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

Joe Cohen flipped the script on conventional and alternative medicine…and it worked. Growing up, he suffered from inflammation, brain fog, fatigue, digestive problems, insomnia, anxiety, and other issues that were poorly understood in traditional healthcare. Frustrated by the lack of good information and tools, Joe decided to embark on a learning journey to decode his DNA and track his biomarkers in search of better health. Through this personalized approach, he discovered his genetic weaknesses and was able to optimize his health 10X better than he ever thought was possible. Based on his own health success, he went on to found SelfDecode, the world’s first direct-to-consumer DNA analyzer & precision health tool that utilizes AI-driven polygenic risk scoring to produce accurate insights and health recommendations. Today, SelfDecode has helped over 100,000 people understand how to get healthier using their DNA and labs.
Joe is a thriving entrepreneur, with a mission of empowering people to take advantage of the precision health revolution and uncover insights from their DNA and biomarkers so that we can all feel great all of the time.


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