After enjoying a meal, someone may start to feel uncomfortable, especially with one of the following …
- Stomach pain
- Wind bursts
- He retched
- Sudden irritability
- Weight gain
The cause may be a food intolerance which is a response from the digestive system to a specific food; an ingredient in food irritates the digestive system and the person is unable to digest and correctly break down food. One of the most common food intolerances is milk intolerance, which means that an individual experiences the above symptoms when eating milk or dairy products. Milk intolerance affects about 10% of the population. Gluten intolerance is also common, as is wheat intolerance. The symptoms of gluten intolerance and wheat intolerance include “typical” symptoms of food intolerance. But it may not be those foods that cause the problem … it could be the nori seaweed or Lindse’s seed that you have every day because it is “healthy”
Food allergies against food intolerance
Many people confuse food allergies with food intolerance and vice versa. Typically, the symptoms of a food allergy are more severe and may include the above symptoms plus:
- Sore skin
- Difficult breathing
- Chest pain
- Anaphylaxis (a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction)
Sometimes, the cause of digestive difficulties may be food poisoning caused by the consumption of food that has not been cooked properly or is well beyond the “use by” date. However, a food allergy creates a reaction in the immune system and can affect organs, which means that a food allergy can be life-threatening.
When a person experiences digestive discomfort or other symptoms of gluten intolerance, it is advisable to visit a doctor. At the clinic or surgery, the doctor or physician’s assistant will begin a series of tests to determine if the problem is related to food poisoning, food allergy or food intolerance. One method of diagnosis is the elimination of “suspicious” foods from the diet and the keeping of a food diary. While this diagnostic method may work, it can take several weeks, or even months, to locate “offensive” food or additives.
Another method is to perform a series of tests. Patients can take a test for allergies or intolerances. The tests are extensive at the beginning therefore they become more specific: the first step is a test that determines whether there is an intolerance to the most common foods. If this test turns positive, one of nearly 300 foods or additives can be identified that could cause problems. The tests are easy to administer and produce very specific results. Here’s how it works.
- The patient tests for food intolerance. Come back positive.
- A more specific test reveals that the patient is not only intolerant to fish but reveals which fish.
- The patient eliminates salmon from his diet and can enjoy other types of fish.
Some tests can determine the severity of the intolerance. And the tests could turn negative.
Once the test is complete, the next step for the patient is to eliminate problematic foods from their diet. The results can be immediate and dramatic: the patient enjoys a better quality of life free from the discomforts associated with intolerance and food allergies.