What is Food Intolerance?
Food intolerance is a condition where the body has difficulty digesting certain foods, leading to uncomfortable symptoms such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
Unlike a food allergy, which involves the immune system and can be life-threatening, food intolerance does not typically cause a severe reaction.
What are Some Common Causes of Food Intolerance?
Enzyme deficiencies: Some people lack the enzymes needed to break down certain foods, such as lactose in dairy products.
Food additives: Some people are sensitive to food additives such as sulfites, which are commonly used in processed foods.
Celiac disease: This is an autoimmune disorder in which the body is unable to tolerate gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): IBS is a common digestive disorder that can cause symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea.
What Are Common Symptoms?
- Stomach Pain
- Skin Rashes
- Joint Pain
Food Intolerance Can Be Managed
The best way to manage food intolerance is to identify the foods that are causing the symptoms and avoid them.
Keeping a food diary can help identify problem foods.
Some people may also benefit from taking enzyme supplements to help with digestion.
In the case of celiac disease, a strict gluten-free diet is necessary to prevent damage to the small intestine.