Food Sensitivity Triggers, Stress & The Holidays

Written by Joe Cohen, BS | Last updated:

When I tell people they might be sensitive to a specific food, they often object with “how is that possible, I’ve been eating it my whole life!”

Out of 1500 clients and thousands of people I spoke with in the health world, I haven’t ever encountered anyone who was born with food sensitivities. People can be born with allergies, but not food sensitivities.

Allergies are a very specific type of immune response (IgE), while food sensitivities are a more broad immune response that cause damage over the long run. Food sensitivities are less noticeable because they are not as acute and cause more broad symptoms than food allergies.

In addition, the set of symptoms can be literally anything. The reason is because once your immune system over activates, it doesn’t necessarily cause a problem right away in your life. It requires some weakness in a specific area of your body, such as your gut, brain, and thyroid.

Food sensitivities can then lead to all sorts of symptoms like brain fog, fatigue, anxiety, increased pain, weight gain, and more.

The thing is that food sensitivities can be triggered at any time in your life.

On top of that, once you get them…they might never go away.

But it’s not random…

Stress is the ultimate trigger, followed by infections. And there’s a whole lot of both running around.

A recent poll showed that more than 50% of people think that their stress around the holidays will be more than doubled this year due to extra concerns around the current crisis.

That’s why with the holiday season upon us, you could be setting the stage for additional or worsened food sensitivities.

Stress & Infection Lead to Sudden Food Sensitivities

Prolonged stress leads to an increase in cortisol precursors (CRH) that increase gut permeability, alter the gut immune system to be hyperactive and also slow down movement in the small intestine. This results in bacterial overgrowth and gas.

Infections have a similar mechanism of action. An overactive immune system causes CRH & cortisol to rise, leading to gut permeability (i.e. leaky gut), bacterial overgrowth, and the potential to start misidentifying benign foods as harmful invaders.

This triple combination, combined with genetic susceptibility, causes your body will start to identify more and more foods as the enemy.

It’s no wonder that the big C and other infections cause a host of gut problems.

Combined with all the stress, there will be an increase of food sensitivities after this mess is over.

How is Genetics Involved?

Many people have genetic variations that predispose them to a greater risk of experiencing:

  • High stress/anxiety levels
  • A hyper immune reaction (Th1/Th17 dominance)
  • Gut permeability
  • Specific areas of weakness (brain, thyroid, gut, etc…)

At SelfDecode, we do super deep dives into anxiety, mood, stress, inflammation, gut permeability and many specific areas you might be weak in.

We all have genes that are problematic, but the trick is to find which ones are your kryptonite, and know the right actions to counteract the negative effects of these.

Once you know what to do, you can take comfort that there’s one less thing in your life to worry about – your health.

That’s exactly what we at SelfDecode are here to help you with. All you need to do is get a DNA kit, or upload a DNA file you already have from somewhere else (like 23andMe), and we’ll do all the hard work for you.

You can simply download your DNA reports to see an analysis of all the genes involved in a health area, like anxiety, stress, mood, attention, sleep, inflammation and much more.

Every report comes with a prioritized list of health recommendations based on your unique genetic variants. Just start implementing the suggestions and watch how much better you start feeling!

Don’t wait until your body is in chaos, start making changes today!

About the Author

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen, BS

As a kid, Joe suffered from inflammation, brain fog, fatigue, digestive problems, mood and other issues that were poorly understood in both conventional and alternative medicine. Frustrated by the lack of good information and tools, Joe decided to embark on a journey of self-experimentation and self-learning to improve his health--something that has since become known as “biohacking”. With thousands of experiments and pubmed articles under his belt, Joe founded SelfHacked, the resource that was missing when he needed it. SelfHacked now gets millions of monthly readers. Joe is a thriving entrepreneur, author and speaker. He is the CEO and founder of SelfDecode. His mission is to help people gain access to the most up-to-date, unbiased, and science-based ways to optimize their health.


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