If dieting and exercise seem ineffective, a food allergen could be to blame for your weight gain.¬†According toFit Sugar,some food allergies result in ‘hidden’ symptoms. Unlike hives, difficulty breathing, and other obvious signs of an allergic reaction, food sensitivities can lead to chronic inflammation, fluid retention, and bloating, or mimic the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

An allergy to gluten, found in wheat and other grains, can lead to bloating, abdominal pain, and intermittent diarrhea. Meanwhile, dairy or lactose can cause an upset stomach and abdominal cramping. Although many tree nut allergies are fast-acting and cause severe reactions, they can also result in wheezing, stomach pain, and diarrhea. Corn, found in thousands of packaged foods, can result in joint inflammation, fatigue, aching muscles, and headaches.

Elimination Diet

Caitlin Weeks, a certified holistic nutritionist, suggests that if you suspect an allergy is behind your symptoms, you may want to cut the food out of your diet to see if your symptoms improve. Dr. Mark Hyman, author ofThe Blood Sugar Solution, has developed a three-step plan for tracking down food allergies and eliminating the culprit from your diet. First, cut out the most common food allergens from your diet for three weeks. Once you have targeted your specific allergen, eliminate the allergen for at least 90 days. Then, attempt to reintroduce it to your diet by eating the food two or three times a day to see if your symptoms return.

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