Weight gain may be caused by a lack of calcium and vitamin D.
Uncomfortable side effects of a food intolerance include digestive issues and possibly weight gain. Eating food you are sensitive to can cause blood sugar fluctuations and vitamin deficiencies, which may make you more prone to gain weight. Fortunately, once you identify the offending food and eliminate it from your diet, you'll be on your way to shedding the pounds and feeling better.
A food intolerance occurs when your body is unable to properly digest a certain food or when a certain food irritates your digestive system. It differs from a food allergy, which triggers an immune response when you eat the food you're allergic to. A food intolerance may be caused by lack of a digestive enzyme, digestive problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome, or sensitivity to a protein or food additive found in the food. If you have a food intolerance you may experience bloating, gas, cramping, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, headaches or irritability after eating the offending food, according to the Cleveland Clinic. But, most people with a food intolerance can tolerate a small amount of the food with no adverse effects.
When you eat a food that you're sensitive to or intolerant of, inflammation may occur in your digestive tract. This inflammation can cause your adrenal glands to secrete hormones that cause an imbalance in insulin levels and blood sugar, according to the site Food-Allergy.org. Blood sugar fluctuations and high insulin levels may cause your body to store fat instead of using the calories for energy. Over time, this chain of events may cause you to gain weight.
If you're experiencing severe digestive side effects from a food intolerance, you may have a hard time absorbing certain nutrients. According to The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, deficiencies of iron, calcium, vitamin D and B vitamins may develop from food intolerances, such as celiac disease. If you are deficient in calcium, you may be more prone to gain weight, according to an article published in "The Journal of Nutrition" in 2003 and MedlinePlus. According to an article published in the journal "Medical Hypotheses" in March 2009, vitamin D deficiency may lead to weight gain and obesity. In order to avoid digestive problems and possible weight gain, eliminate the offending food from your diet.
Unfortunately, trial and error is the best way to diagnose food intolerances, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Track your food intake along with symptoms to help identify culprit foods or follow an elimination diet. To do this, completely eliminate one food you think may be causing problems for at least a week and track your symptoms. If you feel better and symptoms dissipate, this is the food you are sensitive to and you should avoid it from now on. If eliminating the first food produces no results, try eliminating a different food. Once you determine which food or foods you are intolerant of and remove them from your diet, your symptoms and extra weight should slowly disappear.