What is a Food Sensitivity?

Have you ever eaten something that just didn’t seem to “agree” with you? If you have, there could be several reasons why that happened. One might be that you are suffering from a particular food sensitivity.

What is Food Sensitivity?

You might have heard about food allergies. They can be deadly serious. To a lesser extent there are conditions caused by food sensitivity. Think of lactose intolerance for example. You are left feeling most unpleasant each time you eat a dairy product.

Food sensitivity is, in essence, food intolerance. For whatever reason, your body doesn’t respond well to levels of a certain food or additive that is tolerated better by the majority of the public. Now, anything in excess can lead to adverse reactions but, with food sensitivity, even smaller doses can bring on the pain.

The major difference between food sensitivity and a food allergy is the lack of involvement of the immune system. When a food is seen as a foreign invader, the body responds by eliciting an immune response. If you’ve ever seen someone in anaphylactic shock, their tongues may swell as well as their entire face and extremities. This is a true emergency.

With food sensitivity, the response is largely found in the digestive tract as the food breaks down and passes through the intestinal area. In effect, a toxic buildup of a substance within the food or given off by the food during digestion has triggered your body to respond.

Why do Food Sensitivities occur?

There are many reasons, as we stated above, why an individual might experience food sensitivity.

1. Too much of a good thing – Eating five apples at a time may seem like a blow for good health but it might end up being a pain in the gut. The buildup of certain substances in the digestive tract from ingesting that many apples can cause diarrhea or abdominal cramping as a result.
2. Missing links – As with lactose intolerance, the body lacks lactase, the enzyme needed to break down the lactose found in milk. Without it, eating or drinking anything made with milk will cause pain in the gut as the body does its best to deal with this substance that it can’t handle.
3. Heredity – If your parents were missing the needed enzyme for lactose, then you might suffer the same fate. Ask your parents if they have any foods that they can’t eat and see which ones you have in common.
4. Poor diet – A digestive tract that is not functioning in the normal way can lead to uncomfortable symptoms. This might be the case when you eat certain foods. It may look like sensitivity but in reality, this food could be highlighting a weakness in your diet.

Food sensitivities are more common than many think.