Food Symptoms: Do the Foods You Eat Affect Your Health?

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I know first hand that the foods we eat affect our health. I learned this early, when I was sixteen, after being on penicillin daily for 6 years. I had rheumatic fever and I was told that I would need to be on antibiotics indefinitely, or until my monthly throat cultures started coming back negative. The cultures never did, until I changed my eating habits. In fact, within one month of changing my diet my cultures started coming back negative and stayed that way for a whole year, at which time I was officially done with rheumatic fever.

And it was not just me. My whole family started eating better and there were four of us that could stop taking penicillin daily. This was back in the 1970s when Pringles, Kraft Singles, Kool-Aid, and Tang were all the rage. We stopped eating and drinking those. We also stopped eating Special K cereal for breakfast and Hostess HoHo’s as our lunch desert.

In addition to removing the processed foods, we also started eating more whole foods like oatmeal and seeds for breakfast, fruit for snacks, and a green side salad with every evening meal. We cleaned up our diet and it healed us.

Not only did improving my diet as a teenager heal my rheumatic fever, I also stopped getting chronic swimmers ear, my dyslexia started improving, I no longer got car sick, and I started getting better grades in school.

The State of Our Food Today

Fast forward to 2017. Unfortunately, we live in a different world where it is not as simple as eliminating a few junky processed foods. Now there is produce grown with many more pesticides, there are animal products from animals raised on hormones and antibiotics, there are genetically modified (GMO) foods that have toxins inserted into them at the cellular level, and there are more chemicals used in processed and fast foods.

As manufacturers and fast food restaurants find cheaper ways to make things, ingredients are getting worse. A typical burger joint in the 1970s was using real ground beef (not “pink slime”), non-GMO fries, and lard instead of trans fats. If you were to compare a wrapper of your favorite gum or candy from the 1970s to one from today, the same product will have different ingredients and often more of them – like aspartame instead of real sugar, additional additives, unhealthy oils instead of palm oil, etc.

It is not always easy to see the direct connection between a food or drink you ingest and the affect it has on your body. In some cases, it can take days for a sensitivity to show up as your body reacts to it, or even years for your body to build up an intolerance before you get a symptom of some sort. Connecting the dots can be a challenge.

But connecting the dots, removing the junk, and figuring out your culprit foods are critical if you are going to heal your body. Improving your diet alone can help heal so many things.

List of Symptoms From Foods and Chemicals

I recently came across a great list. Doctors William Philpott and Dwight Kalita, in their classic book called Brain Allergies: the Psychonutrient and Magnetic Connections, wrote a comprehensive list of symptoms that can occur if you have a food sensitivity and/or a chemical sensitivity. There are so many chemicals in our foods today that this book is even more relevant than when it was first written in 1980 and updated in 2000.

Use their list below (taken from the appendix of the book, 2000 edition) to see if you think food and/or chemicals may be affecting your health:

Joints: ache, pain, stiff, swelling, erythema, warmth, redness

Skin: itching (local, general), scratching, moist, sweating, flushing, hives, pallor (white or ghostly)

Head: pain, headache (mild, moderate), severe migraine, ache, pressure, tight, exploding, throbbing, stabbing

Fatigue: tired, generalized heaviness, sleepy, yawning, exhausted, fall asleep

Generalized: dizzy, lightheaded, imbalance, staggering, vertigo, blackout, going to faint, chilly, cold, warmth, hot flashes

Depressed: withdrawn, listless, vacant, dull faces, negative, indifferent, confused, dazed, depressed, crying, sobbing

Stimulated: silly, intoxicated, grimacing, more alert, talkative, hyperactive, tense, restless, anxious, apprehensive, fear, panic, irritable, angry

Speech comprehension: mentally sluggish, concentration poor, memory loss (acute), speech slurred, stammering, stuttering, speech paralysis, reads aloud poorly, reads without comprehension, hears without comprehension, math errors, spelling errors

Muscle: muscle tremor, jerking, muscle cramps, spasms, pseudoparalysis, weak

Contact: poor contact, surroundings unreal, disoriented, catatonic, stuporous, false belief, delusion, hallucinations; to wander in mind; false perception, suicidal, feel like hurting self, maniacal, very highly disturbed

Nasal: sneezing, itching, rubbing, obstruction, discharge, postnasal drip, sinus discomfort, stuffy feeling

Throat/mouth: itching, sore, tight, swollen, dysphagia, difficulty in swallowing, choking, weak voice, hoarse, salivation, mucus, metallic taste

Ears: itching, full or blocked, erythema of pinna (reddening), tinnitus (ringing in ears), earache, hearing loss, hyperacusis (abnormal, sensitivity to sound)

Lungs/heart: coughing, wheezing, reduced air flow, retracting, sob, heavy, tight, not enough air, hyperventilation (rapid breathing), chest pain, tachycardia (rapid pulse), palpitations (rapid, violent, or throbbing pulses), premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) 

Eyes: itch, burn, pain, lacrimation (tearing), allergic shiners, feel heavy, red

Vision: blurring, acuity decreased, spots, flashes, darker, vision loss, photophobia (brighter), diplopia (double vision), dyslexia (difficulty reading – transposition of similar letters, letters or words becoming small or large, words moving around)

G-U: voided, mild urge, frequency, urgency, pressure, painful or difficult urination, dysuria (genital itch)

G-I (Abdomen): nausea, belching, full, bloated, vomiting, pressure, pain, cramps, flatus, rumbling, bowel movement (BM), diarrhea, gall bladder symptoms, hunger, thirst, hyperacidity

Muscles: tight, stiff, ache, sore, pain, neck, trapezius, upper-lower back, upper-lower extremities

What To Do Now? 

As you can see, food sensitivities and food allergies can effect every part of your body including your brain, thoughts, and emotions. And, unlike what many people believe, the symptoms do not always start with obvious digestive issues. Some foods, like gluten and dairy, are more likely culprits than others, but it could be anything. It is actually not uncommon for it to be the food you crave the most.

If you see yourself in any of the many possible symptoms above, I would encourage you to look at the foods you eat and the beverages you drink. Keeping a food diary and/or doing an elimination diet might help you figure it out. Start by eliminating one or two things. As you start feeling better, it will help motivate you to continue.

If you need additional help, work with a health practitioner who can help you to determine your needs and help you make the necessary changes. Muscle testing and BioEnergetic Assessments can help with this. Blood tests can also be helpful, although they have some limitations as explained in my previous article on allergies.

Spending the time to figure our your culprit food or foods may help you to drastically shift your health. Are you ready to find out?

This article was written by Sharon Harmon, founder of Life Design for Health. She has a passion for helping people find their way back to optimum health. Please contact her if you would like to know more. There is a great deal of health-related information in her blog articles and on her website.

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