So many of us are struggling with food intolerances and I used to be one of them. I’m not talking about food allergies, that is a different subject. Food intolerance is often caused by poor gut health. It takes time for it to snowball into multiple intolerances. For me it started with one food; bananas of all things, and over the years things just got worse until I had multiple intolerances, making life very difficult.
WHAT IS FOOD INTOLERANCE?
A food intolerance involves the digestive system. It’s a chemical reaction and the inability for your gut to properly digest the offending food, causing all sorts of uncomfortable symptoms. Unlike a food allergy, which is a immune reaction and can be life threatening. Although, some of the symptoms can be similar.
LIFE FOR A FOOD INTOLERANT PERSON
Don’t get me wrong, a food allergy can be more serious and can’t be cured. I’m grateful that I have no allergies. However, many of you will know how difficult it can be to live with a food intolerance, particularly multiple intolerances.
My gut health started to decline in my mid to late teens. I was having some ongoing health issues, but the doctors couldn’t work out what was wrong. Doctors are great, but unfortunately they don’t know much about nutrition. I developed my first food intolerance after a few years of this, bananas.
A few more years later gluten was added to my list, followed closely by dairy. Many years after this my gut health, and overall health started to decline rapidly and this is when I struggled with many more foods, normal foods that you shouldn’t be intolerant to. Tomatoes, avocado, onion, garlic, almost all fruit, spinach, nuts, legumes, red meat and what I mentioned before. I was living on rice and anything made from rice, potatoes, sweet potato, carrots, other root vegies, eggs and chicken.
I missed food! It was depressing.
Eating out became non-existent. I made excuses as to why I couldn’t attend functions where any sort of food was being served due to fear of being judged for not eating, fear of being a pain in the butt for questioning their ingredients, or fear of feeling sick after eating something I shouldn’t.
While the social aspects sucked, my limited diet was not good for my health. I was missing out on so much. So many nutrients that I needed, I wasn’t able to eat. And I couldn’t take supplements, my gut was in such bad shape that these also made me sick.
I’m a pretty stubborn person. I wasn’t going to live like this. I was 99.9% sure that I could completely recover and eat everything I loved again. I was tested for celiac disease many times and this was always negative. I also received negative allergy tests. I had many other tests as well that came back negative, except iron. So, after eliminating anything serious, I came to the conclusion that it was my gut health.
There are many causes for poor gut health, and it’s usually multiple causes that result in something like multiple food intolerances. I was able to see my causes and how it progressed. Once I understood, I could heal. And I did.
I appreciate something as simple as a piece of bread with butter on it so much now. I love eating avocados and cheese and any fruit I want. You don’t realise how much you will miss something until it’s taken away from you