Food intolerances include a wide range of reactions to certain components in food. They can present with various symptoms from bloating, stomach pains and altered bowel habits to skin reactions (rashes, hives and eczema), extreme fatigue and headaches.
Food intolerance or food sensitivity are broad terms used to describe a wide range of reactions that occur from eating particular foods or components in food. They may be due to naturally occurring substances in food (such as salicylates in capsicum or FODMAPs in onion) or additives in food products.
Some of the most common food intolerances include sensitivities to dairy protein, wheat, gluten, lactose, FODMAPs (including fructose intolerance), natural food chemicals (salicylates, amines, glutamate) and sensitivity to food additives.
Food intolerances are in fact different to food allergies. A food allergy involves the immune system causing a reaction and can present with respiratory, gastrointestinal and skin symptoms. Allergies can cause serious and potentially life threatening reactions from consuming, inhaling or touching even a very small amount of the food.
In the case of a food intolerance or sensitivity, reactions usually take place in the digestive system. Generally, small amounts of the food can be eaten without causing a reaction. As there are many potential culprits when it comes to food intolerances, it can be incredibly confusing to nail down what it is in food that is triggering problems.
An expert dietitian can help to take out the guesswork, find out what is triggering your symptoms (there can be more than one problem food) and work out an individualised dietary approach to provide you with the right food and nutrients to feel your best.
Send us an email or give us a call to find out more about how dietitian Maddie can help you manage food intolerances.