“Why don’t you toughen up?” Do food sensitive people feel more or less pain?
Children encouraged to toughen up often have siblings who do, in fact, feel less pain. The idea that the amount of pain food sensitive people feel is different, that is more or less than others, took years of my work to develop.
What first showed clearly was that pain perception did not relate to the amount of physical change, was the distress in children with reflux. When the oesophagus was viewed by paediatricians it was reported that some children with very obvious extreme distress (as crying) had little visible damage to the oesophagus membranes, whereas those who showed little distress often not crying much, had quite severe changes. Those researching eosinophilic oesophagitis in adults reported similar findings.
I thought about the difference in pain sensitivity in hyperactive children, many of whom had very high pain tolerance and did not cry when they had bumps or falls, and those with severs pain with IBS (and therefore children with tummy aches), severe migraine pain and even painful limb pains.
It makes sense that the amount of pain is the factor that determines how motivated each food sensitive person is about how strictly they implement the diet and conduct challenges. On the other hand the amount of changes their doctor notices or finds on investigation will determine how much encouragement they give for treatment to be used. It can range from what saying that your pain is “all in your mind” since the medical findings are considered mild, through to “You need to take your condition seriously” where the medical findings show tissue damage.
This concept of different amounts of pain has made me stop and think about many aspects of diet and food sensitivity. You can read all the interesting aspects on https://foodintolerancepro.com/category/food-intolerance/pain-as-a-symptom/ and decide how much those ideas affect your actions for your particular symptoms.
I wonder if the other end of the spectrum doesn’t apply as well for food sensitivity–people who have a high pain tolerance?
Thank you Mary, for reminding everyone reading the article that it is both ends of the pain intensity feeling that often happens in food sensitive people. It can be said that pain perception is “different” in food sensitive people.