Alas the Foods You Love

Perhaps the first and most basic principle of a food intolerance is this: The foods you eat the most often and love the best will frequently be part of your problem. Many Asians are allergic to rice, many Italians to wheat and many Mexicans to corn. This is yet another reason why many carbohydrate addicts experience the elimination or reduction of nagging physical ills, from headaches to diarrhea, when they start to do Atkins.

Complicating the matter of food intolerances is that a sizable proportion of us become addicted to the very foods to which we are intolerant. You will often see the term "allergy/addiction" used in papers by specialists in environmental medicine. It works like this: The foods that make us ill also make us feel better for a short time after we eat them. This is surely a classic addiction pattern: The sugar addict, the drug addict, the alcoholic all feel better when they get their fix. But before long, they all feel worse.

For each and every addicted person, there's the difficult process of withdrawal. If you're allergic to a food that has become the mainstay of your diet, then you will suffer unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when you quit. The worse these symptoms are, the happier I am as a doctor. That's because the greater your addiction, the greater your physical improvement will be once you leap over the withdrawal hurdle. So put up with feeling worse for a few days. After you give up the food "you can't live without," you're almost certainly going to feel better. The general rule is that after two to five days withdrawal symptoms cease.

Food Allergies

Food Allergies

Peanuts can leave you breathless. Cat dander can lead to itchy eyes, a stuffy nose, coughing and sneezing. And most of us have suffered through those seasonal allergies with horrible pollen counts. Learn more...

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