Are Food Intolerances Making Me Put on Weight?
Last Updated: 10th November 2022 · Written by Kate Young
Are you putting on weight and you don’t know why? Mystery weight gain can be one of the most baffling – and frustrating – symptoms you can experience. But the good news is there could be a simple explanation.
Up to 30% of people in the UK suspect they might have a food intolerance of some kind. The most common symptoms of intolerance include digestive problems such as bloating or nausea, but many people have also discovered that their sensitivities cause them to gain weight. When they cut out the foods that were to blame, they quickly returned to their initial shape and size.
If you’re putting on weight but haven’t made any changes to your lifestyle that could explain it, you might be intolerant to certain types of food. In this blog post, we’ll be explaining why food intolerances could be making you put on weight.
What exactly is a food intolerance?
Unlike an allergy, food intolerances aren’t usually life-threatening – but they can be life-limiting. Food intolerances occur when somebody doesn’t produce enough enzymes to digest a certain substance safely. For example, someone who is lactose intolerance will lack the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the sugar in milk.
If you do have a food intolerance, your immune system will produce high levels of IgG4. This stands for Immunoglobin G4, a particular type of antibody that’s released as a response to food antigens.
How can food intolerances cause weight gain?
When you eat something you’re intolerant to, it can cause your digestive tract to become inflamed, often resulting in symptoms similar to those of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
Because our digestive system is closely linked to our hormones, this causes the adrenal glands – which are situated above our kidneys – to secrete hormones which can make our insulin levels and blood sugar fluctuate. These changes encourage the body to store fat rather than processing calories efficiently.
Over time, this means that undiagnosed intolerances will cause you to put on weight. Because your weight gain could be hormonal, lifestyle changes such as dieting and exercise are unlikely to make much difference if you don’t also cut out the food that’s causing the reaction.
Order your intolerance test today
Could a food intolerance be disrupting your life? Find out quickly and reliably with one of our allergy and intolerance tests. To help remove the guess work, we have a unique ‘test finder’ which helps you decide the best test for you considering your symptoms, budget and more. At Lifelab Testing, our scientifically approved team can help you kickstart your diagnosis today and end the confusion with your weight.