- It is easy to confuse food intolerance and food allergy.
- Intolerances do not involve the body’s immune system unlike food allergy and Coeliac Disease.
- After eating, some people complain of symptoms like headaches, bloating or mouth ulcers but these are not caused by allergies.
- Some of these symptoms result from food intolerance.
- Food intolerances are slower in onset and are not life threatening.
Natural chemicals are found in foods. These naturally occurring chemicals add flavour and smell to food.
The most common ones to upset sensitive people are glutamate, amines and salicylates.
Amines naturally occur in pineapples, bananas, vegetables, red wine, chocolate, citrus fruits and mature cheeses.
Salicylates are found in a wide variety of herbs, spices fruit and vegetables.
Glutamate occurs naturally in foods such as tomatoes, soy sauce, mushrooms and some cheeses.
Other causes of intolerances:
Enzyme deficiencies – some people are born without enough of a certain enzyme.
Lactose intolerance - is a person’s inability to digest lactase which is a sugar found in milk.
If you are lactose intolerant it may mean you have a deficiency in the enzyme lactase. After consuming milk and milk products, people with lactose intolerance may experience symptoms that range from mild to severe, based on the amount of lactose consumed and the amount a person can tolerate. Common symptoms include bloating, wind, nausea and diarrhoea.
Food additives are chemicals added to foods to keep them fresh or to enhance their colour, flavour or texture. For the majority of people, additives are not a problem but for those with food intolerances they can cause adverse reactions like hives and or diarrhoea.
Important Fact! - Lactose Intolerance is not the same as milk allergy.
Milk allergy means a person’s immune system has made anti-bodies to the milk protein. Each time they eat or drink small amounts of milk or milk products like cheese or yoghurt it will trigger an allergic reaction which could be mild or develop to be a potentially life- threatening allergic reaction.