Skip to content

Why Do I Have So Many Food Sensitivities?

Many people suffer from inflammation from foods, especially if they’re on a Standard American Diets. However, they may not have connected their symptoms to their foods. These reactions can be very individual, depending on where the weakest links are in their bodies.

119-1

Do you suffer from any of the following symptoms?

Digestive ProblemsMental Health IssuesMetabolic And Energy ProductionPain Disorders
Gas
Bloating
Belching
Constipation
DiarrheaIBS
Brain fog
Anxiety
Depression
Mood swings
Psychosis
Insomnia and poor sleep quality
Fatigue
Inability to regulate blood sugar
Inability to lose excess fat or gain muscle mass
Headaches and migraines
Fibromyalgia
Joint and muscle pain
Arthritis
Nutrient DeficienciesAllergy And AutoimmunitySkin ProblemsHormonal And Reproductive Health
Stubborn iron-deficiency anemia that doesn’t respond to iron supplements
Inability to increase vitamin D
Loss of bone mass, leading to osteopenia and osteoporosis
Allergic rhinitis
Asthma
Inflammatory bowel disease
Hashimoto’s
Multiple Sclerosis
Lupus
Type 1 diabetes
Eczema
Hives
Psoriasis
Acne
Infertility
Painful menstrual symptoms

These are not an exhaustive list, but if you’re suffering from these health issues, it’s possible that it’s because of inflammation arising from foods. And while inflammation from food might not be the only cause, it can be a key contributor.

Keep in mind that food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities are typically symptoms of deeper underlying problems. These are neither normal nor healthy. And in many cases, simply avoiding the inflammatory foods may not fix the root causes. 

Here are a few common dysfunctions that contribute to food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities:

1. Intestinal Permeability (a.k.a. Leaky Gut)

Leaky gut is when undigested food particles can pass your intestinal tract and enter your bloodstream.  Basically, it means you’ve got holes in your gut.  The gut lining (mucosal barrier) consists of a single cell layer and the mucus covering it. The barrier separates between the gut immune system and the gut content. Between the cells of the gut lining are proteins that zip the cells together, such as tight junctions, desmosomes, and adherens junctions.

Your gut lining is naturally permeable to allow the absorption of some nutrients. Substances and nutrients can get transported between the cells or across the cells.   

image3.png
image4.png

How To Know If You Have Intestinal Permeability

  1. You have some symptoms or health issues listed at the beginning of this article.
  2. One of the following lab tests that may indicate intestinal permeability:
  • Secretory IgA (sIgA) is an important antibody produced in the gut. Having elevated or low SigA in the saliva or stool, especially to foods, indicates problems with the gut lining. 
  • Elevated IgG to many foods are signs that your immune system is exposed to the content of your gut lining. 
  • Lactulose-mannitol test. Mannitol is a smaller sugar molecule that is readily absorbed. Whereas, lactulose is a larger molecule, so the presence of it in the bloodstream means that the gut is leaky. Elevated ratios of lactulose to mannitol can indicate a leaky gut.
  • Elevated blood LPS indicates that the gut barrier allows the LPS to translocate through it.
  • Elevated zonulin shows that the tight junctions may be opening up through the zonulin pathway. Zonulin can be a marker of Celiac disease and non-Celiac gluten sensitivity, especially when they’re actively consuming gluten.  We suggest getting a Zonulin test to get a baseline.

Causes Of Leaky Gut

There are many different ways people can get a leaky gut, including: including:

  • Disruption of tight junctions from Inflammatory foods such as gluten
  • Cellular death (apoptosis) and ulcers, such as in IBD and Celiac disease
  • By translocation of bacteria or bacteria toxins, such as lipopolysaccharides (LPS) 
  • Extended fasting and then not properly rebuilding a healthy biofilm post-fast
  • Major illnesses, injuries, and surgeries
  • Medications include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and proton-pump inhibitors
  • High-fat and high-sugar meals
  • Lack of dietary fibers and polyphenols
  • Deficiencies in nutrients that are important for mucosal barrier function, such as vitamins A and D, and zinc
  • Dysbiosis and gut infections

Leaky gut alone is not a disease. Most people’s gut linings open up multiple times a day before resealing and bouncing back with no problem. It only becomes problematic when the gut lining fails to heal itself and the immune system sustains the inflammation.  Our answer to leaky gut is called Biome Breakthrough along with diet and lifestyle changes to address the causes above.  

2. Reduced Immune Tolerance And Increased Inflammatory Tendency

woman sitting in a couch with stomach ache, hands over her belly

A healthy immune system should be able to ignore harmless antigens such as foods, dusts, pollens, and your own proteins. This is why most people tolerate many foods and environmental allergens without developing allergies, autoimmunities, or food-related inflammation. However, those with weaker immune systems find their bodies reacting. 

Your immune system has many checks and balances to ensure you tolerate your foods and don’t develop autoimmune diseases. Food-related inflammation is a sign that some of the following 3 processes are breaking down. 

Check & Balance #1: Killing And Deactivating Budding Autoimmune Cells

As your white blood cells develop in your thymus and bone marrow, your immune system eliminates the young white blood cells that attack your own tissues. Even when you have antibodies against your own tissues or foods, it rarely becomes a problem. 

Check & Balance #2: Not Mounting An Immune Response Even Though You Have Antibodies

Having antibodies against foods or your own tissues rarely leads to autoimmune diseases. 

For example, about 8.5% of men and 16% of women have thyroid peroxidase (TPO) antibodies. This suggests that most TPO antibodies don’t interfere with thyroid function or trigger the immune system to destroy the thyroid tissues.

Similarly, in a study of 500 healthy subjects without autoimmune diseases, 8-15% of them have antibodies against common food lectins. Test tube assays found that some of these antibodies can bind to proteins of human tissues.

Now, this doesn’t mean you don’t have to be concerned if you have antibodies—you’re at a higher risk and you should proactively monitor your autoimmune markers. However, keep in mind that you also have the power to improve your immune balance through your epigenetic activation and boosting your microbiome health.

Check & Balance #3: Your Immune System’s Zenmaster – Regulatory T Cells

Regulatory T cells (Treg) are present in your bloodstream and tissues. They ensure that your immune system ignores the harmless antigens, preventing allergies and autoimmunity. Also, Treg ensures that inflammation resolves after an infection or episode of inflammation.

Treg cells help make sure you don’t react to all your foods and bacteria in your gut.

Even if you have a leaky gut, Treg cells calm the immune response and make sure you don’t react to the foods. This allows your gut lining to reseal itself.

If you’re suffering from symptoms of chronic inflammation or getting inflammation from foods, you have Treg dysfunction. 

Also, you can’t just increase Treg so that you can eat whatever you want. Excessive Treg activity can suppress immune responses that prevent cancers, possibly allowing cancers to develop.

PowerMoves to promote healthy Treg levels and overall immune balance: Ensure that your vitamin A and D levels are optimal by testing and supplementing accordingly.  Use synbiotics, such as Biome Breakthrough, to increase short-chain fatty acids that promote gut Tregs Optimize your sleep.

3. Stress And Traumas

man sitting with hands over his head felling stresses

Stress, past traumas, and recent traumatic experiences can cause multiple whammies that lead to food sensitivities.  Chronically elevated levels of stress can wreak havoc on the digestive system.  One of Matt’s clients, Juan B, shares his story. “I was going through some extremely difficult times in my life and I was struggling to digest food.  My gut biome was turned upside down.  Sometimes, I had diarrhea and other times I was constipated.  It was amazing to see all of these symptoms disappear once the stress was gone.”

It causes a leaky gut and keeps your body in a state that cannot effectively repair a leaky gut.  For your body to heal, you need to be in a parasympathetic state.  If you’re constantly in “fight, flight and freeze”, your body’s natural abilities to repair itself become compromised.

Chronic stress also increases corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH), which is the highly inflammatory stress hormone that also increases leaky gut and immune reactivity. Elevated CRH also throws off the gut bacteria.

Many people with food-related inflammation also benefit from neuronal rewiring practices, such as Dynamic Neural Retraining System, meditation, and neurofeedback.  

PowerMove: Include Cognibiotics In Your Daily Routine
Cognibiotics contains powerful stress adaptogenic herbs and bacteria strains. It can help both with normalizing the stress response and mitigating the harmful effects of stress on your body, especially your gut. It supports your brain-gut connection and improves brain health, mental clarity, learning, memory, and focus. Cognibiotics also boosts your cognitive function, mood, and stress resilience by improving your gut flora. It will even improve the balance of your neurotransmitters, including acetylcholine, serotonin, GABA, and dopamine in the brain.

4. Molecular Mimicry

Molecular mimicry is when an outside protein has sections that are very similar to your own proteins. When the immune system develops antibodies or immune cells against these sections of proteins, it can lead to autoimmune diseases.

These outside proteins can come from foods or infections. However, very rarely does eating molecular mimicry foods or having antibodies against them lead to autoimmune diseases. For an autoimmune disease to occur due to molecular mimicry, four things need to be happening:

  1. Low stomach acid and poor digestion, especially incomplete protein digestion. This tends to be the case with proteins that are hard to digest such as lectins, gluten, and casein.
  2. Leaky gut, which allows the gut content to meet the immune cells.
  3. Environmental triggers causing the immune system to be on high alert, such as from infections, stress, or toxic exposure.
  4. Loss of immune tolerance or the breakdown of the immune system’s ability to ignore these self-attacking immune responses.

You can have genetic predispositions for leaky gut, overactive immune system, and loss of immune tolerance. However, keep in mind that your epigenetics, gut flora, and lifestyle can contribute to any of the four factors. Having a healthy gut flora protects against all four of these factors.

If you already have an autoimmune diagnosis, it’s worth working with a practitioner to find out if you have ongoing molecular mimicry in your body. See a practitioner to get a blood test, such as Cyrex, to find these antibodies against common foods. Then, eliminate the foods to see if your symptoms or autoimmune markers improve.

PowerMoves: If you don’t have an autoimmune condition, optimizing your gut health allows you to enjoy all the foods while minimizing the chance of developing food-related inflammation.
If you have an autoimmune condition, it becomes even more important to optimize your gut and your gut flora health as part of your overall health plan. These alone won’t cure the autoimmune condition, however.
Use HCL Breakthrough to support healthy stomach acid levels
MassZymes to ensure optimal protein digestion
Gluten Guardian to ensure digestion of gluten and casein
Biome Breakthrough to support and heal the gut lining

5. Toxic Exposure, Such As Mycotoxins

yeast petri dish

A 1994 study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that about 47% of homes and 85% of commercial buildings have water damage and mold. Therefore, mold toxicity has become much more common. 

Mold Toxins (mycotoxins) can activate mast cells and make your immune system more reactive to many things. It can also tip the immune system toward allergies and intestinal permeability. If you start developing symptoms or become sensitive to many foods after being in a new environment, you should see a practitioner to investigate mold toxicity.

Aside from environmental mold exposure, foods can also be a source of mold toxins. Grains, nuts, fruits, cacao, alcoholic drinks, and meat fed with moldy crops can also be a source of mold toxin exposure.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the combination of leaky gut, loss of immune tolerance, stress, traumas, and toxic exposures can cause you to develop inflammatory reactions to food. If you have a lot of food sensitivities and your list of inflammatory foods keeps growing, it’s time to investigate these causes.

Share this article using the buttons below
References
  1. Farré R, Fiorani M, Abdu Rahiman S, Matteoli G. Intestinal permeability, inflammation and the role of nutrients. Nutrients. 2020;12(4):1185. doi:10.3390/nu12041185
  2. Ordiz MI, Davitt C, Stephenson K, et al. EB 2017 Article: Interpretation of the lactulose:mannitol test in rural Malawian children at risk for perturbations in intestinal permeability. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2018;243(8):677-683. doi:10.1177/1535370218768508
  3. Fasano A, Not T, Wang W, et al. Zonulin, a newly discovered modulator of intestinal permeability, and its expression in coeliac disease. Lancet. 2000;355(9214):1518-1519. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(00)02169-3
  4. Barbaro MR, Cremon C, Morselli-Labate AM, et al. Serum zonulin and its diagnostic performance in non-coeliac gluten sensitivity. Gut. 2020;69(11):1966-1974. doi:10.1136/gutjnl-2019-319281
  5. Camilleri M. Leaky gut: mechanisms, measurement and clinical implications in humans. Gut. 2019;68(8):1516-1526. doi:10.1136/gutjnl-2019-318427
  6. Suzuki T. Regulation of the intestinal barrier by nutrients: The role of tight junctions. Anim Sci J. 2020;91(1):e13357. doi:10.1111/asj.13357
  7. Sykes M. Immune tolerance: mechanisms and application in clinical transplantation. J Intern Med. 2007;262(3):288-310. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2796.2007.01855.x
  8. Amouzegar A, Gharibzadeh S, Kazemian E, Mehran L, Tohidi M, Azizi F. The prevalence, incidence and natural course of positive antithyroperoxidase antibodies in a population-based study: Tehran Thyroid Study. PLoS One. 2017;12(1):e0169283. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0169283
  9. Vojdani A, Afar D, Vojdani E. Reaction of lectin-specific antibody with human tissue: Possible contributions to autoimmunity. J Immunol Res. 2020;2020:1438957. doi:10.1155/2020/1438957
  10. Vignali DAA, Collison LW, Workman CJ. How regulatory T cells work. Nat Rev Immunol. 2008;8(7):523-532. doi:10.1038/nri2343
  11. Harrison OJ, Powrie FM. Regulatory T cells and immune tolerance in the intestine. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2013;5(7):a018341-a018341. doi:10.1101/cshperspect.a018341
  12. Togashi Y, Shitara K, Nishikawa H. Regulatory T cells in cancer immunosuppression – implications for anticancer therapy. Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2019;16(6):356-371. doi:10.1038/s41571-019-0175-7
  13. Bollinger T, Bollinger A, Skrum L, Dimitrov S, Lange T, Solbach W. Sleep-dependent activity of T cells and regulatory T cells. Clin Exp Immunol. 2009;155(2):231-238. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2249.2008.03822.x
  14. de Punder K, Pruimboom L. Stress induces endotoxemia and low-grade inflammation by increasing barrier permeability. Front Immunol. 2015;6:223. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2015.00223
  15. Kelly JR, Kennedy PJ, Cryan JF, Dinan TG, Clarke G, Hyland NP. Breaking down the barriers: the gut microbiome, intestinal permeability and stress-related psychiatric disorders. Front Cell Neurosci. 2015;9:392. doi:10.3389/fncel.2015.00392
  16. Cusick MF, Libbey JE, Fujinami RS. Molecular mimicry as a mechanism of autoimmune disease. Clin Rev Allergy Immunol. 2012;42(1):102-111. doi:10.1007/s12016-011-8294-7
  17. Vojdani A. Antibodies as predictors of complex autoimmune diseases. Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2008;21(2):267-278. doi:10.1177/039463200802100203
  18. Untersmayr E. The influence of gastric digestion on the development of food allergy. Rev Fr Allergol (2009). 2015;55(7):444-447. doi:10.1016/j.reval.2015.09.004
  19. Vojdani A. Lectins, agglutinins, and their roles in autoimmune reactivities. Altern Ther Health Med. 2015;21 Suppl 1:46-51.
  20. Monetini L, Cavallo MG, Manfrini S, et al. Antibodies to bovine beta-casein in diabetes and other autoimmune diseases. Horm Metab Res. 2002;34(8):455-459. doi:10.1055/s-2002-33595
  21. Mu Q, Kirby J, Reilly CM, Luo XM. Leaky gut as a danger signal for autoimmune diseases. Front Immunol. 2017;8:598. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2017.00598
  22. Rosenblum MD, Remedios KA, Abbas AK. Mechanisms of human autoimmunity. J Clin Invest. 2015;125(6):2228-2233. doi:10.1172/JCI78088
  23. Zhang P, Lu Q. Genetic and epigenetic influences on the loss of tolerance in autoimmunity. Cell Mol Immunol. 2018;15(6):575-585. doi:10.1038/cmi.2017.137
  24. Bedard M. Over 50% of U.s. homes and 85% of commercial buildings have water damage and mold. Mold Safe Solutions | Mold Removal Company. Published April 27, 2016. Accessed November 5, 2022. https://moldsafesolutions.com/over-50-of-u-s-homes-and-85-of-commercial-buildings-have-water-damage-and-mold/
  25. Kritas SK, Gallenga CE, D Ovidio C, et al. Impact of mold on mast cell-cytokine immune response. J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2018;32(4):763-768. Accessed November 5, 2022. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30043558/
  26. Alassane-Kpembi I, Pinton P, Oswald IP. Effects of mycotoxins on the intestine. Toxins (Basel). 2019;11(3):159. doi:10.3390/toxins11030159
  27. Cinar A, Onbaşı E. Mycotoxins: The hidden danger in foods. In: Sabuncuoğlu S, ed. Mycotoxins and Food Safety. IntechOpen; 2020
Posted in
You'll enjoy these posts

Leave a Comment