A food intolerance, or food sensitivity, is a digestive issue that occurs after you eat a certain food. This could happen if your body lacks a specific enzyme needed to fully break down and digest the food. Unlike a food allergy, a food intolerance does not trigger your body’s immune system to produce a histamine response, which can be very serious. For example, if you are lactose intolerant and you drink a glass of milk, you might develop a stomachache, but if you have a peanut allergy and you eat even a tiny amount of peanut butter, you could experience life-threatening anaphylaxis.
Symptoms of a Food Intolerance
Most people are aware that a food intolerance can cause cramping, bloating, and gas. However, other reactions can occur as well, some of which might be a bit surprising. These include:
- Headaches and migraines
- A runny nose
- General malaise
- Heartburn and acid reflux
- Nausea and vomiting
Even though a food intolerance generally produces less severe symptoms than a food allergy, it can still cause significant discomfort. Therefore, it is important to identify the problematic food and take steps to avoid it. This can be challenging because the symptoms of a food intolerance may take up to several hours or longer to become apparent, so the source is not always easy to identify. Some foods that are commonly associated with food intolerances include dairy products, gluten-containing grains, and foods that cause intestinal gas buildup, such as beans and cabbage.
If you’re a member of Optimum Direct Care in Orlando, FL, our doctors can perform food sensitivity testing to pinpoint which foods are causing your symptoms. To learn more, contact us today.