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There has been growing concern over what we put in our bodies and how our bodies are responding. Food today is very different than what our grandparents used to eat. In the past couple decade’s food has evolved (through human manipulation) and our bodies are having a hard time recognizing and digesting what we eat. As a result, more people are dealing with food related reactions such as allergies, intolerance's, and sensitivities. Could these adverse food reactions be the culprit behind the increase in food-related diseases? Is an allergy or intolerance making you overweight or obese? Is wheat causing diabetes?
After I had my first baby, I was not able to lose weight. I exercise almost every day, and like most diabetics, I watch what I eat. I was using an app to track my food and counting every calorie in and out. I wore my sensor and pump, I monitored my sugar with a meter, and I weighed myself every Monday morning. NO CHANGE!
I was beyond frustrated, so I made an appointment with my endocrinologist. After sharing my frustration with her, she decided that I should continue my exercise and diet routine. She said that since I was planning on getting pregnant again, we should just come back to my weight later. I guess she thought there was no reason to worry about my weight if I was going to gain weight again.
By the time I became pregnant with my daughter, I had lost ZERO pounds from my first pregnancy. Now on top of having the high risk of my age and diabetes, I was now considered high risk for my weight too. I cannot tell you how hard it is to do everything you are supposed to do, only to waste your time. Every pound I gained caused more joint pain, and I was getting sicker. My endocrinologist told me the pain was from the weight of the growing baby. My difficult to control blood sugar was from the baby’s placenta. Everyone assured me things would be better when I was done being pregnant.
After the birth of my daughter, I went back to my endocrinologist and asked for help. I was 3 months postpartum and had lost ZERO pounds. She offered me diet pills. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was, and I was also angry. I said no, I don’t want a drug; I want you to find the problem and help me fix it before it kills me.
She looked at me surprised; maybe she's not used to people refusing diet pills. She said my bloodwork is where she would expect it to be. She said my white count was elevated and that if I were exposed to something I was allergic to it could cause me to hold on to the weight. I was referred to an allergist.
I made an appointment as soon as I left her office. A few weeks later I was in a backless paper shirt trying not to scratch my itchy back and arms. It was pretty uncomfortable. When the timer went off the allergist came in to read the results. By "read" I mean he measured all the red spots on my arms and my back. There were 100 allergens pressed into my skin. Some food, some plants, and some of the samples were molds. I was tested for 100 of the most common allergens that I would likely be exposed to on a daily basis.
The results shocked me. I am allergic to chicken, dairy, whole wheat, buckwheat, carrots, tomatoes, and he told me that he was almost certain I am intolerant of gluten. So yeah, basically I was eating foods that were making me sick. Chicken? Every diet I've ever been on has grilled or baked chicken as a staple. Carrots? Are you kidding me? The allergist told me to stop eating all of these foods for 30 days so that I can feel the difference.
I lost 12 pounds in the first month without even trying. In fact, I hardly exercised in that first month because I had withdrawal symptoms from giving up wheat. I didn’t count my calories that month because it was hard enough to make sure each meal avoided all the food I couldn’t eat. I just lost the weight. My A1C went from 7.1 to 6.3, and the achy feeling in my joints went away.
Why didn’t my endocrinologist share this information with me earlier? She should be sending all of her patients to the allergist. I complained at every visit. I sat in her waiting room for almost an hour, and when she finally called me back, I got maybe 5 minutes with her. Was she just not listening to me?
I suggest that every person who reads this get tested for allergies. Don’t just take an over-the-counter pain reliever or anti-histamine when you feel sick. Get tested and see if it is something you are eating. You can also test for food allergies from home with this testing kit. People can develop allergies and intolerances over time.
There is a difference between food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities. If you have any reaction to a particular food, I recommend avoiding it all together.
I have done a lot of research into different food reactions and the symptoms they present. It turns out that there is a known association between type 1 diabetes and wheat allergies. Many type 1 diabetics are later diagnosed with a wheat allergy, gluten intolerance, or celiac disease. If you have type 1 diabetes like me and you are having symptoms, talk to your doctor. Below is some information to help you distinguish between the different types of adverse food reactions.
15 million people have one or more food allergies in America alone. A food allergy is the most dangerous of the three food-related reactions. An allergy to food is caused by an immune response to a particular food. This immune response is called an allergic reaction and can be quite severe. If you suspect you have a food allergy you need to avoid that food and talk with your doctor. You can now buy at-home testing kits to help you know what foods you should avoid. Here are some examples of food allergy reactions:
Many people suffer from food intolerance's. If you think you might have a food intolerance, you can check with this at-home testing kit. Intolerance to food is easy to confuse with a food allergy because over time the intolerance can trigger similar symptoms of an allergy. If you are intolerant of a particular food, it means that you lack a specific enzyme needed to break down a specific protein in a particular food. If you are lactose intolerant for example, you do not have enough lactase (the enzyme needed to digest lactose) in your system. Eating foods, you are intolerant to can cause health problems over time because it can wear down the lining of your intestines. When you get to this point, your body is no longer absorbing the nutrients from the food you eat. Some examples of food intolerance reactions include:
A food sensitivity is when you have a reaction to food but there is no real danger to your health. The reaction might be annoying or disruptive, but you are not likely to end up at the hospital. Here are a couple of examples:
Please share this information with your friends and family. I want everyone to know food allergies, and food intolerance's can make you feel sick. They can also make you gain weight! If you can't afford to go to a specialist, try this at-home testing kit. People deserve to live a full and healthy life without pain. It was hard to give up bread, chicken, tomatoes, and carrots, but it was far more difficult to be in pain all day long.
For more information about the association between allergies and diabetes check out these outside links, Celiac Support Association and NCBI. You can also read more about allergies and weight from Heal Your Life.