Do you know if you have any food intolerances?

For SHA Magazine
|
Wednesday June 21st, 2017
Healthy nutrition

Additives, sweeteners, thickeners, preservatives, etc. It seems difficult to escape overexposure to them in our daily lives. If you have noticed for some time now that certain foods give you a bloated feeling in the stomach, gas or headaches, pay attention because this is in your best interest: you could be suffering from an undiagnosed food intolerance.

What should I pay attention to?

The similarities between a food allergy and a food intolerance often lead us to mix them up. The main difference is that intolerance does not mean that your body feels threatened by the components of the food, drink or drug, except for coeliac disease or gluten intolerance, in which case this immune reaction does occur.

If you are intolerant to a particular food you can consume it, but in small amounts. It is precisely exceeding the sensitivity threshold that triggers a variety of possible symptoms. These are, of course, less significant and slower-acting than those caused by allergies. A food intolerance can take up to 72 hours to manifest itself, which complicates its diagnosis.

The main food intolerances are caused by lactose, gluten, sucrose and fructose. The inherent symptomatology is mostly gastrointestinal (diarrhoea, constipation, bloating and inflammation of the abdomen, irritable bowel syndrome, colic, gastroesophageal reflux or nausea).

However, there are other physical or psychological signs linked to dysfunctionality when metabolising a particular food:

– Dermatological alterations such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, hives or rashes caused by salicylates, for example tomatoes and peppers.

– Neurological disorders such as migraines, headaches, dizziness, vertigo or chronic fatigue. They are common if your body has difficulty digesting monosodium glutamate, for example.

– Respiratory disorders such as asthma, sinusitis or rhinitis.

– Muscular or rheumatic disorders. Certain foods have the ability to increase joint inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis, thus aggravating the pain.

– Psychological disorders such as anxiety, depression or hyperactivity in children.

Did you know that 13% of non-coeliacs are sensitive to gluten? Despite diagnostic tests for coeliac disease being negative, these people suffer from digestive stress when they ingest gluten, which is present in several cereals (wheat, oats, rye and barley).

What can you do to live with your intolerance?

Unfortunately, there is no possible prevention or pharmacotherapy for food intolerance. If you suspect that your discomfort is due to some type of food sensitivity, seek advice from a nutritionist. You will undergo several tests to rule out coeliac disease and inflammatory bowel disease.

Once the triggering foods have been found, you must eliminate them from your diet completely for 2-4 weeks. If the symptoms return, as expected, it will be time to drain toxins and regenerate the intestinal mucosa with I-glutamine, probiotics or essential fatty acids.

Gradually, every 4 days, you can reintroduce those foods and reincorporate them into your diet, as long as your body tolerates them and on a small scale.

In the case of coeliac disease and intolerance to sulphites (the additives used in beer, wine, canned or frozen fish for preservation), it will be essential to remove them completely to restore the intestinal mucosa and overcome the symptoms.

Whatever your intolerance, undergoing these tests and moderating the consumption of food that you have difficulty digesting is the way to recover your quality of life.

 

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