Food intolerance: What is it?
Food intolerance or food sensitivity is when one’s body cannot digest a certain meal. The symptoms include allergies bloating, stomach pain, or diarrhea.
Food intolerance differs from a food allergy. Food intolerance symptoms are usually less severe and different from those of food allergy. People who have a food allergy usually experience symptoms immediately. People with a food intolerance usually experience symptoms hours (or even days) after consuming the meal. Moreover, food intolerance does not pose a life-threatening concern, unlike food allergies. Although the symptoms are not as severe, they can be painful.
What are the symptoms associated with food intolerance?
The following signs and symptoms are experienced with food intolerance:
- Abdominal pain
- Bloating or cramping
- Itching and skin irritation
What Leads to Food Intolerance?
Food intolerance is an adverse reaction to food that starts in the gastrointestinal tract. It doesn’t involve the immune system. This includes lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance, and a wide range of other sensitivities. Its symptoms are not life-threatening. They are typically limited to digestive symptoms, such as diarrhea, bloating, and nausea. It may take up to two days for symptoms to appear after eating.
Food intolerance can have various causes, but the most common one is difficulty digesting a particular food. Due to a lack of certain enzymes and food intolerance, one can face all kinds of unpleasant symptoms. Some people’s food intolerance to certain foods is connected with the chemicals added to those foods. Usually, foods that contain toxins, histamine, or salicylates are the main causes of food intolerance.
What are the most popular types of food intolerances?
The most typical food intolerance is lactose intolerance. Moreover, lactose and dairy products are considered difficult to digest by 65% of the world’s population.
Wheat intolerance is another common type of food intolerance. The third most typical type of food intolerance, gluten intolerance, is not the same as this. This happens when a person is intolerant to foods containing gluten, oats, barley, and wheat.
There are other widespread forms of food intolerance. These are caused by eggs, histamine (in mushrooms and cured meat), coloring, and other chemicals.
How can one know if they have a food intolerance?
There are two ways to determine if you have a food intolerance:
- Keeping a food journal
- Opting for a food intolerance test
Keeping a food journal is one way to see if you have a food intolerance. You must keep a record of everything you consume, including the ingredients of any processed meals. Observe how you feel just after you eat and several hours later. Doing so allows you to see whether the foods and your symptoms are related. Still, this isn’t an effective way to determine whether you have a food intolerance, even though it’s free and simple. You can never be 100% sure, as many foods contain dozens of substances. Also, in this condition, symptoms can often take time to develop.
Food intolerance tests are thorough and can often be tested for multiple food sensitivities. This test is simple. You only need to collect a little sample of your hair, and no blood is drawn. You will receive your results after the lab has tested and analyzed them.
How is a food intolerance test conducted?
Getting the food intolerance test is pretty easy. You can order your test online and get an email with your order and submission form. You can either print it out or complete it online.
The next step is to cut a small section of your hair. The number of hairs that fit between your thumb and index finger, or at least 10-20, won’t be noticed. Cut some of your hair, as it does not function with hair that has fallen naturally.
After taking your hair sample, send it to the lab along with the completed form. You will receive your lab results and analysis in 10 to 14 days.
What is the price of a food intolerance test?
The food intolerance test price varies from one city to another. Usually, food intolerance tests vary from Rs 9999 to Rs 17500 in India.
We all remain curious about which foods we should try or avoid. This is especially concerning when eating something that could result in a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. Food intolerance testing systems are a little expensive. They depend on data that the medical science community does not support. Making significant changes to your diet based on these tests can lead to health issues. So you should consult your doctor when concerned about dietary choices, potential allergies, or sensitivity to a particular food.