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Food Allergies & Food Intolerances Can Cause Pain & Tension

Why are some people's bodies full of tension and pain, even though they haven't been injured? Why do some people suffer much more after injury than others? Sometimes it's because of what they eat, drink, or inhale. Food allergies & food intolerances cause muscle tension & pain in many people.

Examples of Pain from Food Allergies & Food Intolerances

A massage client has been getting better. They call saying that their back pain suddenly returned, full force. They need massage therapy, right away. When they come in, I ask them what they ate, and note it in their file. The next time they suddenly get worse, I ask them the same question. They ate the same food. And the next time.

I suggest to someone with chronic pain that they stop eating one of the common pain-causing foods. They try it, and find that they don't hurt as much. When I'm doing massage therapy on them, their body feels different. Muscles that were tense and hardened, start to relax deeply. The client starts to get out of pain.

Food Allergies VS Food Intolerances

In food allergies, blood tests show an immune system response. In extreme cases, people go into anaphylactic shock if they eat a tiny amount of a food they are allergic to.

In food intolerances, food sensitivities, etc, nothing shows up on blood tests and other lab tests. Something is obviously going on here, even if the tests don't show it; you can call it food intolerance, or food sensitivity if you prefer.

Is it all in your head? Consider this: Someone who has been avoiding dairy, and having less pain, suddenly gets an attack of severe pain. They find out that something they ate contained small amounts of dairy. They didn't know it had dairy when they ate it, and it caused them pain. It was not in their head.

Myth: Food allergy is the same as food intolerance. Fact: A food intolerance is non-allergic by definition - Science-Based Pharmacy
Food allergies: The stakes are too high for myths and pseudoscience

Got Pain? Got Milk?

Hi Jordan
I just wanted to let you know that I did as you suggested, dropped dairy from my diet: lo and behold! My pain stopped! I also have been doing lots of exercises to correct my posture, but really the pain went away when I stopped eating dairy. I have studied nutrition and just didn't imagine that dairy was a problem for me, but I was at my wit's end with the pain so decided to try your suggestion.
Thank you

I just wanted to thank you for your article about pain and dairy. I've been off dairy for the past two weeks, and I noticed a big difference in my lower back pain that I've had for the past 8 years. Then on Thursday and Friday last week I had something with dairy in it, and yesterday I could barely walk. By reading your article, it makes it clearer to me that I need to avoid dairy. Thank you so much for writing the article.

Milk is the most common pain-causing food. Dairy is also the most common food allergen. Some people think that milk damages the gut lining, creating leaky gut syndrome, causing other food allergies.

Casein & Whey: Allergenic Proteins in Milk

People who get pain from milk products react to casein and/or whey, two proteins in milk. Cheese is a concentrated source of casein. Soy cheeses, non-dairy creamers, and other imitation-dairy foods may contain casein. Read labels. Butter is mostly fat, but has enough milk protein to cause pain in sensitive people. Baked goods may contain milk, butter, casein and/or whey. Read labels.

Milk Allergy is Not Lactose Intolerance

Allergy to milk is different from lactose intolerance. People with lactose intolerance can't digest lactose, a sugar in milk. Undigested lactose in the gut causes bloating, cramps, diarrhea, gas, and nausea.

The symptoms are not a reaction to lactose. Since the lactose is undigested, it's not assimilated: it stays in the gut. Bacteria in the gut use the lactose, and create gas and lactic acid. Lactic acid is a good thing, but too much causes diarrhea.

Milk Resources

Animal Foods & Pain

All of the animal-derived foods are common food allergens, especially milk & eggs. Beef & chicken cause severe pain in some people.

Plant Foods & Pain

Citrus, corn, peanuts, soy, or wheat cause pain in some people. Migraines can be caused by sunflower seed, walnut, cashew, coconut, or pineapple. Among plant foods, soy may be the one that causes pain the most often.

Nightshade Family Vegetables

Eggplant, peppers (bell peppers, cayenne, chili peppers, paprika), potatoes (not sweet potatoes nor yams), tomatoes.
Not actually an allergic reaction. Solanine, a slightly toxic substance found in nightshades, doesn't harm most people. It isn't detoxified properly by some people; this is a genetic difference. Those folks get joint pain that may be diagnosed as arthritis, and muscular pain from nightshades. They may need to stay off of these foods for a few weeks or months to clear the solanine from their system.

Tobacco is in the nightshade family, it causes pain in the same way.

Addictive Food Allergy

People sometimes turn out to be very allergic to their favorite food; a food they eat several times a day, every day. A food they absolutely insist on having at frequent intervals. They're addicted. If they don't eat it for a while, they start to detox, and feel bad. They say that eating their favorite food makes them feel better. If they eliminate that food for a week, to detox more thoroughly, and then eat some of it, they will have a strong reaction.

How to Determine if You Have a Food Allergy

Don't get overwhelmed! You don't have to stop eating everything. The point is to get accurate information about your own body, so you can make informed choices.

There's a simple, free, safe & accurate method:

Elimination Diet & Challenge Meal

Stop eating one food entirely for one week. That's the elimination diet. Then have a challenge meal consisting entirely of that one food. By having only one food, if you do have a reaction, it's very clear what you're reacting to. Any reaction will probably occur within a few hours. If you're not sure whether you had a reaction, repeat the challenge meal.

Start with dairy products, the most common pain-causing food. You can apply the same method to see whether you have problems with other foods.

What About Blood Tests, Skin Tests, Stool Tests?

They're not useful as a guide to whether foods are causing your pain and muscle tension. Allergy lab tests often miss foods that people are reactive to, and warn them away from foods that are safe for them. An elimination diet, followed by a food challenge, is a better method.

At present, there are no reliable and validated clinical tests for the diagnosis of food intolerance. - Science-Based Medicine
IGG Food Intolerance Tests: What Does the Science Say?

Food intolerance blood tests have no place in the pharmacy - Science Based Pharmacy

To date neither ALCAT nor IgG has been shown to have any predictive value in the diagnosis of allergy or intolerances. - Allergy Society of South Africa
ALCAT and IgG Allergy & Intolerance Tests.pdf

Testing for IgG4 against foods is not recommended as a diagnostic tool - European Academy of Allergology & Clinical Immunology

What About Muscle Testing?

Muscle testing can produce ludicrous results. A muscle testing practitioner told me that the mercury battery in my wristwatch was making my left arm weak. I was wearing a wind-up watch, no battery. They found what they expected to find, not what was actually there.

Will You Always be Allergic to These Foods?

Not necessarily. Many people have gotten over food allergies after fasting.

I used to be highly allergic to wheat; eating a small amount of wheat would cause eczema, with terrible itching. I couldn't stop from scratching, damaging my skin. After eating raw foods for a few months, and fasting a couple of times, I lost the allergy wheat allergy. Now I can eat wheat either raw (muesli) or cooked.

I also had an allergy to soy; if I accidentally ate some food that had soy in it, I became sore and achy all over, and fatigued. That went away slowly, as I continued to eat mostly raw foods.

Food Allergy Resources

Foods You Eat May Cause Pain to Others

You don't like being in pain; neither do animals who suffer to produce foods. Animals are sentient beings, like you and me. They have minds and feelings. They experience happiness and suffering.

Factory farming is especially abusive to animals.

But even animal farming described as humane, organic, or sustainable, involves violence to animals. Killing is always part of animal agriculture. A cow produces milk because it was made pregnant & gave birth to a baby cow. The baby is taken from it's mother and killed, so it won't drink the milk. The cow becomes depressed when it's baby is taken away. The cow is worked so hard that it's worn out in a few years, then it's killed for hamburger.

Slaughterhouse workers are traumatized by killing. They suffer extremely high rates of alcoholism, depression, and often become violent against their wives and children. - My other site. Healthy, low-cost, cruelty-free diet. Easy-to-fix recipes. Ecologically sound, based on locally grown foods. High in anti-oxidants, and tasty.

See Also

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