My Experiences With Food Intolerance-Featured in the Blackbelt Gazette

     Not until my adult years was I ever concerned with food intolerance or allergies. Yet, I had been ignorant of their symptoms all my life. The abundance of information of dairy alternatives for the lactose intolerant led me to consider the possibilities.


     A trial of two weeks without dairy was rough. Trying to incorporate dairy back into my diet was even more devastating. Yet, with dairy alternatives and substitutions I survived. A year later, I had to face an even more burdensome reality: Life without wheat gluten. “Oh, come on!” I thought. First no meat, then no dairy, and now no wheat? It felt like a cruel joke.

     For most vegetarians, next to tofu, wheat gluten, is the other meat. It’s used in almost all vegetarian meat substitutions, soy sauces, baked goods, seasonings, mixes-virtually everything. After over indulging on wheat-meat, my sudden, rapid weight loss spun completely out of control. I finally realized that my once healthy form was becoming emaciated.

    Food intolerance does not mean food allergy. A true allergy to a food is revealed by immediate symptoms: acne, rashes, skin reactions, respiratory difficulties, joint inflammation, flatulence etc. However, intolerance can range from sensitivity to extreme symptoms. The major difference is that if one has intolerance for a food, eating a minimal amount does not always result in immediate or obvious reactions making the intolerance difficult to pinpoint.

    Also it is possible that over a period of time, one with intolerance can build his immunity in order to incorporate the food back into his diet. For instance, I had gluten intolerance for years, but in my ignorance I ignored the minor symptoms and accepted them as normal. A recent week long wheat-meat feast amplified and worsened the symptoms. I hope to strengthen my immunity with the use of food enzymes.

    The body has a certain amount of enzymes to break down different types of food, but the amount varies from person to person. Lack of enzymes leads to poor digestion. In turn, when that food (protein) is not broken down and tries to pass into the blood stream, the body does not recognize it and attacks the “foreign” body. Unfortunately, the body will reject all parts of it, even the absorption of nutritional values.

    Unless allergic to a certain food, intolerance can be prevented. The solution to intolerance is moderation. For those with gluten intolerance, papaya enzymes, marshmallow, pepsin, and apple cider vinegar can aid in the breakdown of proteins in foods. Enzymes received from juicing raw fruits and vegetables is also effective.

2 comments:

Barb Levy said...

I feel your pain! Although I've been semi-vegetarian for years, I found out after doing a juice cleanse that I am much better off without dairy and that gluten really makes me feel awful. It sometimes feels hard being off both, but helped push me into becoming mostly vegan. Feel free to check out my journey at http://www.healthnik.org

ItVeganAtGenesis said...

I won't lie. I do love cheese and sour cream as well as fresh hot rolls-and and not to mention stuffing, but I feel horrible after eating it that I honestly don't want it. OH and I forgot banana nut bread. There is usually a substitute for everything that is just as good. If you have any recipes please send them my way. I love your site! Thank you for posting.

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