Hi I’m Dr.Kimberley O’Brien. I’m a naturopathic doctor, the founder of Healthy Life Redesign
and creator of the Elimination Diet Meal Plan
This video is number three in a video series where I’m teaching you everything you need to know about food sensitivities! In the last video I went over which of your symptoms may actually be caused by foods that you’re eating as part of your everyday diet. In this video I’m going to further differentiate the differences between food sensitivities, food allergies and food intolerances as I know this is a big source of confusion for a lot of my patients.
To start I’ll be discussing food intolerances, the most common example of which you’ll be familiar with is a lactose-intolerance. Food intolerances occur when your body does not produce enough enzymes in your digestive tract to break down the food that you are eating in your diet. In the case of milk or lactose intolerance, your body is not producing enough lactase enzyme to break down the sugars in milk. This leads to the sugars accumulating in your digestive tract, drawing in water and causing irritation and unpleasant digestive symptoms. These symptoms occur very soon after you eat a dairy product. Symptoms include gas, bloating, loose stools, cramping and urgent bowel movements. As you can see, the symptoms of lactose-intolerance are generally limited to the digestive tract. This is one of the main ways in which food intolerances differ from a food sensitivity. This article is a great source of additional information on the difference between food intolerances and sensitivities.
Next I’m talking about food allergies, which is another reaction you’re likely already familiar with. The most common example of a food allergy is something like a peanut or a shellfish allergy. Most people are very aware of any food allergies they have because the symptoms they experience when they eat that food are typically very intense and very immediate after they ingest the food. In the case of a peanut allergy people can often experience difficulty breathing, hives and severe anaphylactic reactions. I always make it clear when I’m talking to my patients that a food allergy is not the same as a food sensitivity and they’re in fact very different reactions.
Like a food allergy, a food sensitivity is also mediated by the immune system. However, a food sensitivity leads to a much milder and more delayed chronic reaction with less immediate symptoms. Revisit the first video in this series and you’ll remember that’s because the immune reaction that occurs in a food sensitivity reaction is not limited to the digestive tract but primarily happens in your circulatory system. Therefore there’s a delay in the immune reaction that occurs. Due to this delay and the widespread, systemic nature of the immune response, symptoms can be very diverse. Video 2 describes those symptoms in further detail for you. It’s an important video to watch to determine whether the symptoms you’re experiencing match with the many symptoms that can occur if you might be suffering from food sensitivities.
In the next video I’m going in to more detail on what actually causes food sensitivities. If you’d like additional information right away you can also head over to my website HealthyLifeRedesign.com where I have a free e-book series you can sign up for and start taking action right away to transform your health.
I look forward to seeing you in my next video!