Food sensitivities are also known as non-classical allergies. Essentially, somebody living with a food sensitivity will experience similar symptoms to an allergic reaction when consuming a sensitive food – with one significant and thankful exception.
Unlike an allergy, food sensitivity does not involve a reaction from the body's immune system. Therefore, sensitivity is not severe enough to plunge the human body into anaphylactic shock. Food sensitivities are not considered immediately life-threatening by the medical community.
All the same, if you believe that you are sensitive to particular foods, you should ignore the concern. While it's theoretically true that what does not kill us makes us stronger, a food sensitivity is likely to do more harm than good.
If you have a food sensitivity, you will experience a reaction after eating. This could be one ingredient in a meal, like an onion or a mushroom, or an entire food group. The sensitivity may make itself known immediately, or it could be several hours before your body starts to react to the offending item.
If you're wondering if you're living with a food sensitivity, consider the impact of the suspected allergen on your body. This list confirms the common warning signs of sensitivity.
Skin rash and hives
Skin rashes are common in food sensitivity. They often manifest on the arms, but the face may also become flushed
Vomiting and diarrhoea
Equally commonplace is a sudden attempt from the body to purge all traces of the food, in whatever way is necessary
Gas and bloat
If your body cannot banish the unwelcome food from your digestive tract, it may loiter and grow increasingly uncomfortable
Cramps and stomach pain
Another common sign of sensitivity, stomach discomfort can evolve from the aforementioned bloat to painful cramps
If you find that your nose will not stop running after eating certain foods, you likely have a sensitivity that your body is reacting to
Dizziness and brain fog
Food sensitivity can impact the brain as much as the body. You may feel light-headed, and possibly snappy and irritable
Blood in the stool
Consistent consumption of a sensitive food can damage and inflame the stomach lining, leading to this frightening symptom
One worrying sign can be the closing of the throat. If this symptom manifests, you may have a more severe allergy – get to A&E
You should consult a GP if you believe that you're living with a food sensitivity – especially if the side effects of the reaction are proving to be long-term. Your doctor will likely ask you to keep a food diary and watch out for future attacks, while avoiding any ingredients you suspect of causing incidents.
One alternative approach to this could be a form of amateur immunotherapy. Some food sensitivities can be overcome through exposure, but there are absolutely no guarantees that this will apply to you.
It's never advisable to willingly ingest something your body has previously rejected. A food sensitivity is the gut's way of saying, "no, thank you – we do not want anything to do with this." As the gut is second only to the brain as the most intelligent organ in the body, it's worth listening to. Want a quick result to your issue? Don’t want to spend time waiting around for an appointment? Take an Ultimate Health Test in the comfort of your own home, in your time, and get a quick response. No waiting, no ‘white coat syndrome’ with doctors!
Food sensitivity can be a nuisance, but it can also be worked around. Learn the trigger foods sparking these reactions in your body and find ways to avoid them going forward. The world has never been more geared up to aid and assist people with vast and varied food intolerances, so you will be able to enjoy an interesting, balanced and – above all – delicious diet.