Health Fitness

The 6 Most Common Food Intolerance

Food Intolerance

Food intolerance’s are not life-threatening like other health conditions. It is also true that they can cause severe problems in some cases if not dealt with care. Like different diseases, infections, & allergies, the food sensitivities & intolerance’s are on the rise. As per estimates mentioned by Health Line, one in five people are suffering from this condition. Most of the affected persons do not consider it a problem at all. Such conditions are hard to diagnose due to overlapping symptoms with other conditions. This article discusses symptoms and how to avoid the six most common food intolerance’s and sensitivities. How food intolerance test helps will also be discussed.

Understanding Food Intolerance and Sensitivity

Different food intolerance’s and allergies are referred to as “food hypersensitivity.” It is important to understand the difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance. However, some common symptoms also exist and one should learn about them.

Though some major food intolerance’s and their symptoms have been discussed below, it is necessary to consult a doctor or dietitian before starting a treatment. In general, a person starts getting symptoms a few hours after eating a food item. Symptoms involve the skin, respiratory system, and digestive system.

In some cases, the person may experience signs of intolerance after two or more days. Considering the difficulty to correlate the symptoms to a specific food, professional help is always necessary to make sure if a food intolerance or sensitivity exists.

Some common symptoms of food intolerance’s include:

  • Reflux
  • Rashes
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Runny nose
  • Abdominal pain
  • Flushing of the skin

A specific diet plan (elimination diets) is prepared to make sure if a food intolerance exists. As different food sensitivities and intolerance’s are difficult to diagnose, a food intolerance test can help us see the real picture. Six of the most common food intolerance’s will be discussed now.

1. Dairy

Different dairy products such as milk and butter include lactose. Lactose intolerance is common as dairy products are used on a daily basis. For proper absorption and digestion, lactose should be broken down by an enzyme known as lactase. The shortage of lactase enzymes cause lactose intolerance; resultantly, digestive symptoms appear because lactose cannot be digested properly.

Some notable symptoms of lactose intolerance are:

  • Gas
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain

Avoiding dairy products can avoid this problem. The following tests of used to diagnose lactose intolerance:

  • Stool PH test
  • Lactose breath test
  • Lactose-tolerance test

2. Gluten

The proteins that exist in triticale, wheat, barley, and rye are collectively known as gluten. Many health problems such as wheat allergy, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and celiac disease are linked to gluten.

Celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity have similar symptoms which include:

  • Anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Bloating
  • Skin rash
  • Joint pain
  • Headaches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Diarrhea or constipation

The use of a gluten-free diet is a good way to avoid non-celiac gluten sensitivity and celiac disease. So avoiding the following food items is often helpful in avoiding this kind of food intolerance:

  • Beer
  • Pasta
  • Bread
  • Cereals
  • Crackers
  • Baked goods
  • Sauces (especially soy sauce)

3. Caffeine

Many common beverages include caffeine these days. If you drink tea, coffee, soda, and energy drinks, you also take caffeine. The digestive system of some people experiences some signs when they take caffeine in any form and it is a common food sensitivity.

Some notable symptoms of caffeine sensitivity include:

  • Jitters
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Nervousness
  • Rapid heartbeat

Reducing the use of caffeinated items is a good option to avoid it.

4. Salicylates

Plants produce different chemicals that provide defense against disease and insects. Different foods such as vegetables, fruits, coffee, spices, nuts, teas, and honey contain salicylates. Some people have salicylates intolerance.

Salicylate intolerance can cause the following symptoms:

  • Hives
  • Asthma
  • Diarrhea
  • Stuffy nose
  • Sinus infections
  • Nasal and sinus polyps
  • Gut inflammation (colitis)

Reducing the use of salicylate-containing food can avoid this issue.

5. Amines

During the fermentation and food storage, the bacteria produce amines. Amines (and its form histamine) are found in different food items and they cause amines intolerance. Avoiding the food with amines is the best way to avoid this intolerance.

Histamine intolerance is common and its symptoms can be:

  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Anxiety
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Stomach cramps
  • Flushing of the skin
  • Low blood pressure

Avoiding the following food can help people with this concern:

  • Vinegar
  • Avocados
  • Dried fruits
  • Citrus fruits
  • Smoked fish
  • Cured meats
  • Aged cheeses
  • Fermented foods
  • Soured foods (e.g. buttermilk)
  • Fermented alcoholic beverages (e.g. beer and wine)

6. Sulfites

Sulfites (which are chemicals) are commonly used to preserve medications, foods, and drinks. Cheese, grapes, and other natural items also have sulfites. Some people may not be able to digest sulfites properly which causes sulfites sensitivity.

Sulfite sensitivity often causes the following symptoms:

  • Hives
  • Flushing
  • Diarrhea
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Stuffy nose
  • Hypotension
  • Swelling of the skin

Some sulphites-containing food items are:

  • Tea
  • Beer
  • Wine
  • Dried fruit
  • Apple cider
  • Condiments
  • Potato chips
  • Baked goods
  • Pickled foods
  • Canned vegetables

Food Intolerance Test

If you have the symptoms discussed above, you should take a food intolerance test or food sensitivity test to know if you are suffering from food intolerance or sensitivity.

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