A Beginner’s Guide to Identifying and Defeating Your Food Intolerances

If you are a person who has difficulty digesting certain foods, then you may have a food intolerance. They are nothing to be feared as they are common in a lot of individuals. If you have a digestive system disorder like irritable bowel syndrome  (IBS) for instance, then you are likely to have food intolerances.

If you think you may have an intolerance to certain food, then enjoy this beginner’s guide on food intolerances. From symptoms to testing we cover all the basic information you need to know.

food intolerances

What Are the Symptoms?

People are often surprised to know that there are a lot of different symptoms of intolerance when it comes to food intolerances. Some of the most common symptoms are bloating, excess gas, diarrhea and stomach pain. If you eat a lot of the food that triggers these symptoms, then they can be more severe.

It can be surprising to know that food intolerances don’t just affect your digestive system. Symptoms can also include migraines, headaches and a runny nose. All of which can have you feeling very under the weather. It is important to note that most of these symptoms don’t happen automatically and can take a while to occur. It can take a few hours for your symptoms to appear after food has been digested and these can last for hours or even days.

Common Causes of Food Intolerance

Everyone’s food intolerances are unique to them. Your body is unable to digest certain foods due to a lack of digestive enzymes or a sensitivity to certain chemicals. There are a group of foods that are most associated with food intolerances, and these are: milk, gluten, sulphites, caffeine, fructose, food colourings and preservatives. Another one which people need to consider is whether they have symptoms of caffeine intolerance.

One of the most common food intolerances is lactose intolerance with a huge amount of the world’s population struggling to digest it. Lactose intolerance is caused by a shortage of lactase enzymes and can cause abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, gas and diarrhoea. If you think you may be lactose intolerant, then it is advised that you avoid dairy in your diet.

Various types of food intolerances can have differing symptoms. It is always advised that you speak to your local GP with regards to food intolerances to help you identify what may be causing you discomfort.

How Do You Diagnose It?

It can be a tricky process to identify what food intolerances you may have. This is because often the symptoms can mimic the symptoms of other digestive conditions such as IBS. Luckily, food intolerance testing can help manage your symptoms.

Food intolerance tests are useful for identifying how your immune system responds to different types of food. You can take one of these tests in the comfort of your own home and there will be plenty of information readily available to you online to give you all the helpful advice you need. Don’t be put off by the word “test” as they are typically a simple process, and you can receive your results within a matter of days.

It is no secret that food intolerances can impact the way you feel dramatically. So, it can be useful to identify the cause of your issues so you can work towards putting together a healthier diet to avoid the discomforting symptoms that come with food intolerance.

food intolerances

How Does This Differ from A Food Allergy?

In comparison to a food intolerance, a food allergy occurs when your body’s immune system, sees the food as an invader. This leads to an allergic reaction from that specific food. These reactions are often mild between individuals but there are cases where they can be very serious.

The symptoms of food allergies differ to those of a food intolerance and can affect different parts of your body at the same time. Some of the most common symptoms include swelling, vomiting, itching on the inside of the mouth and breathing problems.

Some food allergies can also be life-threatening. Eating a small amount of food or even touching/smelling it can lead to anaphylaxis which can cause the body to become hypersensitive. If you are experiencing issues related to food allergies, then it is strongly advised that you speak with your GP.

How Can You Adapt Your Diet?

When you are diagnosed with a food intolerance it can suddenly feel like you can’t eat a lot of the things you used to. However, this is certainly not the case. You should look to adapt and create recipes that will be a lot kinder to your stomach. There are a number of useful resources online that share free recipes to help you build a healthier diet. Food intolerance is common in people so you are not alone, and you may be surprised to find just how many useful resources there are out there. You can also always contact your GP for their expert advice.

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