Author: Wendy Busse, MSc, RD (Registered Dietitian)
Updated: May 2020
The Food Avoidance & Sensitivity Trap is a model that helps clients understand how worry and food avoidance creates conditioned food hypersensitivity. The FAST Freedom Program provides simple, practical advice to break free.
Conditioned food hypersensitivity likely develops from our negative experiences with food. These experiences may include:
Through these negative experiences, the brain begins associating food with symptoms, and the limbic system becomes hypervigilant. The limbic system is a region in the brain that produces behavioural and emotional responses, especially when we sense danger. If we worry about or avoid certain foods, the limbic system overreacts, in turn creating conditioned sensitivities.
I’ve created this model to capture how conditioned food hypersensitivity may develop.
You can enter the cycle at any point. Here are three common scenarios:
The Food Avoidance and Sensitivity Trap is a vicious cycle. It often starts with a few food restrictions, but gets worse, the longer you stay in the cycle. Eventually, you are stuck and can’t see a way out.
It’s easy to get trapped and not recognize the impact the cycle has had on your symptoms and life. The FAST Freedom Program provides simple, practical advice to break free.