Food Intolerance Foods

Food Intolerance

A Food Intolerance or food sensitivity is the inability to digest certain foods. The complex way food affects our everyday lives is an emerging area of understanding, and diagnosing the cause of symptoms which seem to be ‘unexplained’ is often difficult.

Although not life-threatening, food intolerance should never be underestimated as its impact on sufferers can be significant, sometimes affecting their ability to live normal healthy lives

What is Food Intolerance?

Food intolerance is an unhealthy and unpleasant reaction in the body on consumption of a particular food or drink. It causes symptoms, such as bloating and stomach pain, which usually come on a few hours after consuming the food.

Read about it in-depth: Understanding Food Intolerance

Symptoms of Food Intolerance

Unlike an allergy, the symptoms of food intolerance may take a longer time to come to surface, further impacting their diagnosis. Unlike allergy symptoms that are immediate, symptoms of intolerance may take 2 to 6 hour after consumption. Some of the common symptoms to look out for include :

Food Intolerance Symptom - Headache

Food Intolerance Symptom - Skin Rash

Food Intolerance Symptom - Weak Pulse
Weak Pulse

Food Intolerance Symptom - Profusely Sweating

Food Intolerance Symptom - Vomiting

Food Intolerance Symptom - Diarrhoea

Food Intolerance Symptom - Stomach Bloating/Cramps
Stomach cramps / bloating

Food Intolerance Symptom - Shortness of Breath/Wheezing
Shortness of breath / wheezing

Food Intolerance Symptom - Fatigue/Dizziness
Dizziness or feeling faint

Food Intolerance Symptom - Repetitive Cough
Repetitive cough

What Causes Food Intolerance?

While any food can cause an adverse reaction, 12 types of food account for about 90% of all reactions:

Causes of Food Intolerance - EggsEggs

Causes of Food Intolerance - MilkMilk

Causes of Food Intolerance - PeanutsPeanuts

Causes of Food Intolerance - AlmondsAlmonds

Causes of Food Intolerance - Red Kidney beansRed Kidney beans

Causes of Food Intolerance - ShellfishShellfish

Causes of Food Intolerance - Tree NutsTree Nuts

Causes of Food Intolerance - Food Colours & PreservativesFood Colours & Preservatives

Causes of Food Intolerance - YeastYeast


Causes of Food Intolerance - SoySoy

Causes of Food Intolerance - FishFish

Certain seeds, including sesame and mustard seeds (the main ingredient in the condiment mustard), also are common food allergy triggers and considered a major allergen in some countries.

If your symptoms come on after having dairy products, it’s possible you may have lactose intolerance. This means your body can’t digest lactose, a sugar found in milk, yoghurts and soft cheeses. Your GP can usually diagnose lactose intolerance by looking at your symptoms and medical history. Some people have trouble digesting wheat and experience bloating, wind, diarrhoea, vomiting and stomach pain after eating bread. It is possible you are intolerant to wheat products.

Otherwise, the culprit may be a food additive, chemical or contaminant, such as:

  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Histamine (found in Quorn, mushrooms, pickled and cured foods, and alcoholic drinks)
  • Toxins, viruses, bacteria or parasites that have contaminated food
  • Artificial food colours, preservatives or flavour enhancers

Now that you know what causes Food Intolerance, have you faced issues with the above Foods ? Learn how to plan your Diet if you are Food Intolerant

Diagnosis of Food Intolerance

It is not easy to determine whether somebody has a food sensitivity or allergy because the signs and symptoms often overlap. Certain patterns in the symptoms can help a doctor distinguish between the two. In the vast majority of cases, food sensitivity symptoms take much longer to appear than food allergies.

Patients are advised to keep a diary and write down which foods are eaten, what the symptoms were like, and when they appeared. The data in the diary can help a dietician or doctor identify which foods are causing adverse reactions, and what steps to take.

Types of Food Intolerance

Some common Types of food intolerance are:

  • Lactose
  • Wheat
  • Gluten
  • Caffeine
  • Histamine, present in mushrooms, pickles, and cured food
  • Additives such as artificial sweeteners, coloring, or other flavorings

Some people experience a reaction after eating bread, but this does not necessarily indicate a gluten intolerance. Anyone who suspects they may have a gluten intolerance should see a doctor before giving up gluten, as cereals can be an important source of various nutrients.

Solve All your Queries – Frequently Asked Questions about Food Intolerance