What Is Food Intolerance
When you have a food intolerance, it means your digestive system has a hard time digesting a food. Another word for food intolerance is food sensitivity.
Food intolerance means your gut is sensitive to certain foods and cant tolerate them. When you eat these foods, you may experience uncomfortable symptoms like gas, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
Unorthodox Tests Can Be Misleading
Some people use unorthodox methods for diagnosing health problems. Several misleading tests have been promoted for diagnosing food allergies and intolerances, without any credible evidence, and at significant expense as these tests are not rebated.
These tests include cytotoxic food testing, Vega testing, kinesiology, allergy elimination techniques, iridology, pulse testing, Alcat testing, Rinkelâs intradermal skin testing, reflexology, hair analysis and IgG food antibody testing. Not only do these tests lack any scientific rationale, but have been shown to be inaccurate and unreliable in published studies.
Treatment based on inaccurate results is not only misleading, but can result in ineffective and sometimes harmful treatments, and delay the proper management of food allergies and intolerances.
What Are Fodmaps Foods
The term FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols Certain foods are classed as FODMAPs meaning that they are poorly absorbed by the body, which may result in IBS-type symptoms such as abdominal pain and bloating.
High FODMAP foods, such as onion and garlic, are common foods which the gut finds difficult to digest. Discovering and, most importantly, understanding your own personal thresholds of a certain ingredient may ensure you make the best dietary choices in order to optimise your diet, take control of your bloating and quality of life.
Here are some examples of high FODMAP foods:
As weve mentioned, bloating can be a sign of a food intolerance and therefore finding out your trigger foods could be a great way to manage your bloating.
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Bloating In The Abdomen Or Having Gas Might Also Be A Food Allergy
If you have to loosen your pants after eating then you might be suffering from a food allergy.Stomach pain is more difficult to understand.
It can spread out over your whole stomach or just stick in once certain area. Sometimes people confuse this pain with other ailments like pain associated with a womans period. If youve decided that its not something else, discovering that its a food allergy can lead to the problem being fully solved.There was a case reported of a patient had a sharp pain every night at the same time, which was eventually diagnosed as food allergy.
In another case, a woman had pain that only went away after she took wheat out of her diet.If the allergy is severe, the smallest dietary consumption, and often coming from somewhere where youd least expect it, can cause the problem.
In one case a patient would have severe pain for almost 24 hours after eating food which contained a small amount of egg.
These symptoms are explained best if we understand that these pains come from the stomach becoming inflamed when we eat these problem foods. We can treat the symptoms with medication, but the only way of completely eradicating the problem is by removing the problem food from our diets completely.
Food Allergies And Food Intolerances Whats The Difference
A food allergy is a severe, adverse reaction to a particular food that often causes the immune system to produce antibodies to fight off the allergen. Reactions range from life-threatening – such as in anaphylaxis, to severe and distressing anything from skin rashes to diarrhoea. True food allergies are relatively rare, affecting around 2% of adults and 8% of children in the UK.
Food intolerances, also known as food sensitivities, are usually less severe but can be very distressing. Around 20 30% of people in the UK believe they are intolerant to at least one food. Symptoms can be delayed for hours, even days, making triggers difficult to pinpoint and eliminate from the diet. The most common signs of food intolerance are eczema, diarrhoea, constipation, joint pain/inflammation, stomach cramps, excessive wind and bloating. Excess wind and bloating often occur because the bowel doesnt empty properly and so the body continues to try and break down food by producing bacteria.
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How About A Glass Of Warm Saltwater
Commonly used for getting relief from a sore throat, drinking warm water with salt helps to treat stomach pain instantaneously. This is also known as saltwater flush. It cleanses the colon, treats chronic constipation, and thereby, detoxes the body. But make sure you dont drink it in an empty stomach as it can further cause cramps, bloating and dehydration. So next time you have stomach aches, drink a cup of warm water with one teaspoon of salt.
Food Allergies And Intolerances
Guidelines published by the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases conclude that neither standard blood nor skin tests are sufficient for making a diagnosis of food allergies. However, some healthcare providers have found that combining the results of these standard allergy tests with an elimination diet has helped those with interstitial cystitis develop individualized diet plans that can help control IC pain and bladder flares.
Urologist John Hubbard, MD and allergist/immunologist C. Steven Smith, MD, from Louisville, Kentucky, are studying the link between allergies and IC. In addition to seasonal allergies, the team is finding that food allergies are also common in IC patients.
Dr. Smith estimates that 35 to 40 percent of IC patients he sees have genuine food allergies, based on the results of their skin-prick tests and elimination diets. He found that their IC symptoms decreased when they removed those foods from their diets.
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Other Adverse Reactions To Food
There are many other adverse reactions to foods, apart from allergy and intolerance, including:
- Feeling unwell after eating from other causes such as heartburn after a fatty or spicy meal or a hangover after too much red wine.
- Coeliac disease is not an allergy, but does involve an immune system response to foods containing gluten. When gluten-containing cereals are eaten, inflammation of the gut occurs, resulting in poor absorption of nutrients. Major symptoms are gut upset, fatigue, anaemia or weight loss.
- Non-coeliac gluten intolerance is a recently recognised condition which can cause symptoms such as abdominal disturbance and occasionally malaise and tiredness. It appears to be genuine as proven by blinded challenge studies but the mechanism is not known.
- Food aversion is a condition where a person not only dislikes a food, but also experiences unpleasant physical symptoms when they see or smell the food. Symptoms are triggered by emotions associated with food rather than the food itself. This does not usually occur if the food is disguised.
- Underlying anxiety can result in unconscious over-breathing or hyperventilation. The symptoms that result can be very distressing, and can sometimes resemble food allergy.
ASCIA is the peak professional body of clinical immunology/allergy specialists in Australia and New Zealand.
For more information go to www.allergy.org.au
To donate to immunology/allergy research go to www.allergyimmunology.org.au
Bloat Symptoms Is There A Relationship Between Bloating And Food Intolerance
Yes, there is, although your bloat is not always necessarily caused by an intolerance. If you have suffered badly with bloating but have not identified what is causing these issues, then you may have a food intolerance.
Food Intolerances are a lot more common than most people realize, as there are many people around the world not knowing that they are living with a food intolerance. Once you have identified your intolerances there are ways to manage it, and if you successfully avoid the offending food item, your bloating will disappear.
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What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
You may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- What type of food intolerance do I have?
- What foods or ingredients should I avoid?
- Am I at risk for other problems?
- Should I look out for signs of complications?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
A food intolerance can cause stomach upset and other digestive problems after you consume certain foods or drinks. Having a food intolerance isnt the same as having a food allergy. Food allergies cause an immune system response that can be life-threatening. Most people with food intolerances can have small amounts of those foods without distressing symptoms. A food diary and elimination diet can help determine if you have a food intolerance.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 08/11/2021.
Which Food Allergies Are Most Common
In adults, they include:
- Tree nuts, such as walnuts
- Shellfish, including shrimp, crayfish, lobster, and crab
For children, the food allergens that most often cause problems are:
Adults usually don’t lose their allergies, but children do sometimes. Kids are more likely to outgrow allergies to milk, eggs, and soy than to peanuts, fish, and shrimp.
The foods that you’ll react to are often those that you eat regularly. In Japan, for example, you’ll find rice allergy. In Scandinavia, codfish allergy is common.
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Things To Consider If You Are Experiencing Prolonged Gas Bloating Belching
Digestive complaints are becoming more and more common. Sadly enough, we are taught to minimize our symptoms and think that its okay to have a bloated belly or look like a perpetual Santa Claus.
Fear not! You too can have better digestion, enhanced metabolism, and feel and look better by these simple tips:
If you want to understand about what you are eating and what food additives are being placed in your foods, please read: A Consumers Dictionary of Food Additives by Ruth Winters.
Here is her blog:
Intestinal permeability screening
Get Some Light Exercise After Eating
When you feel bloated after a meal you probably want to go lie down, but thats actually the worst position to be in. Gas retention is worse when lying down.
At least one study has proven that 10 to 30 minutes of light exerciselike a simple walkcan help alleviate gas build-up after eating. If you can, make time for a walk after a meal. If not, try a standing desk for a bit after lunch. You may find that it relieves that uncomfortable bloating.
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Treatment For Food Allergy
Your doctor can find out if you have an allergy or intolerance. These things may help:
- Keep a diary of the foods you eat and the symptoms you have.
- Stop eating some foods to help figure out which one is causing symptoms.
- Have allergy tests done.
If you have a food allergy, you’ll need to stop eating the food altogether. If you have a food intolerance, youâll need to avoid or cut back on that food in your diet. For lactose intolerance, you can look for lactose-free milk or take a lactase enzyme supplement.
With a food allergy, you could be at risk for anaphylaxis, a life-threatening reaction. Ask your doctor if you need to carry epinephrine shots which you could give yourself in an emergency. If so, always carry two injections with you.
Diagnosis Of Food Intolerances
Food intolerances can often be difficult to diagnose. Some substances within foods, and the quantity of foods eaten, can increase the frequency and severity of symptoms. These include stomach pain, bloating, gas/flatulence, diarrhoea, IBS, rashes, hives or headaches,
Diagnosis of adverse reactions to foods should be based on clinical history, response to treatment and testing. Skin prick tests or blood tests for allergen specific IgE are negative for food intolerances. However, they are useful if the history suggests that food allergy , is the problem.
The best approach is to first see your doctor to:
- Make a diagnosis, such as migraine headaches, hives, IBS, recurrent mouth ulcers.
- Check for other conditions that may be causing symptoms.
- Determine if diet or other factors play a role in causing symptoms.
- Identify individual triggers to be avoided.
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Be Mindful Of Your Fiber Intake
Foods rich in fiber like beans and whole grains are among the foods that cause gas. But on the other hand, not eating enough fiber can cause constipation and bloating. There are two types of fibersoluble and insoluble. Our bodies need both and a balance of both types is important for proper digestion. Try to eat equal amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber. Below is a breakdown of the differences between soluble fiber and insoluble fiber:
- Slows down digestion
- Dissolves in the water in the large intestine and creates a gel that coats the digestive tract
- Helps lower cholesterol levels
- Improves glycemic index in diabetes patients
Examples of foods high in soluble fiber
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Can Seasonal Allergies Cause Stomach Upset
My wife often starts a few young seedlings of spinach, lettuce, and tomatoes in a sunny window before they go outside for the spring.
Recently, when we had a few baby plants in the house, I started having headaches and stomach upset and couldn’t find a cause until I spotted a few little sprouts of pollen that had shot up from the baby spinach.
Once the offending plant was moved outside, my symptoms went away.
As a functional medicine doctor, I am used to seeing new patients who have been misdiagnosed for years due to symptoms that don’t quite fit the mold of a standard diagnosis.
There are, no doubt, many people unnecessarily suffering because of a misunderstanding of how we think of certain conditions.
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Histamine & Liver Congestion
Often, excess histamine and underlying infection combine to make allergy symptoms particularly severe.
Ideally, your liver would remove any excess histamine caused by seasonal allergies but when it is congested from the strain of an underlying infection, it gets ‘behind’ at clearing away this excess histamine.
This is why you may have had mild allergies before but now the symptoms are unbearable.
There is a certain threshold, a certain amount of toxin or infection that your body can comfortably handle but once it passes that point your body falls behind and your symptoms drastically change.
This could mean that your symptoms get more severe, you have them more often, you have different triggers or they are a different set of symptoms entirely.
What Causes Bloating After A Meal
Bloating is simply the feeling of a swollen belly. Bloating after eating is often caused by a build-up of gas or air in the digestive system, or the excess retention of water.
Bloating can be uncomfortableor even painful. It can also be embarrassing: That excess gas usually escapes in the form of belching or flatulence. Its a riot if youre a seven-year-old boy, but dreadful if youre at a business lunch or on a date.
The good news is that, while bloating after eating can be indicative of a bigger health issue , it usually isnt. Its actually not all that uncommon. Most people can prevent bloating after a meal by learning what and how to eat.
Note: Everyones body reacts to food a little differently. This is a complete list of considerations and options, but you dont have to take all of these steps to avoid bloating after a meal. Try one and a time and see what works for you. It might be helpful to get a small notebook and start keeping a food journal.
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Definition Of Food Sensitivity
While a food allergy is an immune system response to a food, food intolerance is a problem with digesting foods.
People with food intolerances can have gastrointestinal symptoms like bloating, gas, abdominal pain, and diarrhea after eating certain foods.
Unlike a food allergy, food intolerance does not cause anaphylactic reactions.
Identifying a food intolerance requires careful observation of cause and effect. Some people are intolerant to food additives, like flavorings, dyes, and preservatives.
Do Certain Foods Cause Bloating
Absolutely, says Czerwony and shes willing to name names. So, here are 15 foods that can give you that swollen feeling, plus ways to maybe avoid the pain.
Its hardly a surprise to see beans atop the list of bloat-causing foods. After all, the legendary powers of this legume have even captured the attention of lyricists: Beans, beans, the musical fruit
Science is behind that tune, explains Czerwony. Many types of fiber-rich beans are packed with carbohydrates and more specifically sugars called oligosaccharides. These sugars dont digest gently.
Ultimately, that process leads to fermentation and plenty of gas, which has been known to occasionally escape in a trumpet-like blast.
Tips to try: Soaking nutrition-rich beans in water ahead of mealtime can take some of the fight out of the oligosaccharides and make them easier to digest. Also, some beans tend to be less demanding on your system.
Lentils are also legumes, so its basically the same story as beans .
Tips to try: Soaking lentils can work wonders. Also, heart-healthy lentils come in a rainbow of hues. Lighter-colored lentils tend to have less fiber than their darker counterparts, which makes them easier to digest.
Did you know that 3 out of 4 people eventually lose the ability to digest lactose, the main carbohydrate in dairy? Lactose intolerance can cause bloating and other pretty significant digestive problems.
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