Let me start by saying that my journey in unearthing my food intolerances has been a very long and painful journey. For years (I’m talking since high school) I battled with chronic fatigue, embarrassing digestive issues, and brain fog. I mean, I could literally sleep for 10-plus hours, wake up and still feel like I needed more sleep.
From depression to chronic fatigue syndrome, doctor after doctor would prescribe me a different medication to mask the symptoms, but nothing seemed to really make it better, and moreover, I still never felt 100 percent. I started to think that either I would never get better, it was all simply in my head and that I’d just have to live the rest of my life feeling tired ALL OF THE TIME.
It wasn’t until two years ago when Black Girls RUN! offered Nourish a 21-Day Clean Eating Challenge with Danielle Omar that I started to realize that perhaps it wasn’t all in my head, and maybe there was something more to feeling exhausted 100 percent of the time.
As we entered into week three of the challenge having cut out gluten and dairy, I was feeling amazing. I was sleeping better, feeling better, and had more energy than I could ever remember. As part of the program, we began to reintroduce “triggers” such as gluten and dairy, to see if our bodies would have an adverse response or exhibit a noticeable difference after adding it back into our diets.
I decided to try dairy-free pizza with regular pizza crust, and I immediately began having stomach pains. (Actually, I had to poop as soon as we stepped into the pizza joint. I’m assuming from all of the flour in the air). Not only that, during the next few days, I slept more than I had in previous weeks. I immediately knew that something was up.
But, it wasn’t until I started seeing an integrative medicine physician (Dr. Kristin Corbin Oja at CentreSpringMD in Atlanta), that it ALL came together for me. After running a few tests, she confirmed that indeed, I had a food intolerance to gluten and dairy in addition to:
I was floored. I immediately became a food label junkie, and ultimately established a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables ensuring that I stayed away from any of these foods/ingredients that could cause further inflammation. Bye, bye pizza. (sad face)
But, let me pause here. What are food intolerances, and what’s the deal with inflammation?
Food intolerances are different from food allergies. According to the Mayo Clinic,
“A true food allergy causes an immune system reaction that affects numerous organs in the body. It can cause a range of symptoms. In some cases, an allergic reaction to a food can be severe or life-threatening. In contrast, food intolerance symptoms are generally less serious and often limited to digestive problems.”
I would bet that many people know that they have some type of food intolerance. I distinctly remember during our 21 Day Cleaning Eating Challenge, a participant noted, “My stomach always hurts when I eat gluten, but I refuse to give it up.” I’ve heard that time, and time again, particularly with milk and/or dairy. (p.s. Most black people have an intolerance to dairy. More on that later).
Well, in my opinion, this is the definition of insanity. While you might not think having a food intolerance is a big deal, after all, you could take TUMS or whatever other remedies that are on the pharmacy shelf, but in fact, it’s a MAJOR deal.
Gut inflammation can cause digestive problems and cause symptoms such as bloating, leaky gut syndrome, indigestion, and gas, food hypersensitivity can cause inflammation-related symptoms such as diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, eczema, asthma, rhinitis, and even depression, hyperactivity, adrenal fatigue and has even been linked to infertility.
Unlike allergies, a food intolerance usually involves a delayed biological reaction, which although uncomfortable and unpleasant, is not life threatening. A Food intolerance is much more common than a food allergy and affects more than half of the world population.
Trust me, this is not a game. As I learn more about food intolerances, inflammation, and the gut/mind connection, I’m a little obsessed with helping people understand how important it is to know whether or not they have food intolerances.
Unfortunately, most doctors won’t even entertain food intolerances as part of diagnosing ailments and treating diseases. (I’m also convinced that most chronic diseases can be cured with food. Not to sound all conspiracy theory, but there IS a conspiracy here.)
I was very fortunate to find Dr. Oja and she has been spectacular in helping me navigate my new lifestyle and providing guidance in helping me truly heal my body with food and supplements.
If you’re still thinking, “I don’t know Toni. This sounds pretty crazy to me,” let me introduce you to another product that I’m a huge fan of. It’s called PinnerTest.
If you are interested in exploring your food intolerances at ALL, this is a great first step.
“PinnerTest is a new generation, at-home food lab test, performed with your blood sample. It is the most accurate Food Intolerance test in the world that can detect your exact food intolerances.”
The company tests for 200 food types and after they receive your blood sample (within 10 days) you will receive your PinnerTest results via email. Super easy and simple.
Although, I had already been tested for food intolerances, I wanted to give it another go to see if anything else popped up. The test arrived super quick and the directions were very easy to follow.
Now, I’ll admit, I get a little squeamish around needles, so my husband literally had to hype me up to prick my finger. But, it truly is a prick and is the same type of needle that diabetics use to test their blood sugar levels. I’m just a wimp around blood.
Once I pricked my finger, the rest was easy breezy. I squeezed a few droplets onto a piece of paper, stuck it in inside an envelope with pre-paid postage and dropped it in the mail. Seriously, it’s surprising how simple it was. In a little over a week, I received my results.
But before I share them with you, there’s a few things to note.
The results that you will receive are very easy to understand. The foods in the red column represent the foods that you can’t digest, that are your PinnerTest food intolerances.
Again, my results were pretty boring, but still kind of shocking. Turns out I’m also intolerant to:
Again, pretty boring, but for once that’s a good thing! I’ve since also cut out these items from my diet and I’m feeling better than ever.
I did have a few questions about my test, especially as how it compared to my previous test, and PinnerTest has food intolerance specialists that will answer all your questions regarding your results after you receive them.
If you’ve ever wondered about whether or not you have a food intolerance, order a PinnerTest and see what comes up for you! Trust me, you won’t regret it!
This is a sponsored post by PinnerTest, but all opinions are my own. PinnerTest partnered with bloggers, such as me, to get the word out about its product. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. I also received a free PinnerTest to try and review.