What you need to know. 

Allergies. More prevalent than ever before, they literally come into play in most areas of our lives today. For those of us fortunate enough not to suffer from allergies, we are often still affected either directly or indirectly by people near and dear to us, or in our circle of influence that do. People can have allergies that are environmental, to food, medications, chemicals, pets, etc., but the ones that continues to grow, plague more people and create more difficulties in our daily lives, are the allergies to food. Close behind are food sensitivities and intolerances.

While most people seem to include sensitivities and intolerances in with allergies, there are marked differences. True allergies trigger an immune system response within the body that affects our organs, whereas a sensitivity will trigger a reaction without affecting the immune system and organs. An intolerance is also less serious than an allergy and most often affects the digestive system.

More and more of our food is being altered, sprayed with toxins, highly processed and naturally contains fewer nutrients than any other time in history. And these changes have been happening at a much faster rate than our bodies can adapt to and accommodate for. Allergies, sensitivities and intolerances are the result. For some, these conditions can be downright debilitating, for others, mildly annoying but for all they can cause barriers to achieving optimal health.

When triggered, allergies and its accomplices create inflammation in the body. We all naturally have inflammation in our bodies. It's the body's response to an injury or something that needs healing. Let's say for example you cut your finger. You stop the bleeding, but it's still sore, throbbing and as the cut heals and knits together it is a little bit red around the area that was damaged. Those are all signs of inflammation and needed to effectively heal the cut. Once the cut is healed, the inflammation subsides. Inflammation from allergies is similar but lasts longer and is in some cases it's ongoing, creating chronic inflammation. And as inflammation is the root cause of all disease, doing whatever we can to reverse this is essential. Yes, reverse them.

If you were not born with an allergy but acquired one at some point, something you did or didn't do (knowingly or otherwise) on a continual basis triggered it to start therefore doing the opposite will create some relief. And many, many of our daily discomforts and bodily challenges can be attributed to food. Of course weight loss is one of them, but imagine you are eating what you deem to be a healthy diet, don't eat processed foods or drink to excess, exercise, but still you find you have minor health challenges and are not able to lose weight. Allergies, sensitivities or intolerances could be what's keeping you from getting results.

Many people get results when they first start a program. Doing a detox or cleanse, eliminating processed/packaged and fast food, eliminating sugar and limiting salt, cutting out alcohol, all jumpstart the body to losing weight by eliminating bloat as waste. Eating to stabilize blood sugar by creating healthy, balanced meals and eating them frequently throughout the day will help your body continue to lose weight. Where the difficulties come for some is when they begin to add back in some foods they had previously eliminated. Foods that cause little sensitivities or intolerances may for the most part go unnoticed, but as they are eaten continually, the buildup created inside the body is tantamount to the straw that broke the camels back and progress comes to a screeching halt.

When that '”straw” broke, inflammation was created inside the body, disrupting our body's systems and slowing down or preventing further weight loss. There are many things we can make an educated guess that we should be eliminating and of course, that's always a good place to start. Gluten, soy, dairy, sugar, artificial sweeteners, MSG, colours, dyes, chemicals and alcohol would seem the most obvious offenders. But for some, what would normally be considered “healthy” foods are actually creating reactions inside. Corn is one and grains are another.

If you've been trying to lose weight and have become “stuck”, I recommend these three things; 1. You are following a program to stabilize your blood sugar and create balance within your body 2. You have eliminated all processed/packaged foods along with any artificial sweeteners or additives for at least eight weeks 3. Get tested for food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances.

You may be surprised at the outcome of those tests. Once the culprits have been identified and eliminated, inflammation is reduced, your body's systems come back inline and begin functioning as they were intended to and the weight comes off.

NEW! Tune into Tania's podcast “For the Health of It” airing weekly starting Saturday, November 3, 8:00am – 9:00am on the Okanagan's newest digital radio www.OkanaganValleyRadio.com



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