Health & Lifestyle

How a food intolerance reaction REALLY feels

How a food intolerance reaction REALLY feels

A while back, I wrote this post describing some of the common symptoms associated with the different types of food intolerances. These general symptoms are worth knowing about but, as I’m currently recovering from a reaction, I thought it might be helpful to write a frank and open post about exactly what I experience when I eat one of my trigger foods.

A week and a half ago, I decided to experiment with cashew nuts (one of the food products I’m highly intolerant to) by eating half a Perkier Oaty Cranberry and Cashew bar. With just 7% of total ingredients being cashew nuts, I thought it would be a relatively safe reintroduction.

How wrong was I?!

I knew within the hour that I’d had a reaction as I had that horrible feeling of extreme fullness, like I’d just eaten a three course meal, washed down with a litre of full fat coke. In reality, I’d had a nibble of a cereal bar.

The next morning, I felt bloated but it wasn’t until the afternoon that I really started to feel the impact. Sat at my desk, I felt a wave of heat, nausea and fogginess wash over me. At the time, I genuinely thought I’d picked up a sickness bug and didn’t put it down to the food reaction. All I knew was that I needed to get out of work because I couldn’t focus on anything and I felt like I might be sick at any moment.

The nausea only got stronger. I couldn’t eat and felt exhausted. The pressure on my stomach was extreme, so extreme that my lower back ached, the kind of ache that I can only imagine you get when you’re carrying an 8lb baby in your womb.

I wanted to sleep so badly but I was so uncomfortable. I’d eaten nothing yet I felt so full.

The next day, I felt just as bad. I couldn’t focus on anything, all I wanted to do was sleep and the ache in my back was only getting worse. My stomach was so rounded and hard. All the work in gym felt like a distant memory and a complete waste of time.

Over the next few days, I felt so down. I was snappy, emotional and completely unmotivated. This makes a lot more sense to me now I know about the close relationship between the mind and gut.

It’s now a week and a half since my reaction and I’m still not myself. I’m still bloated and (as my boyfriend will no doubt agree with) a lot more needy than my usually independent self!

Apparently it takes three weeks for a trigger food to completely leave your system but I’m hoping I’ll start seeing some more positive improvements next week. With only three weeks before our holiday, I’m going to be extra cautious to ensure I don’t have another flare up. And if I do…well, I’ve decided I’m just going to embrace the pregnant look on holiday!


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