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Digestive issues.

Food Intolerances & Allergies

An increasingly common source of unwanted digestive symptoms is food intolerances and allergies. While both can produce similar symptoms, food intolerance is not typically life-threatening like allergies can be.

Food intolerance occurs when your body has difficulty chemically processing or digesting certain foods. If left untreated, they can cause several disagreeable symptoms, such as:

● Gas

● Bloating

● Fatigue

● Diarrhea

● Constipation

● Stomach pain or cramping

If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms often, you may have a food intolerance.

It can be difficult to pinpoint exactly which food is causing the intolerance, though. I recommend trying an elimination diet if you have suspicions about a particular food–stop eating it for at least a couple of weeks and see how your body reacts! Testing performed by a practitioner can also be a useful step to take.

These are some of the most common food intolerances:

● Dairy. As mentioned above, many people lack the enzymes to digest the natural sugars found in dairy products. Some people also experience a negative reaction to the whey protein within dairy. To identify whether dairy may be at the root cause of your symptoms, it’s important to completely avoid all dairy ingredients for a minimum of 3 weeks.

● Gluten. Gluten is a protein that is found in grains like wheat, rye, barley, kamut, oats, and spelt. People with celiac disease experience an immune response when they consume the protein, which over time can inflame the small intestine and lead to serious digestive problems. People who test negative for celiac disease but still experience discomfort when they consume gluten may have a milder form, called non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

● Caffeine. For many adults, a cup or two of coffee is an integral part of their morning routine. However, some people are more sensitive to caffeine and unpleasant experience reactions from consuming just a small amount. Researchers have found that this hyper-sensitivity to caffeine is largely genetic. If small amounts of caffeine cause you to feel anxious, jittery, or have difficulty sleeping, I recommend minimizing your intake and instead opting for decaf herbal teas and coffee.

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