If you’re one of the people who experience digestive discomfort, also known as indigestion, after eating certain foods, we want you to know that you aren’t alone. Millions of Americans suffer from food intolerance or food sensitivity every day. This highly common condition is characterized by a wide range of gastrointestinal symptoms, such as bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
But the world of food intolerance is tricky. Because not everyone experiences food intolerance in the same way, since we’re all unique, it’s crucial that you receive the help you need for your own specific issues. That’s why we’re here to help put you on the right track a happier, healthier you! Now, you might be wondering what we’re talking about regarding all this food intolerance stuff or how you can find the proper treatment for your condition. But not to worry! We have all the information you’re looking for about managing food intolerance, right here, and we’re excited to share it with you as you begin your unique wellness journey!
What Is Food Intolerance?
Food intolerance is a common medical condition that targets your digestive system. Don’t panic though, this doesn’t mean you have a serious illness or that you should be worried. Patients with food intolerance have trouble digesting or letting your tummy break down certain foods properly. It may also manifest as sensitivity which irritates your stomach and can cause pain, as well as other unpleasant issues, like bloating and gas.
Some types of food intolerance are more well-known than others. Those well-known ones include lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance, caffeine intolerance, and fructose intolerance. If you think you might be sensitive, or allergic, to any of those, be extra mindful of the foods that you and your family are eating, and begin tracking your eating habits to better help you understand what your body is trying to tell you. Keeping track of your food intake is always a good way to monitor your body’s health anyway, but it can also help you determine which foods give your stomach the rumbles and which ones sit well with you. Taking note of a few, simple observations during the day can help you combat a potentially annoying and uncomfortable problem.
Symptoms of Food Intolerance
With food intolerance, you can’t be a “bull in a china shop” – it takes a little patience and finesse. Before you can start pinpointing a method to treat your condition, it’s important to first learn how to recognize the signs. There are multiple symptoms to look out for and not all of them appear simultaneously. Some patients might observe an adverse reaction to the food they ate within a few hours, while other people might not feel them for up to 48 hours. Plus, these symptoms can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. We know that sounds extremely vague, but that’s why we are here to lay out the symptoms you should watch for and how to interpret them. So, let’s break it down – be on the lookout for:
- Headaches or migraines
It’s crucial to note that some symptoms might not necessarily be related to your food. It could be a symptom of something else you’re being exposed to which is why it’s important to talk to your doctor. A medical professional can help you rule out those other possibilities to make sure it’s a food intolerance you’re experiencing and not something else that should be treated with prescription medication.
Food Intolerance vs. Food Allergy
Many people mistake food intolerance for food allergies and vice versa. However, there are many key differences between the two that we want to share with you.
Most importantly, you need to know that these conditions target two different areas of the body. A food allergy is primarily an immune system response , while a food intolerance targets the digestive system, as we stated above. If you have a food allergy, your immune system builds up antibodies to fight an ingredient or compound in the food because your body thinks it is a harmful, foreign invader. As a result, you may experience symptoms such as hives, nausea, chest pain, shortness of breath, or swelling. Clearly, food allergies are no picnic in the park!
On the other hand, if your condition involves a food intolerance, that’s an adverse reaction to food the starts in the digestive tract. Food intolerance interferes with your ability to break down food in a way that your body can absorb properly. If you suffer from a certain food sensitivity, you will likely experience common symptoms of an upset stomach like nausea, bloating, diarrhea, vomiting, or heartburn.
We totally understand - it can be difficult to tell the difference between a food allergy and food intolerance, even with this knowledge. So, if you experience any unpleasant or uncomfortable symptoms after eating a certain food, be sure to talk to your doctor immediately and describe what transpired. Once you know which condition you’re dealing with, you can move forward with a plan for treatment and take back control of your body and your wellness.
Managing Food Intolerance
Once you know everything there is to know about what is and what isn’t food intolerance, it’s time to start taking steps to control your diet. With the right tools and strategies, you can learn to effectively manage your food intolerance and fully enjoy your meals again.
Firstly, identify which kind of food intolerance you’re dealing with. Because the symptoms can take up to two days after ingestion to appear, it might be challenging to figure out which food is the culprit. Fortunately for you, there’s an easy way to narrow down the choices and figure out the problem.
At-home testing kits let you identify which food (or foods) you are have trouble digesting. Many of these kits use different methods to help you identify your specific food sensitivity. Some might require a simple finger prick, while others analyze data from your hair follicles or saliva. For most testing kits , the goal is to pinpoint the presence of immunoglobulin, an antibody that plays an essential role in the immune system.
Understanding and Overcoming Food Intolerance
Food intolerance can be frustrating to live with, but it doesn’t need to control your life. Once you’ve gotten your intolerance results, you can modify your diet with a few simple eliminations or substitutions to accommodate your active digestive system and start living your best life, one step at a time.Want to learn more about the intolerances that may be holding you back, causing chronic inflammation, and hindering your lifestyle?
Learn More About UCARI Intolerance Testing