Surprising Health Conditions That Could Be Associated With Food Sensitivities

food sensitivity

You know which pizza toppings give you heartburn. You how much wine you can drink before you start to feel tipsy. You know those raw veggies that give you gas. But did you know that what you eat can affect other areas of your body.

Food sensitivities are more than just food allergies or how your meal affects your bathroom trips. The fact is, 70% of your immune system lies in your digestive tract. How your stomach and intestines react to food can affect immune responses all over the body. So, your diet can affect everything from your skin to your energy level. As a practitioner of functional medicine, Dr. Starke can help you explore your symptoms and discover if what you’re eating is what’s making you  sick.


There’s significant evidence that food intolerance is linked to migraines. Researchers have found that when migraine patients ate food they’re sensitive to, the lining of their intestines created specific cells called IgE and IgG, responsible for causing inflammation within the body. As they’re absorbed into the bloodstream, they move to the head, where they trigger inflammation.

The biggest problem with trying to identify which foods contribute to your headache is time. Your body may create these cells an hour after eating a trigger food or 120 hours later. Think back and try to remember everything you’ve eaten over the last five days to see if you can discover your trigger.


In recent years, research has found many links between arthritis and food sensitivity. When foods trigger the IgE response in the intestines, it can cause inflammation in the joints. Many arthritis sufferers benefit from an elimination diet. This diet gets rid of common food triggers in your daily fare, then reintroduces them one at a time to see how your body reacts.


If you’ve never had to deal with the itchy, scaly rash of eczema, consider yourself lucky. Eczema can appear anywhere on the body but often shows up on the face, arms, or legs. It may be as mild as dry patches of skin or as bad as dark, discolored rashes. It often starts in childhood, and some little ones outgrow the condition. But more severe cases can last well into adulthood.

The link between food sensitivity and eczema is still being researched. However, many children diagnosed with eczema develop food allergies as they grow. In addition, adults with eczema often find their outbreaks triggered by specific foods. Many of the common culprits include milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat, and soy.

Eosinophilic esophagitis

Have you ever had that feeling like food is stuck in your esophagus? If so, you might suffer from eosinophilic esophagitis. This is another issue that people with food sensitivities may experience.

The syndrome occurs when a specific food triggers a sensitivity to your immune system in your esophagus. Your body reacts by creating eosinophils that, in turn, cause inflammation in your esophagus. It can become severe enough to cause chest pain. Other, milder symptoms may range from slow swallowing to feeling full early.


While food isn’t often the only cause of asthma, foods can trigger an asthma attack. Often the attack results from an allergic reaction to food. It means that a trigger food can cause immediate wheezing and coughing. The food causes the gut to create IgG cells that, in turn, trigger inflammation in the lungs, causing the asthma attack. Since the asthma attack can occur without warning, it’s vital that asthma patients keep an inhaler with them at all times.

Thankfully, managing your food sensitivities is possible. Dr. Starke has a wide range of tests available to determine what, if any, food sensitivities might be plaguing you. The first step is to call the Coral Gables, Florida, office of Michelle M. Starke, MD, LLC, to make your appointment. Together, Dr. Starke can help you explore the relationship between your health and your diet.

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