Ever eat a bowl of ice cream and feel not so great after? Maybe it’s the bloat or gas that comes after ingesting the favored dessert that brings smiles to faces. Or, maybe you find yourself picking over a cheese you used to love because your tummy can’t process it any longer. Many people develop food allergies and food intolerance later on in life because of how our bodies change. Food sensitivities are a strange beast. The human body is consistently changing with age. As a result, so does our tolerance for certain foods. Studies in aging populations have shown changes in gut flora and even the absorption and reduction of certain vitamins (see my post on Vitamin D).
Changes in food tolerance are very common, but food intolerance is also very different from developing actual food allergies. Certain substances in foods (especially highly processed foods) can wreak havoc on the digestive system; while, other ingredients are processed with no issues at all! It all depends on what is in and/or on the food. Intolerance can arise during mid-life or can develop late life. There’s a larger focus on food intolerance in the aging population. Some medications (antibiotics) can change gut flora. Bring in the intolerance check list!
There a so many different ways our bodies change as we age. Who would have thought the ability to process certain proteins or additives would become a typical part of aging now? Ugh, am I right?
But, these changes are real. The standard American diet (SAD) is full of various additives and proteins that can wreak havoc on a person’s digestive system. Seriously! Sugars in various forms can make the liver say WOAH! Lactose or enzymes in milk (because there are many producers using various ingredients) have the gut screaming What is This Stuff?!
Think about food kind of like a ping ball machine. The little ball is the nutrients in food and all of the organs are the 1000 point markers. The tunnels and crevasses the ball has to travel through are the vessels in the body. That little ball is trying to get the most out of the 1st hit. Each time it goes to a 1000 point marker the body gets a one-up. The fat, carbohydrates, and proteins are broken down and quickly used.
Now, if the process is rejected in any way, or if the body doesn’t have the right chemicals to process certain foods, things slow down or stop. This can cause gas, bloating, or general discomfort. The best thing to do is to listen to your body after eating certain meals. Create a food diary and jot down a couple of things that cause tummy upset. Certain vitamins and medications are also known to cause some discomfort. It’s important to have the ability to separate the two sensations.
I recently have been very aware of what I’m eating due to realizing my own issues with some foods. I think I know what has been causing me discomfort. I have been eliminating certain things, and found anything with a peanut putter texture is a no go for me! I’ve also found milk products give me tummy issues. I’m also very aware of how my body reacts to taking versions of vitamins and medications. I try to pick and choose my foods wisely these days since my chemo-lyte treatment. I swear, everything has changed for me since then!
I’m finding I have to test many versions of certain foods (ie; dairy) because I usually eat the same group of things daily. It’s been a lot of trial and error!