Are Your Food Allergies/Sensitivities Making You Fat?

Your digestive system may be making you fat.

It’s hard to believe—but very true. Bugs in your digestive tract upset your gut’s immune system, and  they just might be behind those extra pounds. The gut, the immune system, detoxification system, hormones, and more—are connected.

There’s powerful evidence that addressing these key causes of weight gain and illness can help you shed pounds. Food allergies contribute to systemic inflammation. We call it “Inflamabesity”

The big debate in medicine is which comes first: inflammation or obesity. I have always believed that we become inflamed first, and gain weight second—which makes us even more inflamed, perpetuating the cycle.

According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), food allergy is a condition in which the immune system reacts abnormally to a component of a food, sometimes producing a severe and life-threatening response1

Chronic inflammation is associated with insulin resistance, which can lead to weight gain1Cortisol is produced to combat inflammation, but cortisol also raises blood sugar, which leads to insulin resistance and the body in fat storage mode2.

Avoiding foods that you are allergic or sensitive to can help reduce inflammation and break this cycle. On the other hand, obesity itself can cause inflammation, perpetuating the cycle1

It’s important to note that food allergies and sensitivities are different. A food allergy is an immune system reaction that occurs soon after eating a certain food. Even a tiny amount of the allergy-causing food can trigger signs and symptoms such as digestive problems, hives or swollen airways. In some people, a food allergy can cause severe symptoms or even a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis.

Food sensitivity, on the other hand, is more common and generally less severe. Symptoms of food sensitivity may take longer to appear and can include digestive problems such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Both can contribute to weight gain by stoking inflammation.