Do you always feel ill after eating a certain food? If so, you may be suffering from food intolerance. This condition is associated with a wide range of symptoms; as a result, it is often confused with other conditions, such as food allergies. Learn the symptoms of food intolerance so that you can recognize if your body seems to be reacting to a certain food.
Food intolerance symptoms tend to be milder than those associated with true food allergies, which involve an immune system response. For example, while anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction, may occur with a food allergy, it is not a symptom associated with food intolerance.
Those with food intolerance may experience some or all of the following symptoms when they eat their trigger food. Their symptoms may vary significantly in frequency and severity; some people experience symptoms after eating only a trace of their trigger food, while others must consume a larger portion before experiencing the effects. While the symptoms usually appear within an hour or two of eating, in some cases they may be delayed, only appearing a day or two later.
The symptoms of food intolerance tend be be gastrointestinal, and include an upset stomach, bloating, cramps, constipation, diarrhea, and gas. Food intolerance may also be associated with irritable bowel disease. In many cases, these symptoms are the only signs that the person is suffering from a food intolerance, and no other symptoms are noticed.
However, others with food intolerance experience other symptoms. They may not connect these symptoms with the foods they have eaten, making food intolerance difficult to diagnose. Possible symptoms of a food intolerance include headaches, fatigue, dizziness, and irritability. Food intolerance may also mimic the signs of asthma or seasonal allergies, with symptoms like a runny nose, congestion, or watery eyes. It could also cause skin conditions like eczema, hives, or skin rashes.
If you experience any of these symptoms, visit your doctor. A blood test or food elimination diet could help determine whether a food intolerance is the cause.