Food Intolerance: What Are The Causes?

A Food intolerance is when you have a bad reaction to food or food additives. A food allergy is strong and there is an instant reaction to the food. With an allergy the body’s immune system is directly involved.

Since not all reactions can be covered by the term food allergy, doctors use the term food intolerance to describe those unfavorable reactions that don’t involve the immune response system. Allergy tests are used to detect allergens. Sometimes food intolerance is just the result of too much of the same thing over a long period.

Non-immune responses are also possible with some foods. You should be familiar with generic toxicity. This would be the body’s reaction to known poisons such as arsenic, lead, and mercury. These poisons can occur naturally and show up in food when you least expect them to.

This can result in a number of health risks. Indeed, in the worst case, one can grow ill or even die due to ingested impurities. A second group is those who carry mutations for specific digestive enzymes. The problems they regularly encounter are less apparent than those who have more violent food allergies.

You have probably heard of lactose intolerance. This is the technical term describing the condition people have when they cannot digest dairy products. They are missing an enzyme which is used to digest milk sugar, or lactose. Most people have no problem digesting dairy products because they have this enzyme.

Another example of non-allergic food intolerance is the reaction caused by naturally occurring chemicals in food, or by additives which cause a chemical reaction. These reactions are similar to allergic reactions, so there is a possibility that these may be incorrectly identified as responses to a food allergy.

There are various things which come under the food additives category. They include substances like preservatives, flavoring agents, coloring agents etc. Some familiar examples include tartrazine, MSG or monosodium glutamate, sulphur dioxide as well as benzoates. When chemical reactions are involved with respect to food or food additives, they are not actually allergic reactions since here the body’s immune system is not involved.

Naturally occurring substances can occur in such high concentrations that they make food unsafe to eat. Another category of food intolerance involves people who lack certain enzymes which are required to digest certain foods, such as lactose intolerance. These conditions are less dangerous but still serious. Common symptoms include dry eyes, breathing difficulties or fatigue. Type tired, or “fatique” into a search engine to learn more details. Lactose intolerance is a familiar instance. Such situations can often be discovered through an allergy test. An alternative situation comes from a negative reaction to chemicals found in food. These substances may be of natural or artificial origin.

– Robert Harrison