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Food Allergies, Food Sensitivities or Just Intolerance - What's Aching You?

Different people can have radically different reactions to a certain food, and while food allergies are quite rare, many more people are developing food sensitivities. Is this common issue affecting you, or could it be something more serious?

According to experts, at least 30% of us will experience some kind of food sensitivity in our lifetimes, which means it is important to keep an eye out for such episodes so we can prevent them in the future. Food sensitivities can cause reactions so varied they are not always recognized for what they are, so making a note of patterns will help you to identify your own sensitivities, if you have any.

An immediate and dramatic reaction such as throat swelling, burning or itching, rashes or other obvious signs of distress can identify a food allergy which has triggered an immune response and can be fatal if the individual is severely allergic and goes into anaphylactic shock and is not helped. This has been seen in people allergic to peanuts and peanut products, for example.

While food sensitivities or intolerances seem to be less serious than actual food allergies, they can actually trigger a host of other health challenges. Regular reactions from intolerances, such as gas, bloating, migraines, fatigue and soreness can contribute to chronic health issues if left unchecked. According to Healthy Living magazine, some studies are beginning to associate food sensitivities to increased severity of symptoms in conditions such as arthritis and asthma. If we regularly consume things which our bodies fight, we keep our systems in distress, which cannot lead to optimum health. A host of processes occur when we consume what our bodies consider to be toxins, and we are only beginning to understand the consequences in terms of the complexity and interconnectedness of our bodies' systems.

Common food sensitivities and their symptoms include:

Lactose intolerance: gas, bloating, abdominal pain or discomfort, diarrhea

Spicy foods: runny nose, sweating, sometimes sneezing

Beans or other legumes, cruciferous vegetables: gas, bloating

Alcohol, red wine, sulphites: headache, fogginess, temporarily stained teeth and gums (red wine)

Should you experience regular and painful reactions to certain foods, be sure and check with a physician, because these can be signs of more serious issues such as Crohn's disease, Celiac Disease or other intestine and/or bowel problems.

Some of the more common foods people have actual allergic reactions to include fish and shellfish, peanuts and other tree nuts, wheat, soy, oranges, strawberries, spinach, corn, tomatoes, and animal products such as beef, chicken, pork, eggs and dairy. Some reactions can be attributed to growth hormones, antibiotics, pesticides and other chemicals in certain foodsBusiness Management Articles, but again you should always check with your doctor to ensure you are not developing anything which might challenge your health in the future.

Article Tags: Food Allergies, Food Sensitivities

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Shauna writes about health issues and many more topics for her websites and those of her clients. Subjects range from sleeping pads to patio sets to utility sinks, and more.

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