Food intolerances are much more common than food allergies, and are often mistaken as such. Although intolerances are not life threatening, they can lead to very uncomfortable symptoms which can have an impact on your daily activities. If you think you are suffering from food intolerance, itís advisable to take a food intolerance test as soon as possible so that you can avoid the foods that are causing you problems.
Causes of intolerances
Food intolerance is caused when the body cannot sufficiently process a particular type of food because it doesnít produce enough of the enzyme needed to digest that food.
One of the most common types of food intolerance is cowís milk which contains lactose (sugar). Because many people have a shortage of the lactase enzyme which is responsible for breaking down this lactose sugar, the lactose canít be absorbed into the bloodstream and causes a lactose intolerance.
Gluten intolerance is caused when foodstuffs like wheat, barley and rye arenít properly broken down by the body. Gluten intolerance can lead to coeliac disease which is a gut disorder and can lead to intestinal damage. The main symptoms of gluten intolerance are weight loss, diarrhoea, wind and mouth ulcers.
Other intolerances can include alcohol intolerance, where a lack of the alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme causes you to feel unwell. Adverse reactions to food additives such as sulphites, monosodium glutamate, tartrazine, caffeine, benzoates and aspartame can also lead to food intolerance.
Signs and symptoms
The symptoms of food intolerance tend to develop more slowly than allergy symptoms, usually after several hours. If you are unsure as to whether you are experiencing an allergic reaction or simply an intolerance, just think back to the last food you ate. If it was less than 5 minutes ago and your symptoms are quite severe, you are likely experiencing an allergic reaction. If it was more than a few hours ago, youíre likely experiencing and intolerance.
The most common symptoms of intolerance include bloating and stomach cramps. If you find that you experience more than two of any of these symptoms, itís likely that you are suffering from food intolerance.
- anxiety, dizziness, fatigue, chronic tiredness
- poor appetite, chronic diarrhoea, irritable bowel, constipation
- itching, eczema, rashes, psoriasis, skin problems, urticaria
- arthritis, migraine, premenstrual pain, stomach cramps, fibromyalgia, aching sensations, tension
- nausea, depression, acne, hyperactivity
- weight problems, bloating, fluid retention
- asthma, wheezing, excessive sneezing, rhinitis
- glue ear
Tests for intolerances
At TestDiagnostics, we offer two accurate food intolerance tests.