So You Think You Have a Food Intolerance?

Due to the many comments on my oil intolerance post, I have realized that I am not the only one suffering from difficulties with oils. Recently someone who commented asked for some more ideas about what to avoid which led me to think about all the other measures that I have implemented to improve my health. Turns out that often eliminating the offending food sources isn’t enough to help a person feel completely better. So after trying to address his concerns I thought I’d write a post about some steps people can also implement if removing the oils or offending foods has not been 100% effective.

Removing Gluten

Probably everyone has read about the gluten free diet by now. I have a grandmother who has celiac so I’ve known about it since the 90’s but I never tried it until recently because I hadn’t read the science. Unfortunately the science says that gluten is bad for everyone. Grains (yes all grains) exacerbate gut inflammation and and can cause serious auto immune issues all over the body. Of course wheat is the worst offender but all grass grains have lectins which pry open the guts lining and enter the bodies tissues leaving a trail of devastation in their wake. I have not managed to give up all grains yet, I still eat corn and rice occasionally, but since giving up wheat gluten has helped me so much, I am considering giving up the rest of the grain family.

Books about this topic:

  • Grain Brain by Kristin Loberg and David Perlmutter
  • Primal Body, Primal Mind: Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and a Longer Life By Nora Gedgaudas
  • Why Isn’t My Brain Working?: A Revolutionary Understanding of Brain Decline and Effective Strategies to Recover Your Brain’s Health by Dr. Datis Kharrazian

Controlling Blood Sugar

When my dad got diabetes a few years ago I bought one of the cheap blood sugar monitors they sell on Amazon to make sure I didn’t have it too. Turns out because of my intolerance to foods I wasn’t eating right and my blood sugars were really imbalanced. I had both high blood sugar and low blood sugar probably every day. I wasn’t a diabetic but I was on my way. My reading (and experience) has taught me that a lot of the brain chemicals and healing can’t happen if your blood sugar is out of wack. Anything above 140md/dL causes brain problems, which causes gut problems. Anything below 70 md/dL starves the brain of glucose, which in turn causes gut problems. Even small fluctuations in blood sugar levels really upset hormones, neurotransmitters and intestinal permeability. Stabilizing my blood sugars with diet and exercise to keep my sugars in the ideal range between 80-90mg/dL was one of the best things I ever did for myself.

Books that I found really helpful about this subject:

  • Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution: The Complete Guide to Achieving Normal Blood Sugars by Richard K Bernstein
  • Blood Sugar 101: What They Don’t Tell You about Diabetes by Jenny Ruhl
  • Why Isn’t My Brain Working?: A Revolutionary Understanding of Brain Decline and Effective Strategies to Recover Your Brain’s Health by Dr. Datis Kharrazian

Removing Environmental Toxins

Research has shown that that there is a link between allergies, chemical sensitivities, gut problems and food sensitives. Right now it looks like a bit of a chicken and an egg situation. Each exacerbate the other and each calm when the other is addressed. Thus if you have a food sensitivity or intolerance it can really help to treat yourself like bubble boy and get everything and anything that can aggravate your immune system out of your environment. Many things that you would never consider can actually effect your health. Dish soap for example has Sodium Lauryl Sulfate which is absorbed right through your skin. It has been shown to open up the gut lining to chemical and food sensitivities and has been linked to IBS.  Also Phthalates, found in shampoo and many other body products, is easily absorbed through skin and inhaled, can cause changes in hormone levels. Hormones are responsible for much of what occurs in your body and any shifts can be detrimental to a system already compromised by a food intolerance.

Detergents make big claims about removing more grease than soap, this claim is true. Detergents remove the protective layer of fat that the body uses to protect your skin from invaders, chemicals and the outside world. Which when you think about it is not really such a good thing.

When I was a kid my mom made a huge effort to rid our house of things that could bother my allergies. She started with buying a good HEPA vacuum cleaner and changed our laundry detergent to an unscented variety, (I have since switched to Dr. Bronners soap). She then moved on to switching out  household bathtub, toilet, counters and floor cleansers for homemade varieties.

More recently we got rid of fabric softeners, bleach, ammonia, furniture polish (pledge), mirror cleaners, garden fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and everything else we could think of. Even in the bathroom there were things we hadn’t realized exacerbated my allergies.  Apparently anything you put on your skin gets into your body. Lotions, toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo, soap, hair management products, make up, medicinal creams, deodorant, foot powders, bath products including bubble bath, everything. We switched to an unscented homemade soap and a homemade tooth powder. Amazingly its more than enough.  I make the tooth powder from baking soda, myrrh powder, and calcium carbonate, but I used plain baking soda for years due to concerns about fluoride.

Changing out my shampoo had the biggest effect on my allergies. I went from being chronically stuffed up to being almost snot free. It also gave me a sense of smell, which I had always thought was overrated. Now I think its invaluable.

Removing Fluoride

Many towns, including mine, fluoridate the water. People believe fluoridation to be safe, but fluoride is linked to Alzheimer’s, thyroid issues, and brittle bones in old age. It, along with the other chemicals added to drinking water can kill beneficial bacteria in the gut. Unfortunately the levels that cause chronic damage seem to be quite low because it builds up in the brain, thyroid tissues and bones over the course of a persons life. In fact despite dentist claims, there may be no safe level of fluoride exposure.

Fluoride is in other things as well. Tea for example. A cup of black or green tea has a dose of fluoride several times higher than your average municipal water supply.  Also any beverages that are made from municipal water supplies such as juices made from concentrate have concentrated levels of fluoride. This is also a problem with homemade broths. Fluoride dose not evaporate out of water, it just becomes more concentrated.

When my mother and I found out the symptoms of fluoride toxicity we made some serious changes. I gave up my daily three cups of tea, we bought a distiller and made a point of using only distilled or reverse osmoses water bought by the gallon at our local co-op for both drinking and cooking.

The symptoms that really concerned us were, gastrointestinal pain that mimics  irritable-bowel symptoms, nausea, vomiting, headaches, migraines, brain fog, memory issues, lethargy, thyroid issues, that lead to hormone imbalances,  joint pain and inexplicable muscle aches that are often misdiagnosed as carpel tunnel and rheumatoid arthritis.

At the time my carpel tunnel was almost crippling and getting worse daily, I couldn’t even hold a glass without pain. Within a few weeks of our fluoride removal efforts my carpel tunnel was almost half as severe, and it has never returned to the those levels. I think it also helped with my mothers aches pains and memory issues, but that is a lot harder to prove. If you are thinking of switching to bottled water realize that most waters unless distilled are just tap water in plastic.

Books:

Creating a Routine

Scheduling normal body activities helps the human body adjust to daily stresses, which helps regulate hormones, which in turn helps with gut issues. Since making an effort to eat, sleep and even (ahemm) defecate in a regular rhythm each day really helps with tummy related issues, I try and eat within an hour of getting up (helps regulate blood sugar) eat meals at the same times, and go to sleep around the same time each day. As for defecating its always a little bit of a gamble but making some time to just sit on the toilet once or twice a day for five to ten minutes can really help the body relax enough to go. I can attest that this trick assists with constipation.

Books:

  • Natural Solutions for Digestive Health Dr. Jillian Sarno Teta, Jeannette J Bessinger

I’ve found that just because my oil intolerance revolves around a food, dose not mean that solutions to my health issues end in my gut. There are many other systems in the body that interact with the guts and can be influenced to help with overall body health.

Has anyone else found any of these things helpful? Are there other things that worked better?

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One Response to So You Think You Have a Food Intolerance?

  1. Lena says:

    This is an amazing post! It’s filled with valuable information! I think it would be good if you wrote several more posts going into each of these matters more deeply and giving examples of how they can exacerbate oil sensitivity symptoms.

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