How can you tell if your sniffling comes from a cold, the haze or something you ate today? Or how about that weird rash that just appeared on your arm? Here’s everything you need to know about food intolerance and how to deal with it.
What is Food Intolerance Exactly?
Your body needs enzymes in order to properly digest food. If your body is lacking a certain enzyme which is needed to break down a certain type of food, you will suffer from negative reactions. Commonly, one has to eat enough of the food for these reactions to appear, but these amounts are different for every person.
Unlike food allergies which show severe symptoms pretty fast, food intolerance symptoms usually don’t appear until long after you’ve eaten the food.
A lot of research in the past 25 years has shown that 80 to 95 percent of the population shows signs of hypersensitivity to a certain type of food that’s widely consumed.
There’s a theory according to which food intolerance can occur as a result of a too fast transition from liquid to solid food during childhood, to which the digestive system can’t completely adjust, but it still hasn’t been proven.
Food intolerance can probably also explain your weight gain, constantly itchy skin, and migraines, as well as other symptoms.
What’s the Difference Between Food Intolerance and Food Allergy?
Food allergy is caused by your immune system overreacting to the food you ate. In the case of food allergy, your body will negatively react even if you eat the tiniest amount of a specific food you’re allergic to.
On the other hand, food intolerance is caused by your inability to digest a certain type of food. Small amounts of a certain type of food can be eaten without a negative reaction.
Symptoms of Food Intolerance
If you are regularly experiencing some of the symptoms below, you may be at risk:
- Skin Rashes
- Weight Gain
- Runny Nose
- Stomach Cramps
- Feeling sickly
- Irritable bowel
Here are the foods you may be intolerant to:
Wheat is found in bread, cereals, flour, pasta, and more.
Gluten is a substance found in wheat, barley, rye, oats, and more.
The most common dairy products are milk, cheese, butter, cream, and more.
Most alcohol products contain ingredients which you may be sensitive to such as grapes, grains, yeast, and more.
Foods high in histamine include vinegar, champagne, pickled food, soy sauce, tofu, and more.
Yeast can be found in alcohol, stock cubes, vinegar, salad dressings, and more.
What Should You Do If You Have Some Form of Food Intolerance?
First of all, don’t ignore it. Untreated food intolerance can lead to serious health problems such as arthritis, diabetes, obesity, and even cancer.
The best way is to get tested by a specialist before taking any drastic measures.
You can also try to identify the type of food you’re intolerant to. You can start by keeping a detailed food diary for a couple of weeks to try to identify the food(s) that may have been causing the problems.
Once you think you’ve identified the culprit, talk to your doctor before you cut it from your diet. There are many people who misdiagnose themselves and go on dangerous diets for no reason.