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6 Most Common Food Sensitivities

While food sensitivities are not usually life-threatening, they can have a negative impact on your health and wellness over a period of time. Below is a listing of the six most common food sensitivities that you should know about. If you experience issues when eating any of these items, consider removing them from your diet. You should always contact your doctor if a serious issue arises.

1. Gluten

Gluten is a protein that’s found in barley, rye and wheat. When you have a sensitivity to gluten, there’s a chance of developing an autoimmune condition known as celiac disease. This is essentially a wheat allergy that can affect the small intestines and result in uncomfortable digestive issues. However, having a sensitivity to wheat doesn’t necessarily mean you have celiac disease. Symptoms associated with a gluten sensitivity include anxiety, depression, fatigue, headaches, bloating, joint pain, anemia, constipation, diarrhea or abdominal pain. Eliminating these issues will often require the removal of certain foods from your diet, such as bread, crackers, cereal and pasta.

2. Dairy

Many people around the world have issues with dairy. The main reason why is because it often contains lactose, which is a type of sugar commonly found in dairy products, especially milk. The reason why lactose is a problem is because sometimes people don’t have lactase enzymes, which are necessary to breakdown lactose. When this happens, it’s common to experience nausea, bloating, abdominal pain, gas and diarrhea. These are issues that more 60 percent of the population around the globe experience.

3. Fructose

Fructose is often a culprit of problems related to food sensitivities. Fructose is a simple sugar that’s contained in fruits and vegetables. The problem arises when your body is unable to properly absorb fructose. In addition to it being partially to blame for obesity rates that have skyrocketed over the past couple of decades, fructose can cause other physical problems. The symptoms are often gas, reflux, nausea, vomiting, bloating, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Preventing these issues often requires the elimination of foods high in fructose, especially anything that contains high-fructose corn syrup.

4. Caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant that’s often consumed in coffee, tea and soda. There was a surge in the production of energy drinks about a decade ago that contain a tremendous amount of caffeine. That trend continues because these beverages reduce fatigue. The amount of caffeine that a person can consume varies and some people will experience a negative reaction. When someone is hypersensitive to caffeine, it might be because their body is unable to metabolize it properly. When that happens, some of the symptoms include anxiety, insomnia, nervousness, a rapid heartbeat and restlessness.

5. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

Monosodium glutamate, which is frequently called MSG, can cause extremely uncomfortable reactions when a sensitivity exists. MSG is an additive that’s often used in certain foods to enhance the flavor. One of the most common foods in which MSG is used is flavored and packaged noodles. Some of the issues that are often reported include hives, nausea, headaches and chest pain. Many food manufacturers have eliminated MSG from their products.

6. Aspartame

Used as a substitute for sugar, aspartame has received a lot of negative attention, with some believing it’s highly toxic and should not be produced or consumed. It’s been linked to headaches, irritability, heart palpitations, depression and other health issues. While some of the studies are contradictory, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence pointing to an issue with aspartame that’s worthy of consideration.

While these are the most common food sensitivities, there are many others. Sometimes a food sensitivity just causes an uncomfortable feeling that takes time to pass. Regardless of the symptoms, it’s best to understand which foods are problematic for you and take the necessary steps to prevent the consumption of those items.

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