What is food intolerance?Do you experience some rather funny reactions in your body, after eating some kinds of food? Or do you start feeling ill after consuming certain dishes or fruits?
Has this kept you shrouded in a world of mystery because you don’t know what is going on? Well, I am here to let you know that some of these reactions occur due to food intolerance, yes, your body is telling you one way or another that it sees what you are consuming as a threat.
The truth is that most people one way or another have food intolerance and there is a high possibility that you could be intolerant to two or more kinds of food. Although this is very different from food allergies, they are both forms of hypersensitivity that may occur from eating certain foods and fruits.
Let me guess, you are wondering how to detect if you are actually intolerant to a food, well it’s simple as there are several ways to discover the kinds of food you are intolerant to. Initially, it might seem like its a little uneasy since plenty of these reactions may not show up until days later.
However, some methods can help you identify and discover these foods personally or you may do that with the help of a dietician. The methods are basically doing a medical checkup or visiting your dietician, being observant to know how you react to what you eat when you do and most importantly gaining the knowledge of the many causes of food intolerance which would give you an insight when you have one next time or perhaps to just help you avoid it by all means.
Food Intolerance Causes And Symptoms
Causes of Food Intolerance
You may experience food intolerance due to several reasons. These may include;
Toxins are poisonous substances produced inside of living organisms and are harmful in certain amounts. Some foods naturally contain toxins that can turn out to be harmful to humans when they are not properly cooked. This is common with beans, as some people experience food intolerance after eating undercooked beans, other foods that naturally contain toxins are but not limited to potatoes, oilfish, soya beans, cassava, etc.
The common symptoms associated with this are often vomiting, diarrhea, weakness and nausea.
These are naturally occurring chemicals produced by bacteria in foods, like fishes in the process of fermentation or storage. The body also produces them in response to inflammatory allergens.
These could build up in the body of people who have histamine intolerance, naturally, the body is supposed to break down this chemical and excrete it. However, people with this intolerance would be unable to do this due to an impairment in the functioning of the enzymes required to carry out the process.
Some foods also contain this chemical in harmful amounts and can cause any person to experience these reactions. Sometimes the symptoms may include abdominal cramps, vomiting, headaches, itching, flushed skin, diarrhea, and anxiety.
It’s best to avoid foods that can cause this intolerance altogether. They include stored fish, dried fruits, vinegar, old cheese, avocados, fermented food, and few drinks.
These are common food compounds and can be a source of food intolerance for many, mostly due to the inability to ingest it. These chemicals are naturally occurring in plants, they serve as a defense against harsh environmental conditions, harmful bacteria, and insects.
In the long run, they contribute to a major part of the plant diet. It’s best to avoid foods with high salicylate content, including medications and cosmetics that contain them. Such foods would include citrus, vegetables, berries, and honey.Common symptoms range from a stuffy nose, asthma, diarrhea, gut inflammation, etc.
Food intolerance has been discovered to have a relationship with enzyme deficiency. This means that intolerance to some certain kinds of foods might mean that there is a deficiency of enzymes to ingest them.
This is common with lactose (the sugar compound in milk products). The enzyme required to break down this sugar is called lactase, and a deficiency of this enzyme is the reason why many people are lactose intolerant. Common symptoms of lactose intolerance include; bloating, diarrhea, stomach ache, nausea, and gas.
Caffeine is responsible for creating alertness in the body, by blocking off drowsiness in the body and it is found in many beverages and energy drinks.Some people are intolerant to even a small amount of caffeine, although most people are not. This can be caused by the inability of the body to break down caffeine and excrete it.
Common symptoms of hypersensitivity to caffeine intolerance include; restlessness, anxiety, insomnia, and rapid heartbeats. It’s always best to avoid beverages like coffee, tea, and even chocolates if you’re caffeine intolerant.
Many foods fall into these categories and can cause digestive issues to people because they are not easily ingested in the small intestines.Once in the large intestines, they tend to cause bloating, and gas. These carbs can also draw in water into the digestive systems, thereby causing diarrhea.
Most people who are intolerant to this group of carbs, often have irritable bowels, which makes them easily susceptible to them, unlike other people.Common foods that can lead to these include; beans, lentils, cheese, milk, bread, artichokes, etc.It’s best to avoid these foods if you’ve experienced bloating, gas, discomfort, or diarrhea after eating them.
Food Intolerance Causes And Symptoms
Most food additives are added to give it an appealing look or to preserve it. However, a lot of people do not know that most people have experienced food intolerance to a particular group of additives in processed foods. These mainly include sulphites, nitrates, some food colorings, and artificial flavors.
Foods that may contain any of these additives include; wines, processed meats, baked foods, and canned foods. The people who are intolerant to these additives may experience headaches, itching, skin rashes, coughing, hives, skin inflammation.It’s best to check the labels of processed foods, if you’re intolerant to these additives, before consuming them.
Diagnosing Food Intolerance
Food intolerance doesn’t affect the immune system, unlike food allergies. Though having more than one food intolerance might make it difficult to discover which particular food you are intolerant too, so if that’s the case you may want to seek the assistance of a medical expert.
Once you notice these reactions in your body, it’s best to see a doctor. You will most likely be advised to write down the food you eat in a diary and cross-check it with when you experience these reactions in order to discover what your food intolerances are.
You might also be likely placed on an exclusion diet for a certain period, to give enough time to trace the suspected food.Sometimes a skin prick test or blood test can be recommended to be sure it isn’t a case of food allergies. Although evidence points to the fact that even these methods cannot be fully relied on but they are one of the best means to diagnose the issue.
Managing Food Intolerance
There are no specific methods for managing food intolerance. The most reliable method is to avoid totally or eat little amounts (if you must) of the foods you are intolerant too.
Some discover that abstaining from such food for a while can be effective and you may naturally become tolerant after eating them again.
Food intolerance can be traced to different food sources. It would be best to monitor what you eat, so you can easily track foods you might be intolerant to. Also, food intolerance will not affect your immune system like food allergies, but it’s best to steer clear of foods that affect your overall health.