Any fan of The Big Bang Theory can tell you that three of the main characters had food issues. Leonard Hofstetter couldn’t eat dairy, Howard Walowitz couldn’t eat peanuts, and Sheldon Cooper was OCD about what day he ate various types of food. One had a food sensitivity and the other had a food allergy, and Sheldon was just plain crazy most of the time. Leonard’s bloating and excess gas and Howard’s tendency to experience swelling of his face and extremities were the theme of hundreds of jokes over the 12 years the popular TV series ran on CBS.
Food allergies (Howard’s allergy to peanuts), can be life-threatening and should be taken very seriously, and if you have a food sensitivity (Leonard’s lactose intolerance), it really isn’t a laughing matter. Although they aren’t life-threatening, food sensitivities can be a real pain in the gut (pun intended).
People with food sensitivity issues aren’t dealing with food allergies, where something in your body is allergic to a food and the body’s immune system kicks in with hives, swelling, anaphylactic shock, and other symptoms. When you have a food sensitivity, your body has a reaction to the food in your digestive system. In the case of Leonard Hofstetter, he was lactose intolerant; his digestive system couldn’t break down the natural sugars (lactose) found in dairy products, creating bloating and gas.
If you are one of the millions of Americans with food sensitivity, it isn’t fun. Besides gas and bloating, you may experience fatigue, migraines, depression, or dry/itchy skin – all due to the foods that you are eating. Most people eat quite a variety of different foods each day and that can make it difficult to pinpoint which foods you might be sensitive to.
You may be sensitive or intolerant to a food for a few reasons. These include:
- not having the right enzymes, you need to digest a certain food
- reactions to food additives or preservatives like sulfites, MSG, or artificial colors
- pharmacological factors, like sensitivity to caffeine or other chemicals
- sensitivity to the sugars naturally found in certain foods like onions, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts
Symptoms of food sensitivity vary. But the symptoms of intolerance are all digestive-related. These can include but are not limited to:
- gas and bloating
One way to determine if it is a food sensitivity is to take a Food Sensitivity Test – and it’s as easy as a finger prick to obtain a few drops of blood. You can do this at many Live Lean Rx locations.
A Live Lean Rx food sensitivity test helps you understand the foods that you are sensitive to and to what degree. For example, perhaps you have a slight sensitivity to peanuts, but a severe sensitivity to gluten. Sensitivities are different than allergies in that the reactions are not necessarily life-threatening, but you can become gradually more sensitive over time.
Your well-being, comfort, and overall happiness can be directly impacted by the foods you’re consuming on a daily basis. Until you understand just how sensitive you are to particular types of food(s), it’s impossible to know if you’re feeling as good as you can. When you’re feeling good about the food you eat, you can laugh at Leonard, Howard, and Sheldon without worrying about how that food is going to do a number on your digestive tract.