What is food intolerance?
Food intolerance is the body’s immune response to a particular food. As a rule, it manifests itself externally – rash, itching, urticaria, edema and an extreme degree – anaphylactic shock. The latter is associated with severe breathing difficulties and can be fatal.
Food intolerance occurs when the body cannot digest a certain product (for example, milk, eggs) due to the absence or lack of an enzyme responsible for its absorption.
This manifestation is also called leaky gut syndrome, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). So, the stomach stops absorbing nutrients and problems with digestion arise.
Symptoms are bloating and abdominal pain, gas, skin rashes, constipation and diarrhea. Intolerance is much more common than allergies.
Every year the number of people suffering from food intolerances is growing. The situation is aggravated by the fact that not everyone can distinguish intolerance from an allergic reaction. At the same time, there is food intolerance, which is very difficult to diagnose, due to the fact that a reaction to an unwanted product can occur within several days. This type of food intolerance is observed in more than 20% of people. This type of intolerance is rather difficult to treat, because the symptoms are not immediately detected.
Due to the fact that intolerance does not manifest itself immediately, a person can suffer from the disease for many years and not be aware of it. As a result, the disease can become chronic and resistant to treatment. People with food intolerances often suffer from overweight, gastrointestinal diseases and dermatitis.
In a healthy body, foods are broken down effortlessly and sent to the bloodstream. In the case of food intolerance, the breakdown of products does not occur completely and large macromolecules enter the bloodstream. As a result, there are gastrointestinal diseases, allergic reactions.
Often the causes of food intolerance lie in the existing problems with the gastrointestinal tract, frequent stress. The cause of this disease can also be the quality of the products, namely artificial colors and additives contained in them.
Symptoms of food intolerance
Symptoms of food intolerance are complex and non-specific. Experts identify the main symptoms that occur in the first few hours after using the product. These are systemic allergic reactions and skin reactions.
– Itchy skin
– Numbness of the tongue
– Swelling of the oral mucosa
– A sharp drop in blood pressure
– Constipation or diarrhea
– Cramps and colic in the abdomen
– Irritable bowel symptoms
– The appearance of unpleasant sensations in the mouth
– Nausea and vomiting
– Anaphylactic shock
Skin reactions are similar in children and adults. As a rule, in infants, the primary reaction to an allergen product is skin rashes, itching, diaper rash. In adults, food intolerances are accompanied by urticaria or atopic dermatitis.
Does everyone have an intolerance?
40% of people suffer from protein intolerance, half of the world’s population cannot tolerate lactose. In the Eastern countries and South Africa, the percentage is even higher.
If allergies can be from childhood, then intolerance usually manifests itself over time – after 20-25 years.
With age, a person does not need sugar and milk in such quantities as he used to consume them in childhood, accumulating energy. The metabolism slows down, which means it becomes more and more difficult for the body to digest certain elements in the same volumes. If you ignore this and continue to load the body, inflammation develops in the intestines.
Foods that most often cause intolerances:
1. Gluten-containing cereals: wheat, rye, barley
Gluten is a protein also called gluten. Gluten is found in huge quantities in cereals and cereals – wheat, rye, barley. Celiac disease, a gluten intolerance, is the final stage of the entire autoimmune spectrum of gluten sensitivity. Today you can do tests and determine if you have an intolerance. You can follow a gluten-free diet for a month and observe how you feel.
2. Vegetables of the nightshade family
Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and potatoes contain alkaloids that provoke inflammation in some people. These vegetables also contain lectins, highly toxic proteins in their skins, seeds, and leaves.
Beans, lentils, chickpeas, edamame are often the basis of nutrition for those who follow a plant-based diet. Legumes contain large amounts of lectins, which some people find it difficult to absorb.
Egg white can cause intolerances and inflammation.
This abbreviation stands for: Fermentable Oligosaccharides Disaccharides Monosaccharides And Polyols. Which translates to “fermenting oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols.” These sugars are not completely digested in the intestines and are fermented (fermented) by intestinal bacteria. During the fermentation process, gases such as hydrogen and methane are released, which can stretch the intestines and cause symptoms such as pain, gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.
Most high FODMAP foods are healthy. But what works for one person may not work for another. This is a list of foods that should be avoided or severely limited if irritable bowel symptoms occur:
Vegetables: artichokes, asparagus, beets, celery, garlic, onions, leeks, savoy cabbage, sweet peas, corn, and legumes.
Fruits: apples, mangoes, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, watermelon.
Nuts: cashews, pistachios.
The goal of FODMAP intolerance treatment is to heal the gut. At the end of the course of treatment, you can return your favorite foods to the diet.
6. Dairy products
Casein, a protein found in dairy products, often causes sensitization. The fact is that cows on large dairy farms are usually given antibiotics and hormones, they eat a combination feed instead of grass. Milk is usually pasteurized and skimmed. The lack of nutrients is replenished with synthetic vitamins. Fermented dairy products (fermented milk) such as kefir and yogurt are generally better tolerated.
7. Nuts and seeds
These foods are also rich in lectins. In addition, nuts sold by stores are usually coated with soy or canola oils containing partially hydrogenated trans fats. These fats are cheap and unhealthy. Therefore, it is better to buy nuts raw, soak and consume in reasonable quantities.
When should you contact a specialist?
– Overweight with a normal, balanced diet, excluding diseases of the endocrine system and hormonal changes.
– Inability to gain weight with enough food.
– Constant feeling of fatigue, apathy, unwillingness to engage in any activity. The feeling that food does not energize the body, but on the contrary, as if it was being consumed.
– After taking certain foods, weakness in the body, dizziness, and stomach problems appear.
– Occurrence of skin reactions.
– Puffiness, pain in muscles and joints.
Correct diagnosis and treatment can help manage food intolerances. After determining undesirable product must be excluded it from your diet. Often, these are several products at once. Or legumes, for example. In this case, you need to exclude the diet. all products in this group. After all, the product that causes food intolerance becomes not only useless, but also dangerous. For this reason, it is very important to diagnose the cause in time. food intolerance and remove the allergen from the diet.
Sources and Literature
By the categories of the international classifier of diseases ICD-10