By Heather Woodruff, CNP RNCP
Certified Nutritional Practitioner & Digestion Guru

I can happily say I grew up with what I can only describe as a white picket fence childhood. Days were spent roaming outside our country home, eating raspberries straight from the bushes and surrounded by my large extended family and many friends. The only darkness I can recall were moments of confusing health issues for myself and my two siblings. Allergies, hay fever, tonsillitis, asthma and numerous skin issues including chronic eczema for which we were prescribed a corticosteroid cream for years. Today they have now realized the fside effects of corticosteroids (thinning of the skin, discoloration, folliculitis, extreme fatigue, weight loss, headaches, vision problems, etc). Today this medication is only recommended for a few weeks at a time but back then there were no restrictions. My parents did the absolute best they could with the information they had at the time but we all just assumed this was how we were and there was nothing that could be done except to continue to slather on the cream, remove the tonsils and pop a whole lot of anti-histamines. 

My Ah Ha Moment…

Fast forward 20 years and you will have found me sitting in one of my classes at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition learning about all the surprising symptoms of foods allergies and having the biggest ‘ah ha!’ moment of my life as my childhood finally started to make sense. Who would have thought that our body would launch a full scale attack on foods that were supposed to be nourishing us?! At the time it was not common practice to look for the root cause of health issues (and unfortunately still often isn’t). I have now since seen my health history repeated in numerous clients and witnessed the health benefits when certain inflammatory foods are removed to allow healing.

When we think of food sensitivity symptoms we often think; hives, skin rashes, or perhaps a little tummy ache. But what about the hundreds of other documented issues that have been linked to food sensitivities? such as; migraines, depression, mood swings, anemia, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, joint pain, asthma, irregular heartbeat, chronic fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, IBS, constipation, heartburn, reoccurring infections (especially ear infections in young children), insomnia, obesity, autoimmune disorders, the list goes on and on.

It’s easy to pinpoint an inflammatory food when we get hives minutes after eating it but food sensitivities are different than food allergies. They often don’t present symptoms for several hours to several days after consuming. 

Is it a Food Sensitivity?

Not every symptom is a food sensitivity/allergy but any symptom can be one. A good experiment is to try removing a suspected food for an extended period of time. Unfortunately skipping gluten for a meal or two will not show results. It often can take 2 – 6 weeks for an inflammatory food’s antibodies to completely flush from the system and symptoms to diminish.

While discovering our food triggers will probably not be the end of our health journey, it is another piece in the puzzle for helping us to understand our unique selves and improve our overall wellbeing. It’s amazing to see just how much more our bodies can thrive without the daily dose of inflammation caused by unknown food sensitivities.

Interesting to exploring your potential food sensitivities? Try this FREE Webinar: Do I Have Food Sensitivities?


Carolee Bateson-Koch DC ND. How to heal your allergic condition permanently and naturally. Summertown, TN; Books Alive 1994

Elizabeth Lipski, Ph.D., CCN, CHN. Digestive Wellness: Prevent Disease Through Health Digestion, 4th Edition. USA; McGraw Hill Books 2012

Dr. Sat Dharam Kaur, ND. The Complete Natural Medicine Guide to Women’s Health. Toronto, ON; Robert Rose Inc 2005


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