Why resistant weight loss may be due to hidden allergies
Time and time again, I meet people who tell me that their excess weight vanished after discovering, and eliminating, their food intolerances. Mary is a case in point. She was intolerant to gluten grains, especially wheat, and also extremely sensitive to sugar. By eliminating these foods she lost 7 stone in weight.
The reason why food intolerance can lead to weight gain – and make it difficult to lose it despite going on reduced calorie diets – is complex but is starting to be unravelled.
The most common kind of food intolerance leads to the production of IgG antibodies, which activate an immune reaction when you eat an offending food. This, in turn, increases inflammation in the body, raising certain known markers for inflammation such as TNF-a and C-reactive protein (CRP).
Increased inflammation also increases water retention and bloating, as well as other classic signs of food intolerance such as aching joints, headaches, blocked nose, IBS and skin problems. However, these symptoms are often delayed by 24 to 48 hours, so it isn’t easy to know what you react to just by observing how you feel after eating a particular food. Nor is it easy to work out what you’re intolerant to just by observing how you feel by short-term elimination of the food. This is because some people get withdrawal symptoms when they eliminate certain foods they are intolerant too.
To make matters worse, some potential offending foods, especially wheat and milk , have an immediate pay-off by producing opiod-like chemicals called gluteomorphins and caseomorphines that make you feel good so, if anything, you are naturally drawn to these foods. The same is true with sugar which, in the short-term, promotes energy – but actually encourages inflammation and weight gain in the long-term.
The more foods you eat that provoke an IgG antibody reaction (identified by a simple allergy test), the worse it is for your health and your weight. Your immune system should not produce large amounts of IgG antibodies and, if it does, you are likely to suffer from some degree of general malaise and symptoms that just don’t seem to shift, as well as resistant weight loss.
For example, a recent study found that obese children had much higher IgG antibody levels than children of normal weight.1 ‘Anti-food IgG antibodies are tightly associated with low grade systemic inflammation and with the thickness of carotid arteries,’ the authors of the study report. They conclude that having IgG antibody reactions may be involved in the development of both obesity and atherosclerosis, and that a diet based on eliminating IgG positive foods may be the way forward.
Inflammation also affects the gut, potentially making the gut wall more leaky or permeable, which, in turn, may increase food intolerances. So it becomes a vicious circle.
Your allergy tester can pinpoint your allergy/allergies using equipment specifically designed to help you find out if any particular food intolerances may be stopping you losing weight. That’s step one before you consider instructing a personal fitness trainer.
Once you’ve identified what you are allergic to, and eliminated it, the next step is to improve your gut health. I recommend having a heaped teaspoon of glutamine powder in water last thing at night to help heal the gut, plus a probiotics supplement containing dairy and sugar-free acidophilus and bifido bacteria , such as Bioacidophilus, to help restore healthy levels of gut bacteria. These are only necessary for a couple of weeks after eliminating your offending foods.
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Allergies and weight gain