Food Intolerance - Finding out Why You Feel Under the Weather
Most people have experienced situations where a certain food or meal simply didn’t sit well in their stomachs. They feel bloated, full of gas or even nauseated. It may happen only one time, occasionally or every single time they ingest that particular food.
Food intolerance can present itself similarly to indigestion or food allergies, though it is neither. Symptoms may occur hours or days after eating the offending food – which may make it hard to pinpoint what exactly brought them on – or they may not appear at all if the food was ingested in very small amounts, which is not the case when dealing with food allergies.
Symptoms of food intolerance can be the same of an allergy such as a cough, runny nose, a rash or hives. They can also include stomach aches, headaches, bloating and an irritable bowel, which isn’t as consistent with allergy.
Food groups that can commonly be responsible for intolerance are dairy, grains with gluten in their composition and foods that usually cause gas. One person can be intolerant to one or several of these groups, so it can be difficult to figure out what is causing the symptoms for each particular patient in each particular case.
It is when you test for food intolerance or try eliminating food groups that you can really understand what effect foods – especially those you are intolerant to – have on you, which you might have ignored before. While it is not recommended to go and eliminate food groups in order to find out whether you are intolerant to any of them, it may pay off to see a doctor and have the tests done on you if you have been feeling under the weather, which although somewhat of a vague description, is also cited as a possible sign of food intolerance.
As for causes, they are almost as hard to determine as the condition itself. It may be a case of food poisoning, or it may be that some ingredient in the food product causes a reaction in your organism. However, it is as common to be intolerant to certified organic as to processed foods, so there isn’t a golden rule to be followed.
One particular case, however, is that of patients suffering from celiac disease, which is the intolerance to gluten products. Celiac disease is genetic and chronic, and it may present symptoms consistent with allergy or intolerance. It may also cause diarrhea, weight loss and other symptoms consistent with damage to the intestine. However, the disease may not have any recognizable symptoms at all, which makes it harder to diagnose.
Aside from that and lactose intolerance, food intolerance is yet to be accurately diagnosed. So while it may pay off to eliminate certain kinds of food from your diet, which may solve your digestive problems at least for a while, there is no way to be certain they will not come back because of another, yet unidentified intolerance issue.