The relative frequency of food sensitivity or food intolerance and food-related complaints in the general population is very high. Many food intolerances produce minimal symptoms, yet the long-term consequences are astonishing and include thyroid disease, neurologic disorders, increased cancer risk, and accelerated aging.
Food intolerance (or sensitivity) is an abnormal response in the intestine to certain foods in genetically susceptible/predisposed individuals. The result is irritation and inflammation every time the particular food is consumed. Food intolerance is different from food allergies in that intolerance is a lifelong condition. Food allergies are transient and usually fade when our intestinal tract is healthy.
Food intolerance is caused by a food that triggers a toxic reaction on contact with our intestinal cells. Contact with susceptible cells produces inflammation that can result in intestinal damage. The inflammatory cells release chemicals that cause our immune system to release antibodies against the offending food.
Gut Manifestations of Food Intolerance
– Intestinal hyper motility—vomiting or spasms
– Gastroesophageal reflux
– Changes in intestinal wall integrity, “leaky gut”
– Mouth ulcers
Food intolerance Symptoms Beyond the Gut
– Skin: Hives, dermatitis, rash, eczema
– Respiratory: Runny nose, asthma, nasal congestion, sinusitis
– Heiner syndrome: A chronic pulmunarydisease caused by hypersensitivity to cow’s milk
– Brain: Headache, migraine, sleeplessness, irritability
– Anemia: Weakened red blood cells and/or reduced counts, which may result in fatigue
Manifestations of Grain Intolerance
The Stress Connection
The stress of gluten intolerance triggers cortisol elevation, which can reduce immunity, especially secretory antibody production
Liver and bile problems, type 1 diabetes, and arthritis
The Thyroid Connection
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, resulting in hypothyroidism
The Osteoporosis Connection
Low bone-mineral density; osteopenia and sometimes osteoporosis