Could you be reacting to you food and can that cause weight gain?


Are you eating the right fuel for your body or is your food making you sick, fat and tired?


After meals, do you feel any of these symptoms? Tired, foggy, unmotivated, change in mood, bloated, nauseas, reflux or any other digestive symptoms, short of breath, heart racing, hot or itchy? These are just examples of many symptoms that could be driven by food sensitivities. It is important to note that it can be tricky to detect as symptoms may appear up to 7 days after exposure although in my experience symptoms mostly appear within days 1-3; if not soon after eating the food.

Some people have no obvious symptoms but they see an exacerbation of another health condition such as asthma a day or two later. Some health issues that can be related to food sensitivities include skin conditions (eg eczema and psoriasis), asthma, digestive issues (eg IBS or indigestion/reflux), vitamin and mineral deficiencies, thyroid disease, auto-immune diseases (eg Hashimoto’s/Rheumatoid Arthritis), depression, anxiety and weight issues.


Many people with these kinds of symptoms or health issues don’t ever relate it to their food or don’t think it is a big deal, they assume that the problem lasts as long as their symptoms and therefore don’t take any action. This unfortunately is not the case, sometimes the inflammation and immune response activated in the body when you eat a food you are sensitive to can last three weeks or more. Studies have found this to be the case with gluten sensitivity; it actually causes intestinal permeability for three weeks following one exposure to gluten, this is way beyond your symptoms, if you even have any. This is important to know as intestinal permeability is believed to be a likely trigger for auto immune diseases.


The other thing to remember is if you are having digestive issues relating to your diet, you may not be absorbing the nutrients from your food and therefore likely to be deficient in nutrients that are important to health including zinc and magnesium. If your body is constantly inflamed due to food sensitivities, it will put pressure on your liver and can push your body into a constant mode of stress. Both of these can and do result in weight gain for many people. Inflammation and weight issues often go together. A common sign of this is when without explanation you gain 1-2kg suddenly and then lose it 2-3 days later, the food reaction changes the whole electrolyte/fluid balance in the body for several days.

Seek professional advice from a Nutritional Medicine Practitioner to identify these food sensitivities and help to treat any related health issues, it is especially important to address digestive issues to ensure that you are not deficient in vital nutrients. Sometimes what you are experiencing is not an immune response at all and treating the digestive system, correcting the nutrient balance and the microbiome solves the issue and you are still able to eat those foods so it is important to not just stop eating the foods but to heal your digestive system too.


Fiona Kane, Nutritional Medicine Practitioner, Informed Health Nutritional Wellbeing Centre