A food intolerance, when defined in its simplest terms, refers to the difficulty of digesting certain foods. It is important to note that food intolerance is different from food allergy.
Food intolerances, also known as non-IgE mediated food hypersensitivity or non-allergic food hypersensitivity, are a very common complaint with statistics stating 1 in 5 people have some form of intolerances. Numerous different types of food are blamed for making people feel bowel distress including caffeine, MSG (Monosodium glutamate), avocado, chocolate, dried fruit, dairy, gluten, etc.
Symptoms often include
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal swelling
An intolerant person can avoid the foods that trigger a reaction and luckily these reactions are not caused by the immune system and they are not life threatening.
One common example of a food intolerance is Lactose Intolerance. This is when a sufferer has difficulty or is unable to digest milk sugars from dairy products.
Another is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), causing the sufferer abdominal pain, bloating, heartburn, headaches and fatigue.
AUSTRALIAN SOCIETY OF CLINICAL IMMUNOLOGY AND ALLERGY