet) adrenal fatigue will result.
What do you do about it? Remove the food from your diet. At least for several months. Take digestive enzymes and probiotics, and get plenty of rest. Eat a diet of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, and high quality meat, nuts and seeds. Juicing is also helpful.
As I said, it is difficult to explain, but definitely deserves an explanation. I will write more on this subject later, for now have a happy, healthy, gluten free day!
~Gluten Free Em~