1. Gluten sensitivity
A spate of celebrities may swear otherwise, but gluten isn’t the devil.
In fact, one recent study found that 86 percent of people who thought they had a gluten sensitivity – characterised by gastrointestinal issues like bloating, diarrhea, joint pain, fatigue, and “brain fog”- didn’t actually have one.
Only around 6 percent of the population has a sensitivity to this protein found in wheat and many processed foods, while a very small 1 percent have celiac disease.
So, if it’s not gluten, what is it?
Some possibilities include lactose or fructose intolerance, an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, gastroparesis from diabetes, IBS, or another underlying health condition.
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2. Food allergies
According to a study published in JAMA Network Open, while one in five people thinks they have a food allergy, only around one in 10 actually does. Instead, your symptoms – often gastrointestinal ones – may be the result of a food intolerance.
While that may seem like semantics, it’s an important distinction: A food intolerance may lead to discomfort and problems like diarrhea and cramping, but a true food allergy could lead to hives, a swollen tongue and throat, trouble breathing, vomiting, chest pain, and, as a result, even death.
Allergy testing can differentiate between the two, and you may need to carry an EpiPen for lifesaving treatment.
Want to know what the experts avoid? Here’s the list of foods, processed goods, ingredients, and chemicals that nutritionists won’t put on their plates.
3. Low testosterone
Testosterone levels decrease with age – dropping 1 percent each year after age 30 – but if they go too low, men can experience weight gain, fatigue, low libido, erectile dysfunction, and mood swings.
Of course, many other conditions can cause those symptoms as well.
“Assuming you are not on medications which can cause [these] side effects, depression, diabetes, and sleep apnea all can either mimic the symptoms or cause a drop in testosterone,” says William N. Wang, MD, vice president and chief medical officer at Dignity Health’s Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Centre.
“Adding testosterone to any of these other primary conditions can make your symptoms worse, not better.”
Studies show that taking testosterone can also increase your risk of heart attack and blood clots, so you should proceed with caution and make sure the therapy is truly necessary.
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