There are plenty of food myths out there, and some of them have to do with food allergies. To make things more complicated, you may know someone with a severe enough food allergy that they have to carry around an EpiPen. That alone could make you feel like symptoms you experience related to food aren’t significant enough to address because at least they aren’t life-threatening. But did you know that a non-life-threatening food intolerance could still be impacting your health and everyday life? Having a food sensitivity doesn’t always mean your throat closes if you accidentally eat an allergen. A food intolerance can show up in a lot of different ways and some of the side effects are so subtle you probably write them off as regular occurrences — sleepiness, moodiness, and so on.
These are some of the more surprising signs that may mean you have a food allergy. Of course, if you believe you have a food sensitivity you should talk to your doctor.
1. Food cravings
Anyone who has ever tried to kick their sugar habit can tell you that a food craving is not always a sign of what our body needs — contrary to what you may have been told. We are learning more and more that certain foods can be as addictive, or even more so, than opiates. And that can be the case if you have a food intolerance as well. Cravings for dairy or gluten (like bread and pasta) can sometimes be an indication that you have a sensitivity to that food, not that your body is seeking some nutrient from it as the myth goes.
Most of the time, we blame sudden breakouts and ongoing acne trouble with hormones. Hormones certainly do have a role to play in some acne occurrences. But you may be surprised if your skin starts to clear up with an elimination diet. Dairy is the most common culprit for acne troubles. And it’s worth mentioning acne doesn’t always affect your face. Acne on your chest or back is just as troublesome and can also potentially be food related. So, especially if you’re an adult with acne, try eliminating dairy from your diet and see if you notice a difference in the clarity of your skin.
3. Inability to lose weight
This one takes a lot of introspection and honesty to address. Eating a one-pound bag of M&Ms after an hour at the gym and still not losing weight does NOT mean you cannot lose weight. But, if you’ve tried to control your diet and maintain a healthy lifestyle and are still stuck, the problem could be a food sensitivity. A food intolerance creates inflammation in the body and keeps your digestive system from doing its job correctly.
Of course, some people deal with chemical imbalances in their brain that cause depression and often traumatic life experiences cause depression, too. But for some people, their depression is actually food related. And amazingly, if/when they discover the food intolerance, they experience an incredible change in their daily mood if they eliminate said food.
5. Brain fog
Brain fog is that unfortunate state when you’re functioning, but your mind isn’t totally clear. You may feel a little confused, dizzy, tired, or simply kind of “foggy.” There are various causes of brain fog, but one of the big ones is a food intolerance. MSG, aspartame, peanuts, and dairy are all common food sensitivities that cause brain fog.