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If you are someone who likes your food, but it doesn’t like you, it can feel a little bit on the heartbreaking side. But if you are someone who experiences their fair share of brain fog, tiredness, and it’s making you miserable, a food intolerance or allergy could very well be to blame. But what do you do if you suspect it’s a food intolerance, and you don’t know how to go about addressing it? Or is it an allergy, which is quite different from an intolerance? Let’s go into some details, and give you some help.

The Difference Between Intolerance And An Allergy

A food allergy, put simply, is when your body mistakenly believes that ingredient to be harmful, and an allergic reaction, like swelling, nausea, or stomach pain can occur. An intolerance is usually a digestive issue. It can happen as you age because your digestion becomes slower, and it could very well manifest itself in various stomach-related issues, like cramping or constipation.

Treating The Issue

If you have ascertained that you have a food intolerance or an allergy, you could choose to deal with the symptomatic relief of the problem you are suffering from. If you have constipation, there are constipation treatments that can help you. But if it’s affecting you in other ways, such as not able to sleep, or you’re struggling to concentrate, it’s important that you start to isolate the specific food item(s) that’s causing you potential issues. You could do this in a few ways…

Getting an allergy test: These days it’s easier than ever to get an allergy test, which will show you what food items you could be allergic to. This is done by getting a sample of your blood or testing the skin to see if you have a specific reaction.

Keeping a food diary: If you are struggling to pinpoint the problem, a food diary can help whittle the culprits down. It may very well be that you have a reaction after a large amount of a specific food, rather than a tiny amount. By keeping a detailed food diary, and rating the intensity of the symptoms, you can begin to find a connection between specific foods and the portion sizes.

An elimination diet: After keeping a diary, it’s time to go on an elimination diet. This is where you get rid of a specific item of food for a few weeks, and then reintroduce that item. It’s important that you do one food item at a time, giving you the opportunity to see how it makes you feel when you do reintroduce it.

Once you have eliminated the food entirely, you may choose to reintroduce it, but if it causes a more severe reaction, and you feel better within yourself without the food, then it’s better for you to remove it completely. These days, living with a food allergy or intolerance isn’t an antisocial thing, there are always alternative options in restaurants, but it also highlights just how much processed food can impact us now. These days, so many of us have dietary issues, but it wasn’t the case 100 years ago. Perhaps it’s time to start avoiding processed foods altogether.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

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