What exactly is a food intolerance?
Did you ever come across a condition where you have a difficulty in digesting some food? And after eating that specific food you feel extremely sick? For example, some people may be sensitive to some food items like corn or maybe wheat or even to some fruits. Well, if you are unaware of this condition, then let me clarify what it actually is. It is known as Food intolerance. Food intolerance and food sensitivities are one and the same. Though it makes the sufferer feel really unwell, it is not lethal as food allergy is.
Is it different from a food allergy?
Food intolerance and food allergy are two different concepts, though the symptoms may seem a bit similar, people often confuse intolerance with allergy. To make sure what you are suffering from you may need to consult the doctor. A food allergy affects the whole immune system causing damage to a plethora of organs, sometimes it may even prove deadly.
Let us walk through some of the common food intolerances which people go through.
Milk & Milk Products (Dairy) – Lactose
Lactose is a sugar found in milk & milk products, while lactose intolerance refers to a condition in which a person’s body is unable to digest lactose. This happens because of the absence or lack of sufficient amount of a substance called lactase, due to which the person is unable to break down lactose for its further absorption into the bloodstream.
Signs and symptoms are usually seen after a few hours of consumption. The symptoms may include a migraine, bloated stomach, diarrhea, nausea, and gas.
Caffeine is not only present in coffee, but other things like chocolate bars, aerated drinks, energy drinks and in some types of teas like white tea, green tea and some other kinds of tea excluding herbal tea. Most of the people start their day with a cup of coffee and it is also a must for some people to keep them awake. While there are people who go through a caffeine intolerance, caffeine can have an effect on the health, making the person sick.
Insomnia, unease, stomach upset, increase in blood pressure and heart rate are some of the symptoms which people with caffeine intolerance mostly go through.
Gluten is the protein which is present in the cereals like wheat, barley, rye. Gluten intolerance is a common issue though. It has two types, the first one is the autoimmune disease called celiac disease which is its severe form. The second form is milder but it still can lead to issues.
Whether it is in its milder form or in its severe form, it has extensive symptoms. It may lead to bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, abdominal pain, migraines, exhaustion, depression etc.
Egg (egg white and yolk)
Cookies, cakes, mayonnaise, ice-cream, or a custard, many of the of foods contain eggs. It is used to bind or thicken the foodstuff. This makes the people with egg sensitivity avoid the food which contains eggs. Egg intolerance is also one of the most common intolerances. It is a condition when someone is unfit to digest the egg white or yolk or sometimes both.
According to research, more than 1.5% of children are affected by egg intolerance, though it is also seen that this fades away as with age.
Symptoms of egg intolerance include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, breathing issues, runny nose, skin reactions.
Corn or maize intolerance is one of the rarest intolerance amongst people. Though people (their body) who suffer from it show an inflammatory response to the food which contains corn.
Abdominal pain, itching and skin issues, asthma, constipation, headaches etc are seen amongst the signs and symptoms.
So what is the possible remedy for all of these Food Intolerances?
A proper diagnosis is necessary as there is a need to identify the food which is responsible for the distress.If any person is suffering from any of the food intolerance, you need to consult a health specialist and get a professional food intolerance test done.
If the test turns out to be positive, there may be a need to withdraw that specific food which is causing an issue for a certain period and reintroduce it in the diet after the negative symptoms are gone.