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Possible cause: Food allergies

Fatigue is the most obvious culprit for dark circles, but if you’re well rested and don’t have a cold or sinus infection, they could indicate a range of other issues, including food allergies. Sometimes called “allergic shiners,” dark under-eye circles may appear when nasal and sinus congestion causes blood to pool under the eyes, where the skin is the thinnest.

What you can do: If you suspect food sensitivities, you can try an elimination diet or allergy testing to smoke out the culprits, says Fry. (For details on elimination diets, see “The Institute for Functional Medicine’s Elimination Diet Comprehensive Guide and Food Plan”.)

Fry adds that it’s important to read any symptom, including dark under-eye circles, within the context of your overall health and other symptoms.

“If, for example, someone reported that she had symptoms of irritable bowel, and then had a period of stress, and then she started getting dark circles under her eyes, I would be thinking food allergy,” Fry explains.

Alternately, if the patient had no history of GI symptoms, Fry might look to other causes, like an allergy to something in her environment.

This was excerpted from “What Your Body Is Trying to Tell You, Part 2” which was published in the April 2016 issue of Experience Life.

Anjula Razdan

Anjula Razdan is Experience Life‘s digital director.

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