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The nexus between Food Allergies and Weight Gain

Food allergies and weight gain are very much interrelated. Many are not aware of the nexus between food allergies, inflammation and weight gain. Weight has always been associated with the amount of food we consume and fact that we eat fatty foods. But food allergies are not spoken of as a reason for obesity.

Food allergy & weight gain – the vicious cycle

Consuming foods that you are allergic to, not only results allergic reactions but also causes inflammation. This makes your adrenal glands secrete hormones, which wrecks havoc on you insulin and blood sugar levels. The high levels of insulin, affects the activity of the two most important enzymes. These enzymes make the body store fat instead of burning them for energy. Thus food related allergies cause inflammation that leads to weight gain. This weight gain in turn promotes inflammation and aggravates allergies. Thus it becomes a vicious cycle.

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Inflammation – the silent killer

We may not be aware of the excess fat that contributes to inflammation, but its silently working. The weight keeps increasing, but the body does not add more fat cells. Rather, the existing fat cells add more fat and become larger. Such cells may leak as they expand and stretch. This is called as the leaky gut syndrome. The mess that is caused by the leaky gut syndrome is then cleaned up by the immune cells called macrophages. While cleaning up, these cells release inflammatory chemicals in the tissues. Many of the ill effects of being overweight may be attributed to this response of the immune cells.

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Leptin – the key to maintaining healthy weight

The hormone Leptin is what is responsible for regulating the weight and keeping it at an optimum level in healthy people. Even if the individual overeats, the Leptin will still maintain the optimum weight by boosting their metabolism and avoid deposition of fat. This is the reason why some people do not gain weight no matter what how much they eat. When the immune cells produce anti-inflammatory chemicals, they tend to interfere with the hormone Leptin and its functions. When inflammation and the immune cells' response to heal inflammation, mess with Leptin and its functions, the resulting dysfunction of Leptin is called Leptin resistance. This means that even when you have normal to high levels of leptin, it is still unable to suppress the appetite and boost the metabolism. This causes fluctuations in your weight and it becomes difficult to maintain the optimum weight.

The solution

There are ways to break this vicious cycle and go back to your optimum weight. Avoid eating foods that you are allergic to. This reduces inflammation. Try weight loss measure and slim down. Once you do this the leaky gut syndrome subsides. The leptin resistance disappears after the removal of the leaky gut syndrome and leptin is back to normal. It will control your appetite and help you maintain the nominal weight that you would have reached by now.

Although this sounds simple, controlling the inflammation that is responsible for increasing weight can be quite a daunting task. Because weight gain is not only about the high calorie intake, you need to address the other causes including inflammation. You need to keep the hormones including insulin, leptin, cortisol etc., under control to maintain the healthy weight and reduce inflammation. All this boils down to preventing and managing food allergies.

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