Do you feel bloated after have eaten gluten? Do you suffer from headaches? Do you have mood swings? These can all three and many others be symptoms of food intolerance.
The difference between a food intolerance and an allergy
Food intolerance or sensitivity is not the same as an allergy. If you have a food allergy, you can show symptoms already after a few minutes of intake. The symptoms can be swelling of throat, itching, and after some time you can experience symptoms on the eyes, nose, lungs, skin and gut. With a food intolerance, the symptoms can appear up to several days later, which makes it tricky to discover.
With an allergy, the symptoms can be life threatening if you don’t get epinephrine. With a food intolerance you need to have patients and wait for the symptoms to disappear, it can take everything from a couple of days to a week; some people even have symptoms after weeks.
Food intolerances can show in many ways. You can experience diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloated. They can show as headaches, nausea and dizziness. There are also many that experience mental problems, e.g. loss of memory, depression, irritability, tearfulness and brain fog. It’s also normal to have more than one symptom.
You can’t test for food intolerances as you can for allergies via the blood. To find out what triggers your symptoms I recommend to follow an elimination Diet. With an eliminations diet, you exclude the suspected foods for 4-6 weeks. In this period, your symptoms will slowly disappear. You might experience what reminds of withdrawal, this will only last for a few days. After the 4-6 weeks, you introduce one food item at the time, and give it 3 days to see if any symptoms appear. If you show symptoms, you are intolerant towards that food item.
It can be overwhelming to do on your own, that’s why I recommend having a nutritionist or dietitian help you.
Thank you for reading.