When Food You're keen on Doesn't Like You
Before my doctoral program - which required me to restrict to a specialty (sugar addiction) - I'd studied food intolerances.
Many books about the subject start with food reactions, then transfer to chemicals in our homes and offices, gasoline fumes, plus much more. Important as those things are, they are certainly not about nutrition.
My interest in food intolerances has always been their link with addiction.
Recently, I "attended" a webinar by J.J. Virgin, whose first book (In my opinion) was on food intolerances and the ways to eliminate those foods to further improve health and lose weight. The webinar re-sparked my desire for food intolerance and addiction.
Common triggers for food intolerance include chocolate, corn, soy, wheat (or other gluten-containing foods), peanuts, dairy, eggs, sugars and other sweeteners.
What Does Food Intolerance Look Like?
Signs and symptoms can include headache/migraine, joint pains, fatigue, sleepiness, tremors, depression, irritability, stomach pains, bloating, and others.
Because digested food moves over the bloodstream, the effects of the intolerance can show up almost anywhere in the body.
Food reactions might be the same every time your meals are eaten, such as a rash.
Or reactions might vary - say, a non-itchy rash once and itching without rash another time.
The reaction might be cumulative. What about a small portion of the food causes no reaction, but a portion eaten again that day, or several days in a row, does causes one.
Addiction is an additional possible reaction that will develop over time.
What Causes Food Intolerances?
The causes are lots of, but let's keep it simplistic.
One cause is really a genetic intolerance or a tendency toward it.
We are able to become intolerant to some food we eat often or perhaps in large quantities. Overeating a food burns enzymes specific to digesting those meals, so complete digestion is prevented.
That may result in improperly digested food particles moving with the digestive tract and bloodstream, triggering an immune reaction. The undigested, unabsorbed food provides no nutrients.
We are able to also become reactive with a food we eat in addition to another triggering food. So the list of triggering foods may grow, resulting eventually in malnutrition.
Food Reactions May Change After a while
The guiding principle of the human body is homeostasis.
When a trigger food is first eaten, the body attempts to restore homeostasis by ridding itself from the offending food. It prevents absorption by attaching antibodies to the partially digested food while it's within the intestine. That might successfully remove the food before it can pass into the bloodstream.
If your food does enter the bloodstream, it can trigger inflammation. The acute reaction might be short, and the body may come back to homeostasis quickly.
If someone is constantly on the eat a triggering food after a while, the body undergoes an adaptation. The defense mechanisms may become slower (or fewer able) to respond. The reaction may now manifest slowly than the acute reaction. Signs or symptoms may last longer, sometimes hours or days.
How do That Become a Food Addiction?
The immune reaction to a triggering food involves a launch of stress hormones, opioids, such as endorphins (beta-endorphin), and chemical mediators like serotonin. The mixture can produce temporary symptom relief through the analgesic action of endorphin and serotonin, plus mood elevation along with a feeling of relaxation.
In that way, eating the triggering food might make someone feel better presently and even think your meals are beneficial.
Endorphin release typically involves a concomitant launch of dopamine. The combination of those two brain chemicals and serotonin forms what I've always referred to as the "addictive package." Avoiding the food could lead to withdrawal.
After long-term use, someone may take in the triggering food to not experience the pleasure in the chemical "high," but to relieve the distress and withdrawal without them. It's almost textbook addiction.
What makes Intolerance/Addiction Affect Health?
As someone enslaved by a triggering food is constantly eat more of it, the disease fighting capability must keep adapting, and could become hyper-sensitized, reacting to more and more foods - especially those eaten together with reaction-triggering foods, or with sugar.
The ceaseless demand on the disease fighting capability can lead to immune exhaustion and degenerative reactions, according to genetic weaknesses. The twelve signs and symptoms as listed above are just a start.
Sugar could be a major player on this because it causes inflammation within the body and makes it weaker to food reactions. Eating triggering foods plus sugar causes it to be even more likely that new reactions will occur.
From the a book by Nancy Appleton, who suggested that eggs might trigger reactions in numerous people because they're usually eaten at breakfast with orange juice. Cake is the one other example: sugar plus wheat, eggs, milk.
Since the addictions continue, cravings occur, leading to increased consumption. Weight loss foods trigger an immune response, the end result may be malnutrition, as explained above.
Stats claim that rates of food intolerance are rising. My theory is always that it's at least partly due to sugar in our diets - including sneaky sugars which can be often viewed as healthful, for example agave, fruit, fruit juice, and sweeteners.
Stopping the Cycle
Definitely stop trying any foods you think may be causing any reactions - even though you love them. Think of foods you eat with those triggering foods on a regular basis, and consider eliminating those, too. Above all, avoid sugar.
Follow your plan, as J.J. Virgin recommends, for several weeks.
In the meantime, you might have cravings. If so, use my proven, time-tested recommendation of an teaspoon of liquid B-complex (complete B-complex) to get rid of the craving within minutes.
Following the 3-week elimination, you have to be feeling - and searching - much better.