Allergy or Intolerance?
A food allergy involves your immune system. When a true allergy is present, a certain food triggers the immune system to react in a way which can cause symptoms such as itchy throat or mouth, a skin rash, hives or even swelling of the face, lips or tongue. Symptoms, though often relatively mild can be severe and may affect the gut, skin, circulation, or even your ability to breathe. Such reactions are less common but can be life threatening. See your GP or healthcare provider if you suspect you might be suffering from a food allergy.
Food intolerances are much more common and widespread but can be difficult to pinpoint.
Symptoms of Food Intolerances
Symptoms of food intolerance can be wide-ranging and varied. Common symptoms include: abdominal pain, wind, bloating, diarrhoea, headaches, fatigue, skin rashes, itching spells, heartburn or nausea. This is by no means an exhaustive list and symptoms can change over time. You may experience relief from symptoms such as wind and bloating only for them to return seemingly out of the blue! Additionally, symptoms can vary from individual to individual, as well as from food to food. This means food intolerances can be tricky to diagnose and oftentimes a lot of patience and detective work is required in order to pin down which foods are contributing to the unpleasant symptoms. Though not a hard and fast rule, symptoms relating to food intolerances usually happen a few hours after eating the food.
Some people find it worthwhile to keep a food diary by writing down which foods you have eaten, any symptoms occurring after eating these foods and when symptoms occur. Mobile apps are available to help you log foods eaten and any noticed symptoms.
Food Intolerance Testing
Tests can be useful to pinpoint whether certain foods are causing you problems. You can look here at tests available at Grampian Health Store:
Remedies for Bloating
This blend of fresh, herbs has a distinctive bitter taste and is often used as a herbal digestive aid. Beneficial when food intolerances are suspected, Yarrow Complex can be diluted in water and taken before meals to help relieve symptoms associated with lower abdominal issues i.e cramps, bloating, flatulence
Lactase is an enzyme used by the body to break down lactose - the sugars found in milk and milk products. Some people don't produce enough lactase and can find symptoms such as diarrhea, stomach cramps, gas and bloating can occur after consuming lactose-containing products. If you suspect you have a lactose intolerance, it is advised to consult with your GP or relevant medical professional.
You may also find it beneficial to take a Lactase supplement before eating or drinking products containing lactose. Lambert's Lactase is an excellent choice. Simply take one tablet before meals to help give your digestive system a helping hand.
Research scientists are discovering how our own gut microbiota is more vital to our health and wellbeing than previously thought. From helping improve mood, to helping you achieve better sleep, probiotics also play a vital role in how we break down our food and assimilate nutrients. healthy and break down and Probiotics can be hugely beneficial to some people who suffer with food intolerances. Taking the appropriate strains, in a high enough dose, can help encourage normal digestion and improve gut integrity encouraging a better tolerance to offending foods.