“A food intolerance, or a food sensitivity occurs when a person has difficulty digesting a particular food.”*
People’s perceptions of a food intolerance is often mistaken for a food allergy. Generally speaking an intolerance involves your digestive system where on the other hand a ‘food allergy involves your immune system, which can be life threatening. If someone is exposed to the smallest degree of what they are allergic to, they can encounter an anaphylactic reaction; this isn’t always the case but it is always possible.
Do you experience any digestive side effects such as bloating, stomach cramps, heart burn or even gas? These are common signs that something is disagreeing with your digestive system and that you possibly may have consumed something your body is rejecting. It is not healthy for someone to suffer the consequence of extreme bloating because ‘it the usual reaction’. When your body speaks to you, you should listen to it!!!
The experts believe that approximate 20% of the population suffers with some form of food intolerance. Some but not all types of food intolerances includes:
Lactose Intolerance: Lactose Intolerance happens when someone’s body is unable to break down lactose properly. Lactose is a sugar food in dairy products such as milk, cheese, cream etc. A person who is lactose intolerant generally doesn’t produce enough lactase in their stomach, the digestive enzyme required to break down lactose. Symptoms and signs of a being lactose intolerant include, but are not limited to:
- Stomach cramps
- Flatulence (gas)
Gluten Intolerance: A gluten intolerance or sensitivity is when there is an autoimmune response to gluten that may or may not manifest in your gut. A gluten intolerance/sensitivity can manifest anywhere in the body depending on your body’s weakest genetic disposition. e.g the liver, thyroid etc. There are over 250 possible symptoms attached to having a non-coeliac gluten intolerance/sensitivity such as:
- Stomach pain
- Mouth Ulcers
FODMAP refers to ‘fructose malabsorption’: “FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols, which are short-chain carbohydrates (sugars) that the small intestine absorbs poorly.” * FODMAPs are found naturally in many foods that can cause digestive distress. Food that are classified as high FODMAP include apples, sugar snap, peas, cow’s milk, most legumes, plums, grapes and much more. FODMAP’s are sugars that are not completely digested properly, in the gut and therefore difficult for the body to absorb as they pass through your small intestine through to you large intestine. Undigested FODMAPs then feed bad gut bacteria. When this bacteria grows it causes digestive discomfort. Symptoms of a FODMAP intolerance can include the following:
- Stomach Pain
- Shift in bowel movement (Constipation, diarrhea)
A lot of people are unaware of the intolerances their body has and the only real way to discover these unerring intolerance is to eliminate that particular food group for a period of time, then carefully reintroduce it back in, to see if there is any response. If you ever wanted to learn more about your body and the possible intolerances it may be living with, contact us to book in Nutrition Coaching. Being active and engaging in exercise will help your body but fueling your body correctly is a completely different ball park!!
- Coach Emilia