Food Intolerance, also known as non-IgE mediated food hypersensitivity or non-allergic food hypersensitivity, refer to difficulty in digesting certain foods and having an unpleasant physical reaction to them. It is important to note that food intolerance is different from food allergy.
Foods most commonly associated with food intolerance include dairy products, grains that contain gluten, and foods that cause intestinal gas buildup, such as beans and cabbage.
The symptoms of food intolerance generally take longer to emerge, compared to food allergies. Onset typically occurs several hours after ingesting the offending food or compound and may persist fo several hours or days.
Some people are intolerant to several groups of foods, making it harder for doctors to determine whether it might be a chronic illness or food intolerance. Identifying which foods are the culprits can take a long time.
The following are the most common symptoms of food intolerance:
- Runny nose
- Feeling under the weather
- Stomach ache
- Irritable bowel
There can be many causes of food intolerance and we will take a look at each of these in turn.
- Absence of an enzyme. Enzymes are needed to digest foods fully. If some of these enzymes are missing, or insufficient, proper digestion may be undermined.
- Chemical causes of food intolerance.
- Food Poisoning - toxins
- Natural occurence of histamine in some foods
Some common types of food intolerance are:
The number of people who believe they have a food intolerance has risen dramatically over recent years, but its hard to know how many people are truly affected.
- Dairy products
- Wheat with gluten
- Wheat without gluten
- Fish and Seafood
- Herbs & Spices
Once you have an idea of which foods may be causing your symptoms, you can try excluding them from your diet one at a time and observing the effect this has.
Try cutting out the suspected food from your diet for two to six weeks and see if your sysptoms improve.
Reintroduce the food to see if symptoms return. You may find you can tolertae a certain level and you only get symptoms if you have more than this amount.
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