In recent years, the number of people who say they are sensitive to some foods they consume has increased considerably. Unfortunately, this sensitivity, which affects the intestine and digestive system of individuals, seriously reduces the quality of life. This situation, which we call food intolerance, is a health problem experienced by many people, although the name is not as heard as food allergies, which is caused by the inability to digest or absorb a food in the body.
Individuals with food intolerance may experience many problems after the food they love to consume, for which they do not know the reason. The most common food intolerance symptoms are; abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, vomiting, bloating, indigestion, nasal discharge, headache and migraine type headaches. How much people consume the food that causes intolerance affects the severity of symptoms, and as these foods continue to be consumed, the health of individuals is negatively affected.
food intolerance; Apart from the gastrointestinal system symptoms, it can also be the cause of common health problems such as edema, difficulty in losing weight, skin disorders, acne, eczema, and chronic fatigue.
Causes of Food Intolerance
Food intolerance may occur due to one or many reasons. Toxic substances, pharmacological substances and some enzyme deficiencies in foods can cause intolerance.
Differences Between Food Intolerance and Food Allergy
Although the symptoms of food allergy and food intolerance are similar, there are important distinctions between them.
- Food allergy symptoms are very immediate and obvious. It can cause redness, swelling, soreness, pain, and in some cases, even anaphylaxis.
- In food intolerance, the reactions start after 2-3 hours and are slower and longer-lasting.
Diagnosing Food Intolerance
It is important for treatment to detect food intolerance, which affects human health and quality of life, and to know which food or food groups cause health problems in the individual. Elimination diet can be applied for diagnosis. Suspected foods are removed from the diet and then the food/foods causing intolerance are tried to be determined by adding the foods one by one to the diet. Another diagnostic method is the measurement of the blood level of food-specific IgG antibodies, which is more rapid and precise.
Food Intolerance Treatment
In the treatment of food intolerance, there is no definitive treatment method other than removing the intolerant foods from the diet. Foods that cause intolerance (eg, milk) and foods containing this nutrient (eg, ice cream) are removed from the diet of the individual for a certain period of time. With the elimination of sensitizing foods from the diet, the individual’s complaints decrease and the sensitivity to food can be eliminated within months with the nutrition programs applied specifically to the person.
It is very important for intolerant individuals to comply with the special nutrition program and to follow the process in order to eliminate the complaints. At the same time, when individuals remove the foods they have intolerance from their diet, they should be supplemented with other complementary foods in order not to be deficient in some of the nutrients contained in this food. If you often experience indigestion and feel bloated after a meal, and if you have difficulty losing weight despite following your schedule, you can consult your dietitian about diagnosis and treatment.