What is a Food Intolerance?
Having a food intolerance means that your digestive system has difficulty tolerating a certain food. Often, a person will have a cluster of food intolerances and not just one. This can happen because your body can’t break down the food into its smaller parts. Gluten, for example, is a complex protein that many people can’t tolerate; their bodies are unable to break down the protein in their intestines, so instead it leads to inflammation.
What are the Symptoms of Food Intolerances?
Intolerances lead to primarily digestive symptoms, as well as brain fog, fatigue, headaches, and weakness. Digestive symptoms can include nausea, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, gas, and lack of appetite. Once the food is consumed, it generally takes a few hours for the gastrointestinal symptoms to occur. Depending on the individual, consuming a small amount of the food may not trigger noticeable symptoms. In some cases, the reaction can be severe.
8 Types of Food Intolerances?
Any food can trigger an intolerance. With that said, there are eight categories of foods that make up the vast majority of food intolerance cases. These eight are: dairy, gluten, caffeine, salicylates, amines, FODMAPs, sulfites, and fructose. One of the reasons why these groups were created was to make it easier for people to observe their symptoms’ patterns.
How to Test for Food Sensitivities
Elimination diets are often the most reliable way to test for intolerances. This involves systematically omitting certain groups from your diet for a period of time, then slowly reintroducing them. There are also many at-home tests on the market these days, with some being more reliable than others. It is important to check reviews before purchasing an at-home tests.
Are Food Sensitivity Tests Accurate?
Food sensitivity tests, like any other tests on the market, can have variable results. It is best to work with a doctor or nutritionist to determine what foods are causing your symptoms. An at-home food sensitivity test is a good starting point, and sometimes, it is a life changer. One option is to use the results from a food sensitivity test to begin your elimination diet.
Digestive Health Centers Can Help
It’s impossible to treat something when you don’t know the cause of it. At Digestive Health Centers, we know how to get to the bottom of what is causing your symptoms. As professionals, we are able to treat any digestive condition that comes our way. For some patients, a colonoscopy can improve their treatment by giving their doctor more information about their condition. Talk to your gastroenterologist – or to a wonderful provider at Digestive Health Centers – about how to start on the path towards the best treatment for you.