Food Intolerance and Allergy

Food Intolerance    

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Intolerances are negative reactions to food that do not involve the immune system, such as lactose intolerance or sensitivity. Food intolerance is an exaggerated or abnormal physical reaction to a food or food additive caused by some chemical or enzyme deficiency in the body. Symptoms include abdominal cramping, diarrhoea, bloating and pain in stomach.

Difference between food allergy and food intolerance            

  • The symptoms of a food intolerance usually only occur several hours after eating the food.
  • You need to eat a larger amount of food to trigger intolerance than an allergy.
  • Unlike an allergy, food intolerance is never life-threatening.

Food intolerance can be caused by:

  • Enzyme deficiencies: Lactose, Gluten intolerance
  • Sensitivity to food additives (antioxidants, flavourings, colourings, preservatives, sweeteners, thickeners): Sulfites used to preserve dried fruit, canned goods
  • Digestive diseases: Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Recurring stress or psychological factors
  • Disturbance in normal microbial flora of intestine due to use of oral antibiotics
  • Toxins produced by bacterial and fungal infection
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