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How do I know if I have a food intolerance?

Food intolerances are becoming more and more frequent in the population. Despite this, it is still difficult to detect them because their symptoms are often confused with any other medical condition. For this reason, many people may suffer from it and not be aware of it.

The clinical manifestations of food intolerances are very varied. Symptoms range from abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, headaches, anxiety, fatigue, etc. In addition, they can take up to 72 hours to manifest themselves, making it difficult to know what is causing the discomfort.

Before we can recognize them, we must know what they are. Food intolerances are adverse reactions of the body to the ingestion of certain foods and additives, capable of producing a wide variety of discomforts and symptoms. Among them, in order of frequency, are:

  • Colicky abdominal pain
  • Flatulence
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Feeling of heaviness
  • Heartburn and reflux
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dermatitis
  • Dry skin
  • headache
  • Tiredness or fatigue
  • Nervousness and anxiety
  • Joint pain
  • Mood disturbance
  • Weight gain

These symptoms may appear isolated or together, depending on the person and the food intolerance they suffer from. So, if you are having any of these symptoms and think they may be related to your diet, it is time to pay attention and consult with your health care provider.

  1. Write all your meals daily; this way, you can keep track and visualize which foods could affect you in a better way.
  2. Carefully observe your symptoms. Pay attention to your signs before and after eating your meals, so you can orient yourself to the food that is hurting you.
  3. Once you suspect which food is causing you discomfort, eliminate it from your diet. See if you feel better.
  4. If you feel better, you will have achieved the food to which you are intolerant. If your symptoms persist, do the same with other foods you suspect.

This method can be time-consuming, and when it comes to food intolerances, it is always good to diagnose before the symptoms affect your daily life. Ideally, food intolerance tests help quickly and effectively know what food or foods you are intolerant to.

  • Blood test. It is the most frequently performed because of its speed. It comprises the analysis of a blood sample from the patient to measure IgG antibodies that show your body’s immune response to a variety of foods.

If IgG reactivity is high for a specific food, this indicates that it’s very likely that that food could be involved with the symptoms shown. These tests can be done with many foods at a time, narrowing the number of tests that need to be done to find what food is causing the intolerance.

If you suspect a food intolerance, consult your doctor. With his help, you will determine which food you are intolerant to, and he will provide you with a suitable diet.

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