Brain imbalance, where a side of the brain is deficient, can lead to food sensitivities, and it is much more common in right-brain dysfunction due to its involvement in immune response and inflammation. Increases in the immune response due to a brain imbalance, raises the stress response and increases chronic inflammation, the primary catalysts for a leaky gut which in turn leads to food sensitivities. As such, food sensitivities can further aggravate the actions and issues of children who already have developmental issues ultimately caused by a brain imbalance. The following are common signs that a food intolerance or food sensitivity is present:
Common Symptoms of Food Sensitivities
- Aggressive behavior
- Chronic stuffy, itchy or running nose
- Irritability and total meltdowns
- Inability to focus or concentrate
- Impulsive actions
- Headaches, including migraines
- Learning disabilities
- Mental sluggishness
- Muscle pain and soreness in the legs
- Pale, sallow complexion
- Puffiness or dark circles under the eyes
- Sleep disturbances, such as bad dreams and frequent awakening
Food Addiction: A Vicious Cycle
It’s likely the very food your child craves is the one he or she is most sensitive to. Food sensitivities, poor digestion and a leaky gut can cause a cascade of chemical reactions, including the increase of opiates, substances associated with addiction. These food generally contain dairy and/or wheat like cereal and milk, cream cheese and bagels, macaroni and cheese, pizza and pasta.
A Food Sensitivity is Not a Food Allergy
There is a big difference between a food sensitivity and a food allergy. Allergies are more immediate and occur within minutes or hours of eating, resulting in symptoms like hives, watery eyes or even life-threatening anaphylactic shock. Only about 10 percent of children with brain imbalance will have this type of allergy. However more than 85 percent of them have food sensitivities which do not produce an allergic reaction that results in physical symptoms. Rather, they produce a more gradual inflammatory response that results in more subtle mental and behavioral symptoms that can take anywhere from six hours to three days to appear.
It’s important to understand that both allergies and food sensitivities are abnormal responses. For either of them to occur, two systems have to be functioning improperly – the digestive system and the immune system. Why would both of these systems be dysfunctional? What is the link? The brain.
To learn more about brain imbalance and food sensitivities, start reading Chapter 1 of my book The Disconnected Kids Nutrition Plan offering proven strategies to enhance learning and focus for children with autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and other neurological disorders.