Intolerances Are Not Allergies

An allergic reaction is generally quite severe, and sometimes life-threatening. An intolerance simply means that in this moment your body can’t process what you’re feeding it.

“I spent the majority of my twenties majorly bloated. In fact, maintaining a healthy weight and managing the bloat was almost a full-time job. However, as I’ve gotten a little more in touch with my body and grew to understand it better, bloating has since become a thing of the past. I began to recognise not only the triggers, bloating was my body’s way of trying to tell me there was something else going on.

We are living at a time where our gut health is severely compromised. Hands down, the number one reason I see health issues in my clinic is because of this reason alone. It’s simple. If we can’t adequately assimilate and absorb nutrients from our food and drink, we find ourselves shockingly overfed and undernourished. That is, we eat far more food than we need, to meet our body’s nutritional requirements and even then, we are barely scraping by. Add to this, foods that we may not actually be able to break down because we are intolerant, and we can find ourselves feeling rather average.

It’s important to be reminded that food intolerances are different to food we may be allergic to.

An allergic reaction is generally quite severe, and sometimes life-threatening. An intolerance simply means that in this moment your body can’t process what you’re feeding it. The truth is, the best way to approach any intolerance is actually with the ‘like treats like’ approach. What you are intolerant too soon becomes your superpower because it can tell us a little of what is truly going on.

Symptoms of food intolerance may start simple – bloating, upset bowels and sometimes nausea, all of which begin to happen when your digestive systems is struggling to do its job properly. This is generally amplified by foods we find difficult to digest. The main offenders being gluten, dairy, and sugar. Perhaps you were born with compromised gut health (we immediately inherit our mother’s gut health at conception and birth), or other factors during your lifetime like the pill, antibiotics or other medications have contributed. In any case, sub-average gut health lies at the core of why we experience intolerances. Overgrowth of certain (unwelcome) bacteria in the gut can contribute to gas and bloating should food build up in the digestive tract and not be moved through efficiently.

Stress can also be a major contributor as we find ourselves in a ‘fight or flight’ state rather than a ‘rest and digest’ one. Our body only knows these two states when it comes to survival. If however, we are in fight or flight (because stress does this) and we are trying to digest food, the signals aren’t being sent to the digestive system but rather to the extremities and digestion shuts down since stress as our body knows it, is an event that occurs to keep us out of danger.

However, in our modern life, we’ve switched stress to be so many things, not simply a stressful act, say of jumping out of the way of a moving vehicle, but the body finds living stressful. Stress is all around us, meaning we aren’t necessarily in a state of poor digestion, contributing to intolerance.

Those common foods that may cause intolerance as mentioned – sugar, dairy, and gluten aren’t the only delinquents, and if you suspect you are intolerant to other foods the only real way to confirm is through testing. Some other common foods that people often find they react to include eggs, nuts, tomatoes, and onions.

Being intolerant isn’t the final destination, in fact, we can bring the body back to a better state of health by focusing treatment on the digestive system itself.

Ingredients found in some of our favorite blends include many benefits to leading the gut back to better assimilation.

For example, Shan Zha is a common and very useful, gentle herb used in Chinese Medicine to assist in moving food through the digestive system, indicated where there is bloating and pain.

There are many wonderful ingredients that are available to help support and assist in better digestion all the while helping to bring the digestive system back to a better state of health. This may, in some instances be enough to begin tackling issues like intolerances and why so many Your Tea customers report their bloating and gut issues minimised whilst using various teas.

In any case, it’s all about making the body work smarter (not harder) when we want to make inroads towards recovery. When the body is well supported, it innately knows what to do. These ingredients certainly may assist in achieving this.

With Love,

Dr Nat TCM”
Image via @nespresso

Natalie Kringoudis is a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncturist, Natural Fertility Educator, Author and owner of The Pagoda Tree.

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