All Women's Talk

7 Important Facts Everyone Should Know about Food Intolerances ...

By Chelsie

It is not uncommon to hear or read about gluten intolerance however, there are also other food intolerances that people can have. Food intolerances seem to be much more common, and many people seem to have an intolerance to at least one type of food. Since food intolerances are on the rise, and they can create very unpleasant symptoms, it is important to understand what food intolerances are, how they are diagnosed, and how to treat them.

1 Definition of Food Intolerance

When you have a food allergy, your immune system goes into overdrive when you eat a food you are allergic to. This can cause a range of problems including rashes and swelling. Food intolerances are different than allergies, because they are not the result of a reaction from the immune system. Rather, food intolerances occur when people suffer unpleasant symptoms after eating specific foods. Although the symptoms can be similar to a food allergy, food intolerances have different causes.

2 Causes

There are a variety of reasons that food intolerances occur, one of which is lacking specific enzymes to break down food. For example, people who are lactose intolerant lack the enzyme, lactase, that breaks down the lactose that is found in many dairy products. Another cause of food intolerance is eating foods with certain inflammatory substances. Caffeine, for instance, is one substance some people have trouble with because it gives them migraines. As you can see, there are many different reasons people experience food intolerances.

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3 Symptoms

Eating foods that you are intolerant to can cause a range of symptoms, some of which may surprise you. For instance, fatigue, joint pain, and dark under eye circles are a few symptoms that food intolerances can cause. Other symptoms include gastrointestinal discomfort, rashes, and even eczema.

4 Diagnosis

Diagnosing food intolerances requires a little patience. You can’t just go in for an allergy test to find out if you have a food intolerance. Instead, it is recommended to keep a detailed diary of the food that you eat and the symptoms you experience throughout the day. When keeping a detailed diary, it is important to keep in mind that the onset of symptoms is usually delayed, and they can last anywhere from a few hours to several days. Also, food intolerances usually cause multiple symptoms, so it is important to note everything.

5 Elimination Diet

Sometimes food intolerances can be extremely hard to spot, which is why an elimination diet can be helpful. An elimination diet excludes foods that commonly cause food intolerances for two to six weeks. If you have a food intolerance, the symptoms tend to improve during this time. After the elimination diet, one food is introduced at time to see if it provokes a response. For detailed instructions about an elimination diet see

6 Foods That Commonly Cause Food Intolerances

Certain foods are more likely than others to cause food intolerances. Lactose in dairy products commonly causes food intolerances. Gluten also tends to cause food intolerances. Even fruits that are high in fructose can be involved in food intolerances.

7 Avoid Triggers

If you have a food intolerance, it is important that you avoid foods that trigger your symptoms. This will help you avoid unpleasant symptoms. If you are diligent about avoiding problem foods, you may be able to reintroduce them to your diet after not eating them for an extended period of time. However, this doesn’t work for everyone, and some people have to permanently remove the food they are intolerant to.

Food intolerances can cause many health problems, and they can be tricky to uncover. However, once you know you have a food intolerance, you can avoid that food so you feel your best. Do you know anyone with a food intolerance?

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