There has been a lot of discussion about food allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances lately. It seems like everyone is giving up gluten and dairy in an attempt to resolve all of their health issues. There is an enormous benefit to discovering which foods affect you personally, but let’s take a deeper dive into what that may look like.

First of all, a true food allergy is easy to spot due to the immediate reaction after eating a certain food. Someone’s allergic response may include hives, mucus production, or itching and it is quite obvious. You most likely already know if you have a food allergy, such as a peanut allergy.

Unfortunately, food sensitivity or intolerance isn’t as easy to pinpoint due to the delayed reaction. Some of the common offenders include gluten (mainly from wheat), dairy (lactose or casein), high-histamine foods (such as smoked meats), and soy (especially genetically modified and processed soy). The best way to determine which foods are causing a reaction, ranging from fatigue and headaches to digestive upset and skin issues, is to follow an elimination diet and keep a food journal. By minimizing the main offenders and tracking every food consumed with a timeline of any symptoms, you can see over time which foods may be causing this negative immune reaction in the body. For example, if you ate two pieces of whole wheat toast for breakfast Monday morning and then noticed a headache Wednesday morning, it could be linked. It’s best to work with a trained practitioner to get the best results throughout the elimination diet process.

This immune response in the body also causes a large inflammatory response, leading to numerous health issues including a compromised airway. When the nasal pathway and airway are inhibited by inflammation it makes it very difficult to breathe properly and this is how these food reactions can ultimately affect your sleep quality.

We recommend working with your Dentist trained in Dental Sleep Medicine to determine whether you could have food triggers causing airway and sleep issues for you.