Studies have linked being overweight with an inappropriate response to food. Often, food is used as a coping mechanism when we feel stressed, bored, or depressed. This phenomenon has been correlated with serotonin (a neuro-transmitter in the brain) excretion when we eat high carbohydrate foods such as ice cream, bread and pasta. Serotonin is our “feel good” hormone that helps us feel better emotionally. However, processed foods that are high in refined sugar may also cause an increase in other hormones – ultimately leading to obesity.
If an individual with food sensitivities consumes foods to which they are sensitive, this may actually stress the body and decrease the level of serotonin in the brain. In turn the immune system is activated, and other areas of the body – such as the skin, intestines, joints and sinuses may be affected as well. Food sensitivities may also lead to malnutrition by interfering with the metabolism of fat for energy. This is due to poor intestinal absorption of nutrients. Once the offending foods are eliminated, most patients experience immediate improvement in their symptoms.
Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, offers comprehensive food sensitivity testing at her St. Petersburg weight loss clinic. Please call the office at (813) 902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.