About treating food intolerances
Many people may react unfavourably to a particular food type, and it may seem to be an allergic reaction, which typically has specific reactions and appropriate treatments, but it may just be food intolerance. Food intolerance is a different condition than an allergic reaction. Intolerance may display only slowly and with a delay after the food is consumed. The reaction may occur only when a large portion of the food is eaten, or if it is consumed frequently. All of these conditions have opposing counterparts with food allergies. Food intolerance causes discomfort which may be tolerated in degrees of variable difficulties, and treatment is simple to prevent it, but it is rarely life-threatening.
Different symptoms may be expressed with food intolerance such as headaches, heartburn and cramps. These are not typical symptoms of a food allergy. However, intolerance shares some symptoms with an allergic reaction like nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. In some cases, because of these shared symptoms, only consultation with a health care professional will assure the proper diagnosis and treatment.
In order to help a professional diagnose properly, or for the individual to self-diagnose by narrowing the list of possibilities of foods that are causing discomfort, a diary of foods consumed and subsequent reactions to them should be documented just as soon as reactions begin to occur. Maintain and review the list often. While it may be difficult to determine if one food or another in a meal is the root cause of intolerance, effort should be made to target one suspect food and vary the other foods in subsequent meals and observe results. This may be a laborious process, but since food intolerance is not typically a severe condition, enduring the discomfort should not be too difficult and the results will likely identify which food is causing intolerance.
Lactose intolerance (an intolerance of milk products) is the most commonly expressed food intolerance. It is a reaction to lactose, a natural sugar in milk products. There are many other foods which cause intolerance, but how they may affect an individual can only be determined by careful observation and documentation.
Once food intolerance is identified, the best treatment is to avoid eating that food. This treatment may be accomplished without consulting a health professional, but if the symptoms continue without ability for self-diagnosis even when keeping the diet diary, it is time to seek professional help.
If you have questions about treating food intolerances contact your local doctor, who will arrange for you to see a dietitian. Contact us Today!