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Food allergies - how do you know if you have them or not?

One cause of fatigue that can be easily remedied is food allergies or intolerances. They are becoming more and more common, as bodies start to be unable to process the foods that we are eating especially if they are fast food or over processed, looking nothing like they did when harvested.

There are a few ways to tell if its your food causing you to be tired. Have a look at the times of day when you feel most tired. If you feel exhausted about 1.5-2 hours after eating lunch, chances are there was something in your lunch that your body didn't like, likewise if you suddenly get very gassy about 15 mins after eating your lunch, then it could be your breakfast at fault.

Do you wake up with puffy eyes? Do you have dark circles under your eyes? Or very pale skin? These are all signs you may have a food allergy. Obviously food allergies are not the only causes of these symptoms, but if you have more than one and if you wake up not feeling refreshed, then chances are you ate something that your body spent all night trying to digest and couldn't, so you feel sluggish in the morning.

Your liver could also be sluggish, not coping with digesting the foodstuffs you eat, especially fatty or fast foods, which will be contributing to not feeling or looking your best.

How do you know that a food allergy or intolerance is to blame? There are several ways, firstly you could get tested for something like coeliac disease. This is becoming more common and more adults are being diagnosed as their body finally rebels against the constant bombarding with gluten that it is consuming and produces some very nasty side effects. Chances are you have had this disease since you were born, but your body has been coping, but gets to the point where it cant cope any more and makes you feel rotten. Gas, bloating, pale grey greasy, frothy stools, weight gain or loss as well as horrendous fatigue can all be signs of coeliac disease. But for some the symptoms are more subtle. A simple blood test is available from the GP, although caution should be exercised as some people test negative to the blood test but still suffer symptoms. The only real way to diagnose coeliac disease is a biopsy of your small intestinal lining.

Thankfully most people are not coeliac, but many people have food intolerances and it is possible to be gluten intolerant and not be coeliac and many people benefit from cutting gluten out of their diet. Gluten is a protein found in wheat and in lesser amounts in rye, barley and in small amounts in oats. This protein can be difficult to digest if your digestion is sluggish, so cutting it out for a period of time can help rest your system. Reintroduction can bring symptoms back and should be done gently and after a period of rehabilitation and nutritional improvement.

Intolerances to dairy products (often only those from a cow) soy products and nightshades are also fairly common. Symptoms of dairy intolerance can range from respiratory symptoms like hayfever, eczema, running nose and cough to upset stomach and explosive diarrhoea. Again removal from the diet sees a huge improvement in symptoms, and when goat's and sheep's milk products can be tolerated, then life can proceed pretty normally after a short period of abstinence. Tests are available privately for intolerances and can involve blood, saliva or stool samples. If you don't fancy that sort of test an exclusion diet can be conducted with the help of your health professional.

Certain individuals can be intolerant or allergic to foods that fall outside those groups and you can with the help of your health professional find the root cause of your discomfort and find ways of alleviating your symptoms, reaching better nutritional status, often lose weight and return to your energetic life.

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