Could Food Intolerances Make You Feel Like You Have a Cold?


Is there ever a good time to find out you might have a food intolerance? Probably never, but after about 12 years of battling what I thought was year-long seasonal allergies, I woke up a few mornings ago and decided, enough is enough. I have to get to the bottom of what makes me feel the way I do. I feel like I have a cold all the time or I’m on the brink of having one. In February I was so sick for the entire month really and now after 12 years of thinking I was allergic to pine trees, I’m no longer thinking that. I can’t afford to see an allergist because I don’t have insurance and it would all be an out-of-pocket cost, so I have to do this on my own. 

 So what do you do when you think you have a food intolerance? First off I want to say people use allergy and intolerance interchangeably and it shouldn’t be used that way. An allergy is a clear immediate reaction to something consumed that is considered anaphylactic. An intolerance is different and a lot trickier to figure out.  

According to “Eat This“, There are 15 foods that could give you cold like symptoms and I eat three of them EVERY SINGLE DAY! 

  1. Refined Sugar
  2. Spicy Foods
  3. Milk
  4. Chocolate
  5. Tomatoes
  6. Cheese
  7. Gluten foods/wheat
  8. bananas
  9. oranges (can mimic grass pollen)
  10. Ice Cream
  11. Nuts
  12. Red Meat (high protein can cause excessive mucus build up)
  13. Fish (can be high in inflammation causing histamines) 
  14.  Pizza (no brainer since you’ve got dairy and wheat listed above) 

This is an overwhelming list of foods I eat all the time that could be causing my daily cold-like symptoms. While I don’t want to live a life afraid of consuming some of these foods, I need to get to the bottom of why I wake up every day feeling lethargic and not easily able to breathe. 

Plan of Attack:

So, I will be keeping a food journal for the next 30 days while I eliminate milk and wheat from my diet to see if these things are the culprit to my daily cold-like symptoms. This is hard. We have company coming in from out-of-town and I want to enjoy eating at a restaurant with them. But it’s important to see this process through. Did you know that the milk, cheese or wheat product I ate yesterday, can still cause symptoms two days later? This is why an elimination diet is essential. It’s also the reason why so many people don’t realize their food intolerances.

This could be a little difficult and I will be the crazy person analyzing everything on the menu, then ordering a salad. 😉 I also am the person that loves nothing more in the morning than a buttered piece of toast (with real butter) on whole grain bread along with my homemade daily latte. Not to mention a piping hot bowl of pasta!  Sadly pasta, at least the kind I like has to go for the next 30 days too. Thankfully there are some alternatives like gluten-free (which is also wheat free) rice pasta. 

So for breakfast instead of milk in my latte, its almond milk. I’ve been doing almond creamer for a while now but I’m making the switch for at least 30 days and no cheese for me. 🙁 I love cheese! Who doesn’t love cheese? This makes me the saddest! For breakfast, I can still have a good bowl of oatmeal. Oats and wheat are not the same, so I can have oatmeal hopefully without any reactions. 

Lunch will be a bit tricky, but if I stick to salad with a vinaigrette sauce and my rice pasta without a milk-based sauce, I think I’ll make it through. I will also saute veggies in olive oil and sea salt. Thankfully I menu plan all the time so if I plan this out well, I shouldn’t feel too deprived, but we have a house full of foods I can’t eat right now, so I will have to make my own portions of food just so we don’t waste the food we already have. 

I’ve recently received some products from Enjoy Life and Bare that will help me on my elimination diet. My kids have also done a fun YouTube video showcasing some of these products, but the two I am enjoying today are made by Enjoy Life and Bare.

Enjoy Life makes wonderful grain and seed bars that are free from all commonly known allergies like: 

Enjoy Life makes a variety of other foods for the food intolerant, and these grain and seed bars come in different flavors like maple sweet potato, cranberry orange, and chocolate marshmallow. After sampling these with my kids last week, I love the banana caramel and chocolate marshmallow flavors the best. This will help me feel less deprived especially during snacking hours! 

Bare is also a company that makes dehydrated fruits and veggies. They sent me their Bare Baked Crunchy Fuji Reds Apple Chips. The only ingredient in the package was apples! One ingredient guys!!! No oils, added sugar or preservatives plus it’s a good source of fiber since I’m eliminating wheat. 


Like Enjoy Life, Bare doesn’t just make apple chips, they have a good variety of dehydrated fruits and vegetables to try. They have banana chips, beet chips, sweet potato and coconut chips as well.


I will be publishing another post featuring these foods and my kids doing a snack review of others we received in the mail. Have you ever had to do an elimination diet? Did you make it all the way through without failing? I’m hoping to be able to do this and that it will either confirm one or both “intolerances” to wheat or dairy. Honestly, I’m hoping its just one intolerance, not both. I love pasta so much, I think I’d rather the allergy be to just milk. I’ll live without cheese. But I love a good toasted sandwich. I can eliminate cheese on sandwiches. BLTs don’t have cheese on them. 😉 

If you have any tips on elimination diets, I’d love to hear them? Tell me in the comments below. 

About Heather Jones

I'm a coffee addict wife, "work at home mom", mother to two boys, blogging about the latest life hacks, recipes, DIY Projects and crazy "momisodes".

Heartfully Heather


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Heather Jones

I'm a coffee addict wife, "work at home mom", mother to two boys, blogging about the latest life hacks, recipes, DIY Projects and crazy "momisodes".

10 thoughts on “Could Food Intolerances Make You Feel Like You Have a Cold?

  1. This is a really interesting post. I don’t have any food intolerances that I am aware of but my fiance’ does.

  2. Interesting that some foods can make you feel like you’re having a reaction such as a cold. I’ve only had reactions to gluten, soy and dairy in the form of bloating.

  3. Interesting post! My husband experiences bloating if he eats anything with soy sauce. I will try and be more observant if there are any other food that would cause these cold like symptoms.

  4. Interesting topic to digest for me, food intolerance makes me learn a new in the things one eats. Reactions and more. Good read and quite resourceful

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