Food Intolerance

Food Intolerance

Chiropractic Virginia Beach VA Girl Running In Sunshine

Food intolerance, also known as food sensitivity, occurs when the digestive system has difficulty breaking down a particular food. This can lead to uncomfortable symptoms such as gas, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

It is important to note that food intolerance is different from a food allergy, which is an immune response triggered by a specific food. A doctor's visit may be necessary to distinguish between the two.

While chiropractic care may be helpful in managing these conditions, this article focuses on food intolerance.

Food intolerance is a prevalent issue, affecting an estimated 15%-20% of the population, according to Medical News Today. Some of the most frequently reported food intolerances are lactose, histamine, and gluten.

Lactose intolerance occurs when the body does not produce enough lactase enzyme to digest lactose, a sugar present in dairy products.

Histamine intolerance is caused by a lack of the enzyme diamine oxidase, which breaks down histamines present in certain foods such as cheese, avocados, and chocolate.

Gluten intolerance causes discomfort such as bloating, pain, or nausea after consuming wheat, rye, and barley.

Other, less common food intolerances include fructose intolerance, salicylate intolerance, food poisoning, and intolerance to food additives such as antioxidants, artificial colorings, flavorings, emulsifiers, flavor enhancers, preservatives, sweeteners, nitrates, MSG, and sulfites.

Various symptoms may indicate food intolerances in children, which can range from mild to severe depending on the child's sensitivity and the type of food consumed. If a child experiences any of these symptoms after eating, it is likely that they have a food intolerance. Common symptoms include bloating, excess gas, stomach pain, diarrhea, headaches, migraines, runny nose, fatigue, and skin reactions such as hives, eczema, or rashes.

Furthermore, the strong connection between the gut and the brain through the vagus nerve means that food intolerances can also have a negative impact on a child's sleep, behavior, emotions, and mood regulation.

When traditional medical doctors address food intolerance, they usually attribute it to the inadequate production of a specific enzyme necessary for breaking down certain foods or ingredients in the digestive system. However, the underlying cause of the deficiency is still unknown to the traditional medical community.

Certain gastrointestinal conditions such as Celiac disease and Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, can make you more susceptible to food sensitivities. A gastroenterologist would usually be consulted by a medical doctor to examine or perform tests on the gut and suggest limiting or removing the responsible food or ingredient from the diet.

Nonetheless, focusing solely on the gut does not identify the root cause of food intolerance.

To get to the root cause of every food intolerance, the entire nervous system, beginning from birth, needs to be investigated. Neurologically focused chiropractic care is essential in this regard. As neurologically focused pediatric chiropractors, we start at the very beginning, recognizing that many of these challenges, such as reflux, colic, and food sensitivities, start from birth trauma.

Birth trauma may occur in various ways, such as prolonged labor, the use of forceps or vacuum extraction, or c-section. These events can cause physical trauma to the baby's body, leading to subluxation, which can result in stress responses in the nervous system that leaves it in an excessive, sustained sympathetic response.

This neurological imbalance, called dysautonomia, limits the gut's ability to function correctly, often resulting in problems with absorption, breaking down, and eliminating foods and toxins. Additionally, when the nervous system is in sympathetic dominance, it leaves the body in a pro-inflammatory state, leading to an excessive response commonly seen with food intolerance.

Many kids that come in for chiropractic care have a history of significant stress that started with birth intervention/trauma that led to vagus nerve dysfunction, which, in turn, affects the gut. The autonomic nervous system regulates many bodily functions, including those of the gastrointestinal tract. If the gut is not working correctly, it may be unable to break down certain foods or ingredients, resulting in food intolerance.

These challenges can be just the beginning of what we call the Perfect Storm. Instead of babies "growing out of" things like colic and reflux, they grow into serious immune challenges, chronic ear infections, sensory processing challenges, anxiety, and other problems.

Moreover, we recognize a connection between eczema and the gut. While eczema is an inflammatory skin condition, it is often accompanied by digestive symptoms. When your gut is inflamed or irritated, toxins are released that can trigger eczema flare-ups. The primary trigger of all these challenges is often a subluxated, dysfunctional nervous system.

To address your child's food intolerance and inability to consume certain foods, the first step is to arrange a consultation with a Pediatric Chiropractor trained in neurologically focused care. During the consultation, the chiropractor will conduct a thorough case history evaluation to identify any potential triggers and root causes of the issue.

Advanced technology called INSiGHT scans will be used to determine the location and extent of subluxations within your child's nervous system. This information will be used to design a personalized care plan for your child, outlining the frequency and type of adjustments necessary to restore optimal nervous system function.


10:00am - 1:00pm
3:00pm - 6:00pm

10:00am - 1:00pm
3:00pm - 6:00pm

3:00pm - 6:00pm

10:00am - 1:00pm
3:00pm - 6:00pm


Saturday & Sunday

Vanella Chiropractic

4661 Haygood Rd #110
Virginia Beach, VA 23455

(757) 982-8989