Without a doubt food sensitivities are on the rise,
with more and more people suffering a wide variety of adverse effects when they eat, or are exposed to, specific foods or food groups. And even when they don’t actually have a definite reaction, many people are choosing to eliminate certain foods from their diets as a preventative measure for better health.
Encouragingly modern medicine is now also taking this aspect of health more seriously, looking to using controls on what we eat, or avoidance of certain things altogether, as a means of managing certain conditions, which has to be better than purely medicating.
So because of this food sensitivities are, in many ways, being identified as the cause of many conditions, or certainly a significant contributing factor.
But is this really the case?
Is using food elimination actually only really addressing symptoms rather than dealing with the actual underlying cause if ill health?
There are a number of people with a genuine allergy to specific food types; nuts, dairy, gluten, for example. But in reality this represents a very small proportion of all of those who experience problems. Many are, in fact, experiencing food sensitivities rather than intolerances, and in these cases the sensitivities they have are, in fact, a symptom – so an indication from the body of an underlying problem rather than the problem itself.
For most of us the body doesn’t actually have a problem with the foods we eat in themselves.
Our systems don’t suddenly randomly decide that they don’t like potatoes, milk or tea, for example. Issues lie with what the body does with that food – how it is digested, metabolised and stored in the body, for instance. And problems that arise relate to the body’s ability to self-regulate, to keep a healthy balance, and carry out its normal day to day functions.
Now don’t get me wrong! If you are having problems with certain foods, and eating them triggers nasty and unpleasant symptoms, then of course it makes sense to avoid them.
You don’t want to put additional pressure on a system which is obviously already struggling in some way. But what is also important is that you don’t see avoidance of those problem foods as a ‘cure’ or solution to the issue, but instead you look deeper to try and find out why your system is reacting in the way it is – what is the underlying cause. Remember that symptoms are your body’s way of letting you know that it’s lost self-regulation and it needs you to do something. By ignoring a potential deeper issue it may just start shouting louder!
So what’s your body telling you when you eat certain things that don’t seem to ‘agree’ with you?
Is it really just the food or a sign of a deeper problem, and might it be worthwhile finding out what that problem could be?