If you have been experiencing uncontrollable sugar cravings and unusual symptoms, you may be a victim of hidden food allergies. Gluten Intolerance and hidden food allergies or sensitivities to common foods actually cause cravings for those foods, and a whole host of other symptoms.
What Are Food Allergies?
Food allergies are more common than people think. In a recent poll of almost 1,000 U.S. physicians, it was estimated that somewhere between 12 and 19 percent of adults and 15 to 21 percent of infants have food allergies. These numbers are thought to be much higher because many doctors do not have training in food allergies and do not know how to diagnose them.
Let’s first discuss exactly what food allergies are, and what they aren’t. The term food allergy actually comes from the two Greek words “also” (other) and “argon” (action). When you eat something that you are allergic to, you have a reaction different than you would normally expect.
Severe food allergies have a direct and brutal impact on the immune system. For example, many people have severe allergies to peanut products. When they consume peanuts, or anything that has peanuts in it, they immediately have a reaction. The reaction can range from gasping and wheezing, to a closing of the esophagus. Peanut allergies can also cause skin irritations.
Allergies always affect a major organ that is not involved with digestion, like the respiratory passages, the skin or the brain. If you eat something and have a digestive problem afterwards, then you technically have intolerance to that food. People who cannot eat dairy products without having severe cramping have intolerance for dairy.
When your body is allergic to a food, it is responding to an allergen that is within the food. If a food, or a protein within a food, gets into the body your antibodies come to the “rescue.” Your body feels like it is being attacked and the antibodies are there to protect your immune system. The antibodies can’t tell the difference between the food proteins and proteins from viruses. They react to the food protein as if it were a virus. A battle begins between the allergens and the antibodies, and as a result histamines are released into the blood stream. Histamines are the chemical product of the microscopic explosions between the allergens and antibodies.
Reactions can include: rashes, runny nose, puffy and watery eyes and gasping and wheezing. These are the typical reactions associated with allergies. There are some reactions caused by the foods you consume that you didn’t even realize were allergy related. Food allergies have been identified in over 80 different medical conditions including (but not limited to) arthritis, asthma, autism, addictive food cravings, insomnia, psoriasis and insulin-dependent diabetes.
It is important to understand where you are and where you want to be, especially when it comes to losing weight and abiding to the gluten free diet. It may be difficult but remember, in the long run, it will be well-worth to be gluten free in your diet with the assistance of weight management. So, you can feel better sooner.