Help, I Feel Like I’m Sensitive to Everything I Eat! : Exclusive Renegade Health Artcile

Friday Aug 26 | BY |
| Comments (50)

My $7.00 fruit bowl yesterday morning. The only thing I’m sensitive to here is the price.

I’ve met a lot of people who have difficulty digesting food that normally should not cause them any issues…

Some think it’s an initiation into the health world and others say this difficulty is a symptom of detoxification, but while there are a lot of considerations and possibilities when it comes to food sensitivities, there are a few places to look first to help eliminate a theory or two, or better yet, maybe even the cause.

The good news is, that if you do get to the bottom of your food sensitivities, you may be able to eliminate other underlying issues as well like allergies and possibly autoimmune disease.

Here’s a question from Jackie on this very topic…

“I have rheumatoid arthritis and I really don’t know what to do anymore. One of my other big problems is that I have so much food allergies that I can barely live of a raw food life style on it’s own which I would very much like to. I can’t eat a simple apple pffff and I really want to do something about it. Would a fast do the trick to get rid of allergies, or maybe a fast combined with a colon cleanse? Why is somebody allergic to food? I don’t know what to do or eat anymore. Please help.”

Hey Jackie, I understand your frustration…

In my own personal journey with acne and candida, I would get so confused because everything I ate seemed to cause either gut pain or other issues like pimples, diarrhea, and gas which led to a massive amount of emotional stress.

Your situation seems to be similar in that regard.

There are a couple of big issues here that I want to address to help you figure out the best path for you. These include fasting for rheumatoid arthritis, how to deal with food allergies, why you may have food sensitivity with the raw food diet and, finally, whether cleansing is the best way to improve allergies.

I want to start with food sensitivities first.

There’s a myth that is passed around in health and raw food communities that says this…

“The cleaner you get the more sensitive you are to foods that aren’t good for you.”

Now, the myth isn’t completely false…

Once you remove processed sugar from your diet, you will feel very sensitive to it if you eat something that includes it 6 months later.

Where it doesn’t exactly pan out is when you start getting sensitive to lettuce, greens, fruits, and other whole foods that are clearly supposed to be healthy when you eat them.

Chances are, this is not happening because your diet is so clean, it’s happening because you’re messed up your digestive tract (and digestion) and maybe even your immune system.

So how do you get food sensitivities?

I’ve found many longer term raw fooders – or even others who eat healthy or not – start to get more and more sensitive to foods because their ability to produce HCL has dropped significantly.

Hydrochloric acid (HCL) denatures proteins so enzymes can break them into amino acids and it helps to separate bonds releasing organic forms of minerals for easy absorption.

When levels of HCL are low a few things can happen.

On the most basic level, your food won’t be properly digested when it’s sent into the small intestine. This can cause an array of simple and complex issues, including gut irritation, inflammation, excess release of bile, bacteria infection and overgrowth, candida overgrowth, and poor immune nutrient absorption.

As you can see, just a simple deficiency – in this case, HCL – can cause a chain reaction that can lead to issues such as leaky gut, allergies, candida, autoimmune issues and more.

So the first place to look when dealing with increased food sensitivity is your gut and specifically the levels of HCL – and enzymes – that your body is producing.

When you start to improve HCL levels, you get more amino acids and minerals to help produce your own HCL – or in Chinese medicine thought – rebuild your digestive fire.

Taking HCL (as recommended) and digestive enzymes are a good way to improve your gut and how you react to foods – so don’t always think because you’re getting more sensitive that it’s because you’re getting healthier – that may be a faulty and very unhealthy premise.

The role of probiotics…

Some people may tell you probiotics (including fermented foods) may be helpful to improve your food sensitives – others may say the opposite.

Here’s why both may be right, probiotics can help the immune system by breaking down food in the gut, releasing immune friendly nutrients when they metabolize the food, and can help regulate the population of good, healthy bacteria in the gut. This will in turn help to quell reactions to foods that shouldn’t be a problem.

But, if you have serious gut inflammation, using probiotics can be an issue because the bacteria may be absorbed in larger numbers than necessary into the bloodstream causing an immune reaction – and in turn more inflammation.

So the key to eliminating food sensitivities is to remove what’s causing the inflammation first – even if it’s the addition of good bacteria into your gut – then rebuild your gut flora.

Will a colon cleanse take care of allergies and food sensitivities?

Colon cleansing is a helpful tool, but it’s not the only tool.

A colon cleanse can help to remove some potentially toxic material from your colon, it can improve hydration to that organ and your body, it can stimulate peristalsis for those who may be constipated and it can give some allergy relief.

What it can’t do is fix all the bad stuff that may be happening in your small intestine. So again, it may be part of a solution, but (just like a business) the first place to look if you’re having problems is the front end, not the back end.

GMO, Conventional Crops, Common Allergens…

It would be irresponsible to not mention a few things that anyone who has food sensitivities could remove from their diet to see if they show nay improvement.

These are…

  • Foods that are genetically modified. Some of these foods have shown inflammation in animal studies and since we’re animals too, chances are this may happen to us as well. The most common GMO crops are corn, soy, canola and cotton.
  • Conventionally grown with pesticides and herbicides. Some pesticides and herbicides can cause inflammation and allergic reactions.
  • Common allergens. Dairy, soy, wheat, peanuts, and seafood tend to be the most common allergenic foods. Eliminate them and see if you have some of the same symptoms.

Finally, to address rheumatoid arthritis, I would suggest contacting True North in Santa Rosa, California. They are an affordable fasting (water, juice, healthy diet) facility that has very good success with autoimmune diseases. When you remove food from the diet temporarily and allow the gut and immune system to heal, amazing things can happen – not only for those with rheumatoid arthritis, but also those with food sensitivities and allergies.

Bottomline: Organize your symptoms, address your gut inflammation, eliminate common causes and assess along the way.

I want to know your thoughts: As you’ve eaten healthier have you become more sensitive to certain foods?

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


Comments are closed for this post.

  1. This is a great post and just what I needed to read.

    The other day my mum said that she thought the more I’d restricted my diet since going raw the more it seemed like I just couldn’t eat anything any more.

    I kinda feel like she’s right.

    Although, her approach was to just start eating absolutely everything again ‘go back to normal’ and let my body deal with it and get back to the way it used to be.

    Not sure it’s that simple tho 🙂

    Thanks for the info!!

  2. Nora says:

    Yeah its true. I feel much more sensitive after going raw for some time now. For instance, right now I stopped having sugar so even if I consume more than usual in a healthy way like fruits, I start getting reactions to it like urine infections. Don’t tell me that I should stop having fruits cuz it won’t happen!! Haha… I also noticed that when I go almost 90% raw for a week, I get a stomach ache when I eat healthy, vegan, cooked food. A more recent problem I’m having is that I am not fully digesting my food. Being vegan, I eat only veggies, fruits, and a few nuts. The veggies are leaving my body almost intact. So I have started to take more enzymes and probiotics. Is anybody dealing with the same things? What can I do to fix this?

  3. Vonciele says:

    About a year ago I began to have severe and strange symptoms frequently after eating. About 2 hours after eating I would have intense pain in my lower left abdomen area, I would get very tired and major brain fog to the point of having to lay down plus other minor allergy type symptoms like runny nose, flushing and sometimes even itching. It got so bad I restricted my diet to only fruits and veggies, brown rice, olive oil and nuts and seeds. My integrated dr. ordered blood test, including some basic blood panel test plus an ultrasound thinking I may be having pancreatitis. Test results were “remarkably good” according to my doctor.

    I continued over the past year to have some other health problems and tried many things including a vegan diet, and gluten free diet. Every time I try going vegan (a vegetarian for over 10 years trying to be vegan many times) about 10 days to 2 weeks into it I start feeling bad and run down and crave eggs which after I eat them I get my strength back. I was also tested in the last year for B12 levels which were low. I did 3 ½ weeks of gluten free at my doctor’s suggestion and just got worse every day with my low energy levels which I have struggled with as far back as I can remember and know I have low serotonin levels also had Epstein Barr at age 10 which I believe kicks in sometimes during illness and under stress. Started eating whole grains again and felt better immediately. Dr said gluten was not my problem since I should have felt better early into gluten free diet.

    I am starting to feel better just recently, after removing dairy from my diet which seems to be what was causing my digestion problems, with the exception of organic cultured butter in very small amounts occasionally, which I seem to be able to tolerate. I try to include local natural raised chicken eggs weekly for my energy levels and even occasionally eat some fish. I frequently muscle test foods before eating them and find this works.

    I am 54 years old and became interested in natural health and healing over 20 years ago due to life long problems with “depression” type symptoms which I believe are hereditary and has some connection to the low serotonin levels and sugar sensitivities which I have struggled giving up all these years. Over the years I always return to the thought of what is natural and intended for our bodies. I find it hard to believe that we were designed to be vegans or eating only raw foods (which I tried for about a month several years ago and found that not to work for me). I have read the China Study but wonder how can we be vegans and still get our B12 and other needed nutrients that come from animal sources? Although, other than the rare occasion of eating fish and sea food, I have no intention of eating flesh again, it is a compassion issue for me.

    Kevin, thank you so much for sharing your journey and not being afraid to admit that you are still learning and may not always have it right. I have read and followed many of the “experts” for a long time but always go back to what is natural and to what my body is telling me. And yes, the more bad foods I give up the less I my body con tolerate them. I think cheese must be addicting because it has really been hard to give it up the past year but, each time I would try to eat it I got so sick that I have finally kicked the habit. Even tried raw goat’s milk cheese but it made me sick too. BTW, I avoid soy and can’t stand alternative cheese. I have also found that I can’t eat the fermented foods. Will try and stick with foods and herbs that were placed on this earth for out nourishment (still working on it though). Thanks again for all you do!

  4. Jackie says:

    Hello Kevin, txs for answering my question I’m very grate full.
    I would love to go to The True North in Santa Rosa, California because I’ve seen the episodes that you and Marie where there and I strongly believe in this approach and I think it’s amazing what they do there; only I live in Belgium. Wish I had more money then I would come over. Yes my HCL is very low and I do supplement that. Anyway my guess was more or less correct. I’ll see if I can find a good place here to go to for a fast and lots of collon cleanses…..whitch is not easy to do. In America you find so much more places to go to.
    Thanks you so much for writing this article.

  5. Stephanie says:

    What a good post today! It’s nice to hear what other people are experiencing so we can all have an open mind about what are body may be trying to tell us! I’m currently trying to find a balanced diet that leaves my body energized and satisfied! Starting tomorrow morning with an allergy elimination cleanse to take out all possible foods that may be aggravating my body. So glad I read this. God Bless and have a great weekend!

  6. My rawfood master Mr Ramakrishna(foto in to tell his experience about sensitivity. When he remained exclusively on coconut as his food for morning and evening, he used to get this high sensitivity which would allow him to go to town area where carbon monoxide pollution was abounding due to traffic congestion.
    It happens to certain foods that get more sun and are high from the ground, as per my knowledge goes. One should not be exclusively on one food alone and have all sorts of fruits as available in the season in various places in the world.
    For NOn RAw Eaters, the allergy phenomenon happens as per my humble knowledge, due to blockages and diverticulitis, in the intestines- large and small – and duodenum where we cannot service efficiently. Eneme with some herbal antibiotics will clear up this allergy and additionally flora in the intestine needs suscitated with curd/probiotics etc.
    Thanks for stirring up the conversation with a good topic concerns everyone.

  7. Oleander says:

    I went from life long carnivore to vegetarian and later to vegan (now 15 years) No problems, buy healthy food, eat balanced diet, take supliments and then think no more about it, as life is for living! This is the same way in which I put my make up on in the morning, and forget about it.

    If I’m out with friends, and there’s usually no vegan food (UK prvinces) I order a plate of chips, mushrooms and salad and eat it with gusto!

    Food is for enjoyment, not ruminating over (only ruminating needs to be when chewing)

    I don’t mean to be unfeeling, but………..

  8. I see many people with sensitivities to foods in my practice as a Naturopathic Doctor. It comes down to an increased intestinal permeability, “leaky gut”, caused by many factors such as stress, antibiotics, processed foods, alcohol, aspirin, etc. Leaky gut allows food antigens (peptides)to leak through the gut barrier into the bloodstream. In the blood stream the undigested peptides trigger the immune system to react against them as foreign invaders, tagging them for destruction. This may be one of the major causes of food sensitivities leading to autoimmune disease. In Naturopathy, the unhealthy gut is the source of disease. When people are sensitive or allergic to “everything” I instantly know they have leaky gut and healing the gut should be the primary focus of treatment.

    I interned with Dr’s Goldhamer, Klaper and Sultana at True North last June as I am very interested in water fasting. I have fasted patients with autoimmune issues and have seen remarkable results. After the fast I do put them on a whole foods plant-based diet. Reintroducing foods back into the diet in a specific order to allow the body to adjust to the diet. Most folks do very well if they remain on the whole foods plant based diet after the fast. Jill Harrington, author of the Lupus Recovery Diet, is an example of a person who fasted at True North and has remained on the whole food plant-based diet since and had not had a flare-up of her lupus since then!

    Healing the gut! Allowing the body to “reboot” is the key to working with food sensitivities and autoimmune disease.

  9. Heidi says:

    Thank you fro this wonderful article. I really found it very beneficial. I will share it with others!

  10. Heidi says:

    Sorry about the spelling error!

  11. Francesca says:

    Hi Kevin, great post!! I find I’m intolerant to nuts now, and to fatty foods in general. I’ve been a raw vegan for about 3 years now, and have decided to eat very little fat. Which us fine, but I find I get gas when I drink green smoothies made with fruit, green leafy veggies and spring water. Not sure what’s wrong there, but I’ll try a fast to see if things improve.
    Thanks again for the post!!
    Francesca xxx

  12. Josephine says:

    I had decades of mystery problems that seemed to be food-related. Organically-raised food helps tremendously, when I can buy it (Availability and cost are issues.) I think that most anorexic people just can’t digest/detoxify the junk that our food is contaminated with.

    Oleander, people with healthy, strong, intact livers can handle life in the Industrial Age 1,000 times better than can other souls; congratulations on being such a soul. I plan to join your ranks.

    I also learned that I am not using a bunch of my core muscles, so I have had decades of problems with my left abdominal area, as does Vonciele. I have a short leg, that was not identified for decades, and that affected how I learned to use my muscles–especially my core muscles.

    Magnesium supplementation helps my muscles and mood; B6 is required, along with some minor minerals, to produce hydrochloric acid; depression is mostly related to parasites in the brain, and with low B1, and sometimes low Vit A

    The nutrients are food-related, so figuring out what is happening–contaminants, blood-type compatibility, time of day eaten, body-type compatibility, ripeness, etc.– can take years, without some objective testing. I, too, like muscle testing; muscle testing is really great for finding solutions.

  13. Josephine says:

    Oh, and I learned that cooking foods that inhibit thyroid activity greatly reduces that phenomenon. I found out that a rash I has was because I was mostly eating nickel-rich food. My city water has heavy metal contamination, as does a lot of public water. My teeth fillings, from a childhod on a poverty diet, are breaking off a bit, since my life-long-weak teeth are breaking off, so I take occasional carob powder to help get mercury out of my body.
    What is helping me tons is this–more about leptin sensitivity: I just don’t often have the money to eat this way, at least not for a while month!

  14. Zev says:

    I used to have so many digestive problems and being raw helped a little, I still suffered more with inflammation where I thought there was nothing I could eat. I cut out lots of stuff but it wasn’t until I found out about nightshades & solanine sensitivity. I never see that mentioned. Apples contain solanine, that’s why I no longer eat apples and when I sometimes try just to test, I get a host of digestive issues. I know I have to stay away from solanine and I feel better everyday. Being raw made me eat increased amounts of nightshades, there was so much build up of solanine in my skin & joints. I ate tomatoes,
    blueberries, apples and goji berries everyday and became worse off daily. I cut all these out & any other food with solanine and slowly I feel better. It takes time but I won’t be eating anymore nightshades because all the inflammation is gone. I feel better and I’m not even 100% raw anymore. Also to calm your stomach down, there are a lot of clay products out there that I found to be the only solution for pain & stomach issues, I tried them all.

  15. debby says:

    There are mulitple problems and Kevin has covered them pretty well. Addition of “bitters” and/or apple cider vingear shortly before you eat can help with digestion. I take HCL Betaine and depending on meal will take at least one capsule up to 3 or four. You should experiement to find a level that works for you. The addition of enzymes can be helpful and again try different levels and keep a journal on how you are feeling. Coconut oil is good for inflammation and consuming 1TBSP a day might be helpful(taken once or divided). If you don’t want to eat oil, put it on the skin. As would fresh aloe gel that is great for inflammation.

    I would reduce that amount of raw fruit that is not a berry. Berries have a lower amount of sugar and therefore will not feed the possible yeast infection you have. You could combine hemp or brown rice protein in a berry shake. Green juices (wheat,barley,spirulina,chorella) provide ionic nutrients and can be soothing without the harshness of the fiber which can be rough on inflamed internal tissues.

    Because you are complaining of sensitivities to all sorts of foods, I suspect you have leaky gut which is a result of yeast infection. This means eating less fruits except for berries. The addition of natural antibiotic type compounds would be helpful. Foods would include garlic, onions, mushrooms and variety of different herbs. It sounds like your immune system is hyper sensitive and over reacting. I’ve used Oreganol P73 from North American Lab and available from Vitacost to handle variety of issues.

    To help with detox issues the addition of activated charcol capules and/or natural calicum bentonite clay. Both of these products absorb the bad items in your system and takes them away. Chlorella is well known for its ability to dextox the human body.

    Hope this helps.

  16. Cherry says:

    Great article, but I do believe that it is missing one huge aspect of food allergies,that I believe is the largest of them all. I used to be the proverbial “canary in the coal mine” with food and environmental sensitivities. Today I am so not as sensitive. I have always cleansed and eat less and less meat, although I still have some meat in my diet. But there are somethings that the body will see as “impossible” to counter simply because they are: pasturised dairy (denatured proteins and enzymes) and MSG (which is found naturally but when the glutamine amino acid is freed by cooking the body has to deal with glutamate as a neuro-toxic) and fructose sugar. I cannot as yet deal with these – BUT my sensitivities to foods and chemicals was significantly lowered AFTER I used The Bodytalk System to rid myself of hidden emotions that were stored in my organs (as where all emotions are stored when we dont let them go). It is all ENERGY! Our organs dont have the ability to deal with the “other stuff” simply because they are filled with stored energy! Not complicated, just may be unfamiliar to you! But remember that everything is energy, and WE ARE ALL ONE with everything else, but it takes a while to reach that hight level of consciousness to not be harmed by anything! Just ponder, dont criticize if you dont understand. Just ask for understanding of these things and you will recieve it in due time! BTW a daily dose of Niacin works wonders with removing histamines from the body – a great detox agent not really publicised but well known as the Niacin “flush” which is what happens when it binds with the histamines.

  17. kit says:

    if someone is being treated by conventional medicine they are often put on proton inhibitors……protonix, etc…..and other antiacids…..which of course make the problem a lot worse. (the idea being to “coat the stomach” due to the harsh medicines people might be taking.) They of course destroy the hcl. One has to go off of them slowly however otherwise you may get an even worse case of stomach issues.

  18. Laura Hurst says:

    I have had food allergies for a long time with no long term relief. The only foods I can tolerate are raw vegetables, and fermented foods including sauerkraut, seed cheese and rejuvelac. I did the whole wheat grass regime at OHI that helped as long as I stayed on the program, along with wheat grass implants. I had tests that showed I have leaky gut, with intestinal inflammation and sugar sensitivity. I tried L-Glutamine and Glutathione products, but had reaction to them. I am taking Hydro-Zyme with Betaine Hydrochloride, Pancreatin and Pepsin. I am o.k. as long as I don’t stray from my raw diet, but wonder if I am getting all the minerals, vitamins and protein I should have, since my food absorption is poor.

  19. Darlene Santano says:

    I had allergy tests done by a naturopath and found out I’m allergic to the most common allergens except seafood, plus things like kale, pineapple, papaya and beans! Very difficult to eat vegan or vegetarian when you can’t eat beans! Even soy.

    I’m even allergic to almonds so I can’t even use almond milk. Coconut milk is okay though.

    I’m taking chlorella right now and was taking a digestive enzyme with HCL but my oncologist told me not to because she didn’t know how that would effect the chemo. Too bad because it seemed to be helping a bit!

  20. I would like to add that it is very common (as I have seen in my office for decades) to have structural ‘gut’ issues, ie. illeocecal valve dysfunction and hiatal hernia. The IC valve is very reactive to stress of most kinds, including emotional, food related, relationship drama, lack of sleep, too much stimulation (caffeine, sugar), not enough water, and general ‘crap’ we have to deal with every day at work, at home, in traffic, listening to the news, etc. When this valve is malfunctioning, it can cause resorption of waste from the large intestine backwards into small intestine. This can, in turn, cause lots of gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and upward pressure which creates a hiatal hernia. That happens when a portion of the upper stomach becomes stuck in the space between the two sides of the diaphragm (the hiatus). This can correct itself sometimes when the pressure from below is reduced, which can happen with probiotics, stress reduction, and of course a manual correction to ‘restage’ that IC valve (which I do almost every day in my office). Sometimes the whole ‘syndrome’ has been going on so long that we need to manually correct the hiatal hernia as well as the IC valve, institute healthy HCL, enzymes, and probiotics. It is also important to know what foods are ‘triggers’ and avoid them for awhile. Final thought…often when the hiatal hernia is a problem, the C7 vertebrae is also a problem. Both of those are ‘spaces’ for the vagus nerve to move through, and when that nerve gets pinched, it can have dramatic impact on many body functions, like clear mental processing, strange nerve sensations (tingling, numbness) in face, neck, arms, and it can impact autonomic nervous system function which regulates heartbeat, breathing (often we see shortness of breath with hiatal hernia), sleeping and more. This whole ‘syndrome’ can be a really big deal, and is very often involved in health conditions of all kinds that have become chronic.

  21. Susy says:

    Thank you Kevin, first of all, for being so “naturally open and honest” about everything and discussing very pertinent matters!
    Loved your comments, Vonciele and Oleander, as well as Debby’s…seems like you might be a holistic practitioner/physician, Debby?

    I have found that a little bit of everything is true for me. Balance is really important, like not eating the same all the time and staying away from sugar 90-100% of the time – 100% when I’m feeling more sensitive, closer to 90% when I’m on vacation or something, where I’m more relaxed.

    Exercising (cardiovascular like running and dancing), doing yoga and Qi Gong, and meditating are key ingredients for me too to feel good. But even here, it’s important that I don’t overdo it. Seems to depress my immune system when I do.

    Keeping an open mind, a positive attitude, and catching myself obsessing over foods and philosophies, is crucial for me too. I sometimes think, that I/we tend to believe that there is “something the matter with me/us”…and I remind myself that “I’m healthy and lovely exactly the way I am”. Louise Hay and her You can Heal your Life was the one that really got me interested in that side of mind over matter, when it comes to health.

    I was for years very sensitive to “everything” -around 10-15 year – but after adopting a lifestyle with more focus on really accepting and loving myself, I have been able to add a few more foods to my list of OK’s the last months, to my great satisfaction. I am very busy, and do feel stress, as probably most of us do, but I really love what I do, and that seems to make a huge difference too. I have somehow become better at letting go and taking it easy whenever possible. I feel that this has greatly improved the way I’m digesting my foods and decreased my sensitivities.

    I have this conviction that “sugar” is the bad guy – I don’t mean, if you are healthy you can never have any, but even when you are feeling healthy, I believe it’s important to really limit sugar. And especially if you are dis-eased.

    Even when it comes to gluten sensitivities, I believe that sugar is the thing that paves the way for an inflamed gut, and then all the other things follow. And having lived gluten-free for a long time, I’m not happy with all the commercial gluten-free procducts…they are loaded with sugar. I believe that it is only a matter of time, before someone feeling better on a “commercial” gluten-free diet is going to have other problems, due to all the sugar in the diet…sorry, but this is the way I see it, and with some experience to back this view point up.

    I feel my emotions are very closely linked with my gut, and honestly, if we would really focus on healing our emotions, once we have cut out the obvious crap (excuse my French), and of course found a way to live more balanced and healthy, then the chances for healing our digestive system is so much better.

    Hang in there, if you are frustrated around foods, I know how it feels, but there is hope! I know so!

  22. Fanny says:

    Hello all!
    I can’t tell you how glad (perhaps not the right word) I am to read that more people are going through something similar. For a month now I’ve had big issues with my stomach/bowels/who knows… I look like I’m pregnant usually from morning to night time. It’s like I have a balloon inside that just gets more and more tense during the day. So, after redaing Renegade Health’s guide to perfect digestion, I can’t say that I’m doing it all according to plan, but I did add HCL supplements, after trying with just enzyme capsules for two weeks, which didn’t seem to make a difference. I am going out of my mind, my stomach is so uncomfortable. I can pretty much only wear one pair of sweatpants, not any of my jeans, they hurt too much, all my t-shirts show of my mega-stomach, theses are just the visible things though. Mostly I feel depressed over the fact that I’m trying to be healthy – eating 50% raw, being vegan since last fall – and all of a sudden it all changed on me, it’s become a problem for me, and it affects me so much, my mood and just my outlook, like what the H is going on, what am I doing wrong? I wen to the doctor last week, he did some bloodtests, levels seem fine. He gave me something to “relax” my isntestines (Papaverin, is the name of the pill) didn’t do anything for me. He said to stay off the HCL since he didn’t believe my levels were low cause I told him I didn’t have heart burn and other obvious symptoms of low HCL. Coincidentally I believe Renegade Health’s guide to perfect digestion implied the opposite, or that it still could mean low HCL levels… But I gotta listen to the doc, right:/ So, he suggested trying another pill for doing something about the gas/bloating, will see how that works out. The only thing I can think of, personally, is that I’ve been eating so much fruit, since a month ago, like literally 6 mangos, 10 bananas a day, loads of berries, which is unusual for me – wow, sorry for just blabbering about my issues, here, my first post and all, embarrassed… – and maybe I’m having some candida issues (no acne breakout though). Am very new and not well read when it comes to eating vegan/raw, as you can tell. I guess I just needed to vent. Will cut it short here though, I feel weird writing about this here, not very comprehensive at all… frustrating, don’t know what to writer/where to begin. I am miserable, and from todays post this much is true “misery loves company” I am going to keep my eye on the comments here, maybe get some better ideas…

    (Sorry again for super long post/weird sentences/misspellings.)



  23. Annie says:

    Great Article. As someone who used to eat raw before becoming allergic to nearly everything in raw form, I am very opinionated about the topic. I was worried to see what you had to say as I have seen and lived so much bad advice. You covered the topic perfectly. I am especially glad to see you did not promote the “eat everything and let your body sort it out” approach. Thanks to that method, I now have anaphylactic reactions to raw apple. My root cause was unrecognized gluten intolerance compounded by pregnancy. I don’t know if allergies can ever really heal but now that I’ve figured out the problem hopefully things just get better from here.

  24. Connie Smith says:

    Someone on Facebook sent me an article about Honey and that its imported from China and Vietnam and not to eat it!

    Have you heard anything about the Raw Honey not good for people in this country because of some bad things in it!

  25. Shari says:

    15 years ago I got very sick with candida and went on an anti-candida diet and totally changed my eating habits incl. eating all organic. I eliminated sugar, fruit, grains, dairy and on and on. I lost a tremendous amount of weight which was disastrous as I was already thin. I tried raw food diet, elimination diets, macrobiotic diet and I fasted (for a long time, supervised and that was awful). I tried everything. Everything snowballed and I became allergic to everything (ALL foods except fennel and kohlrabi)and also allergic to chemicals, odors, and electricity. My digestion had become horrible – anything I ate just sat there despite using HCL and enzymes. I had no digestion problems before changing my diet so much nor was I allergic to anything. And yes, I went through colonics, detox, supplements and everything there is. This went on for years and when you become allergic to everything then fear sets in and you become afraid of everything. And I had lost so much weight and could not regain it.

    I finally reached the point that I decided that enough was enough and I decided to “walk out” of this illness. Food was ruling my life, sensitivities to everything were ruling my life. God told me to start resuming my life. I started going places that I had not been able to go to because of “odors”. I went back to church (perfumes etc. kept me away) I went back into stores and people’s houses. I STARTED EATING THINGS THAT I HAD ELIMINATED (not sugar because I know how bad that is). I brought back fruit and dairy and starches and grains. Guess what! All my allergies and sensitivities went away. I gained my weight back (I had gone from 125 lbs to 90 and then to 78 lbs and could not get over 90 lbs). This was horrible!

    I still eat good food – organics, grass fed / organic meat, raw dairy, etc. And occasionally I even eat in restaurants.

    I think when you change your diet so drastically you actually knock your body out of whack. You don’t get the nutrition you need because you’ve eliminated things. Not everyone should be vegetarian or vegan. Many people need meat to be healthy. I did not do well on a vegetarian diet nor on a raw food diet. And a totally raw fruit diet is awful (yes, someone had me on that too.)

    All my food and environmental sensitivities are gone.

    Drastic diets are not good for you. Use common sense and do not follow what a health professional tells you if it doesn’t make sense to you. A good diet is important! We do not need sugar though or all the pesticides and chemicals put on our foods. We need healthy and REAL food. God gave us food to eat – all seed bearing plants, veggies and fruits, nuts, seeds, honey, raw milk and fish and certain clean animals for meat, olive oil, coconuts, certain grains, etc. He said what HE created was good. And He didn’t create it in cans and boxes. He laid out His dietary plan in the Bible. People were originally created vegetarians but later He told them to eat meat.

    I chose to eat what God said was food. “The Maker’s Diet” is a good book. I do eat a lot of veggies and fruit and I do eat a good portion raw, but I also eat some steamed veggies and meat. I eat what my body tells me I need. And I am not afraid to eat foods anymore!!!

  26. Jackie Cresswell says:

    Thank you very much for all your reply’s, great, bless you all



    I’m a raw fooder and my HCL at age 52 is much better than it was in my 20s. I eat raw corn sometimes and it digests totally as is evidenced by the fact that I can not see any yellow color at all in the john. Nor can any shapes of corn be seen at all. Of course when I ate foods that “paved my vili like an asphalt road” then it was easy to spot some kernels.

    Only those raw fooders who eat improperly experence lower HCL levels in their stomach acid in my humble experience as a raw fooder for over a dozen years and vegan for over 25.

    Pasta or even raw grains are a pretty bad culprit in sealing your intestinal walls shut for several hours or even a day or more for those with less then nice tight fast metabolisms.

    I just do not want people to over-generalize and think even for a second that “raw fooders” have some common HCL defficiency becasue the opposite is true. Maybe it’s me and my friends and clients who I have taught to be raw that are the exception.

  28. Beth says:

    Rheumatoid Arthritis is directly linked to gluten specifically, I would recommend eliminating gluten completely if you haven’t already (strict elimination). And you can add in aloe vera or other anti-inflammatory supplements to help heal the system while you change your diet. Good luck to you!!

  29. Joan says:

    Enjoyed the blog and posts from everyone…quite interesting – goes to show that we are all different and react differently to the various “diets” and lifestyle choices – keep sharing! Thanks!

  30. Treeplanter says:

    HCL production tends to decline with age, and this happens more severely in some people, so it seems to be partly genetic.

    It helps me to eat at least one meal per day that has some kind of concentrated protein. That forces my body to produce the HCL. I believe that most people who live on fruits and veggies and basically nothing else eventually will lose the ability to produce HCL. There may be a few exceptions, but for most of us, our bodies only make HCL when we need to, in response to a high protein meal.

    Also, salt is needed for HCL production, which could be why people who eat meat and dairy like to have salt on it.

    If you are raw and vegan and avoid salt, you are very likely to have low HCL.

    Yes, you can take HCL supplements with your salad meals, which will help. But also, consider having at least one high protein meal each day, which should push your body to start making more of its own HCL. This does not have to be meat. It can be some kind of nut and seed pate, or a cooked bean dish.

    Vinegar will help a little, but it is much less powerful than stomach acid.

    This is whole discussion is more evidence that humans need to eat more than fruits and veggies.

    In my not so humble opinion …

  31. Suzanne says:

    There is much research and thinking going on about chronic, multiple food sensitivity reactions. One very compelling approach is called the GAPS diet–google it and see!

  32. Maria Isabel says:

    Food allergies contribute to the increase of intestinal permeability which is also called leaky gut. You are absolutely right about the role of good bacteria. I also found the confirmation here
    Interestingly, many people get rid of food allergies when they go on Paleo diet.

  33. Gen says:

    Great article and comments. After doing a two-month colon cleanse as per naturopath’s prescription, I find I can digest foods a lot better and am less sensitive to things I had difficulty with before. Definitely something to the cleansing, folks. At the same time that the cleansing was taking place, digestive system was being built back up. The product was called Ultra Clear Sustain by Metagenics.

  34. When many different foods are eaten together
    they do not digest that well. A while back
    a mono diet(one kind of food) meal was considered\ healthier. Especially when
    starch and protein is eaten together, these
    foods do not digest well. They are best eaten
    at separate meals, with live Juice, Salad, leafy
    greens , etc. On a vegan diet the body will begin
    to cleanse and rid itself of old toxins, so
    there could be some discomforts. See my web
    for more info on diet and nutrition:

  35. maca says:

    Great info Kevin. Once again it’s good to see someone answering these questions properly instead of just trotting out the usual myths. I wouldn’t be surprised if the reason that many in the raw food/health movement have so many health issues is because they listen to all the those myths without finding out what is really going on.

    I think it’s important to work with a good doctor and not try to figure it all out yourself. The body is immensely complex and it’s not a good idea to diagnose yourself.

  36. Ira Edwards says:

    I am 80, eat lots of anything and everything, and never have had anything that could be called a food sensitivity. O yes, I remember having some belly pain after drinking too much apple juice.
    Kevin covered the possiblities very well. I think one topic could be emphasized: the endobiome. This is my term for the organized metropolis of interacting, competing and cooperating organisms inhabiting the gut.
    The endobiome operates like an organ of the body, producing nutrients, interacting with edocrines, and is a factor in obesity, allergies, autism, and many diseases. Pathology of the endobiome could be an important part of the explanation for different reactions to foods that have been described on this site.
    There are three different types of bacterial dominance that are normal There are many pathological types, the best known is overpopulation of Clostridium difficile which causes severe diarrhea.
    The endobiome needs to be protected like any organ of the body. It can be damaged by antibiotics, bad nutrition, and I would be wary of what colonoscoopies and colon cleansing does to it.
    Many modern people get off to a bad start with Ceaserian birth and bottle feeding, which does not expose the babies sterile gut to a healthy combination of organisms, or with a mother with faulty endobiome.
    Fecal transfer is a procedure that has been used at least 50 years, and could be compared with massive doses of probiotics. Fecal transfer is used as a last resort for victimes of severe Clostridium diarrhea, after months of failure of antibiotics, and offers an instant cure. Why should this not be the first therapy?
    The point here is that this may be much more of a factor in food intolerance than we have imaginied.
    I have a letter on this topic in the Summer 2011 issue of Wise Traditions. Hopefully, that journal will expand in this in future articles. A lengthy account, without the name I give it, is Natasha Campbell McBrides book GUT AND PSYCHOLOGY SYNDROME.

  37. Diane says:

    Hi All- Thank you for the great comments and of course thank you Kevin for the awesome post. Someone had written about food passing through the system undigested. This happened to me just recently and it turned out I had picked up a parasite somewhere along the way or previously and it has now reactivated. (I’m currently doing a cleanse and some amazing things have cleared from my body). May be something to look at if this is happening to you.

    Also the GAPS diet is definitely worth learning about, very eye opening and logical in terms of explaining many modern day maladies including autism. With gratitude.

  38. Yamina says:

    As I have eaten healthier I become sensitive to everything that is not healthy, namely fruits and vegetables. Simple.
    Concerning HCL, I wonder if not having high proteinaceous food doesn’t dry up this stuff ? And if, as said in a post above, to maintain this production, we have not to consume high proteinaceous food once a day ?
    On one hand, fruits and veggies are the healthy food, on the other, we should eat proteinaceous food to maintain HCL production, so : HCL is not healthy !!!!
    Is not that a syllogism ? My holidays returning begins in a very coupeur de cheveux en quatre’s way !

  39. Lori says:

    Yes, I have become very sensitive to raw cacao, even 1/4 tsp. will keep me awake at night and I used to drink coffee with no problem!
    In regards to HCL. HCL is an acid that will acidify the body. Why would we want that when we are eating an alkaline diet for good health. Keven, I see you recommend HCL often, any thoughts on this?

  40. Barbcam says:

    I was raw vegan for almost a year and experienced intense food sensitivities, mainly to red peppers of any kind and limes, probably other things, too, but these were the most obvious ones. I started taking probiotics, and enzymes occasionally, and modified my diet to include cooked vegan foods, and occasional organic backyard eggs. Symptoms have improved! For me, raw vegan was simply too restricted.

  41. Kat N. says:

    I would beware of taking HCL just because. My naturopath had given it to me and it caused all sorts of problems. Turns out, I have a hiatal hernia and acid reflux so it made it worse and I got more sensitive to food.

    In terms of sensitivities, as a health coach I deal with this a lot. With women, I always make sure they are aware of their cycle and if they are sensitive all the time or not. As women, we have times when we can digest things easier than others.

    I also always recommend looking in to garlic and onion sensitivities if you can’t figure out why you are feeling badly. I was raw vegan for awhile and there is so much garlic and onion in things when I go out, I get wrecked. I don’t believe garlic/onion allergies are as uncommon as people think. Its just in everything and harder to detect that that would be the issue.

    With that said, I had gone back to being an omnivore, until I started getting sensitive to everything. Dairy, eggs, meat, you name it. So, being vegan has been helpful to me again. Hopefully I won’t keep getting sensitive.

  42. This is for Jackie in Belgium: I know of two health coaches in Belgium, one of them might be a good support person for you. You can contact my trough the site linked to my name, and I can forward their contact details to you.

  43. LA says:

    Yes, long story short… I too have become sensitive to all the foods high in GMO, Pesticides but also those regular healthy foods like lettuce in smoothies… irritates my IBS… so food combining works best for me and eating more seedless type fruit in protein smoothies I can peel helps my brain & easier to digest. I tried taking HCL per a NMD advice few years ago and it felt weird on my stomach kinda burning, so she said it was too strong for me and to discontinue. I’m blood type O, not sure if we make more acid already. Meat digests very slow in me now & I am now doing a whole body cleanse. I’ve been told that is where I need to focus on if my body is sensitive to everything…

    Thank you for your great Articles stimulating great conversation & topics we all want to hear.:D

  44. EdenVegan says:

    Thank you for the post. Very timely. Just wanted to comment a little along the lines of Susy’s post – there is a very strong connection between health and our autonomic nervous systems. There are 2 parts to the autonomic – the parasympathetic and sympathetic. The parasympathetic is sometimes reffered to as your “rest and digest” side – it activates when your body is in a state of calm, and stress free. (Is that ever in this day and age?) This side of the autonomic system regulates digestion and the “building” process of metabolism. It is the healing side. The sympathetic is our “flight or fright” response. It channels our energies to survival, and stops all autonomic functions that would use vital energy for anything but basic survival. As an aside, I wanted to mention that my husband and I have been suffering terribly from a mysterious dying pattern – we could not figure out what was happening to us for 6 years. All we knew was that we were getting older and sicker faster than ever. Our thyroids were shutting down, adrenal fatigue syndrome was severe, started having classic metabolic syndrome X symptoms, and finally developed severe central nervous system sleep apnea. Doctors were baffled (we put little confidence in what they know as it is, especially regarding disease process). God, in His mercy, revealed to us one particularly deadly day that we had an insideous gas leak in our house – the septic tank was gassing into the house – this gas has no smell. The low oxygen levels of the house over a chronic exposure time placed a stress on our bodies that channelled all our energies to survival, and none to rebuilding. It has been 7 months and 7 days today that we have been out of that environment – and praise God, we have seen great improvement, though we are not yet 100%. We went from looking and feeling like we were in our 80’s (sunken, black eyes, sagging, translucent skin, shaking, exhaustion) to back to our 40’s. We are vegan health freaks who exercise a lot regularly and love the outdoors. It was very difficult as we ran the gamut of tests, $1000’s of dollars of supplements, etc. to have our lifestyle so extremely criticized (we were told to eat meat… our diet was too narrow). But trusting in what God said about His diet for us, and His promise that we would not die through this trial, we find His word sure. And I do not believe we would have had as much or as quick a recovery on any other diet than His, as two of our principle issues were:
    1) our amino acid banks in our livers and bodies were spent (a broad vegan diet helped to replenish that)
    2) our minerals were spent (juicing veggies helped so much)

    We were dead to the point of our bodies no longer having the ability or resources to produce the neurotransmitters needed to function our autonomic systems, living through adrenal “emergency” systems only until the Lord healed our bodies to the point they could function more. Incidently, because our bodies were so acid from the low oxygen levels, we had a lot of calcium loss (the body uses it as a pH buffer in the blood so the brain can function). As our pH corrected, it dumped the calcium into our joints and muscles, causing extreme rhumatoid arthritis like pain. Drinking fresh celery juice and fresh grapefruit juice helped a lot. (1 pint each daily, not mixed)

    The point is –

    – sometimes our problem is outside of diet. Breathe deeply, step back, and look at your whole life, not just food. You can eat like a vegan king, and stress like an orphan, and your body will not thrive. Trust in God, and look at the whole picture. Our bodies are not seperate from our lives, and though we can control our eating to a certain degree, we cannot expect to be healthy when angry or worried or stressed

  45. LA says:

    I know someone who cured their Rheumatoid Arthritis by going RAW with Fruitarian Diet 80-10-10 balance

  46. Jana says:

    I have times when I feel like I’m making exceptionally good food choices, but just a short time later my digestive tract is pretty much churning it through at record speed. They’re kind of snipers — they strike and then then they’re gone, these episodes. I feel perplexed by the timing of some of these occasions. I sometimes revert back to old habits, like the pizza I ate last night, and I’m unexpectedly feeling just fine today.

    Also, I’m wondering if there’s any kind of labs that can reveal to us how much of our food is reaching the exit without being properly digested first.

  47. Susy says:

    Thank you, Shari and Eden, for great comments! Yes, I have also seen that one can become “attached to one’s disease”, almost like claiming an issue over and over again.
    Then suddenly waking up one morning and asking oneself: Am I my gut issue, my sensitivities, my vegan/vegetarian/raw/etc diet?, can be like an awakening! It’s almost as if you forget who you are and just identify with an “ill version” of yourself!
    Stepping away from the ill version of yourself and remembering the healthy version of yourself can have extremely healing effects.
    We are all so afraid of cancer, but hey, if you cannot digest or metabolize your foods, that can be the end of you too!! (having personally dealt with both fears).
    Walking away from feeling ill into remembering wholeness and balance in all that we do (though I agree, be REALLY careful when it comes to sugar – especially processed/man extracted) can feel very empowering and end up being very healing.

    Love and Light:)

  48. Angie Purkis says:

    To Fanny…a very bloated stomach is one of the main warning signs of ovarian cancer….says Dr. Oz. Check it out. It is hard to find by accident, so specifically check it out!

  49. michael westrick says:

    Rawfood guru are not health experts…..Wake up!!!!They are selling products of course they have stories to tell you about success…..Balance and or get you advice from people not selling you products…..Been around scene for 12 years and there are so many terrible stories out there, but you never here about them because that would ruin the sales……I love rawfood and it is so magical but saying you need to be 80 or 90 0r 100% is better is a little extreme …..

  50. michael westrick says:

    Kevin you are the only one I tune into these days because you tell the not so good side as well……Thanks for being so honest…..

    Comments are closed for this post.