Ice cream is one of the most delicious foods in the American diet. It’s also one of the most common ways to celebrate something important.
But what happens when the thing you love doesn’t love you back. When your stomach begins to cramp after you’ve consumed your favorite scoops of Chunky Monkey, you may just be the victim of food intolerance.
Common food intolerances affect many Americans. Approximately one in ten Americans have a diagnosed allergy. Even more, people believe they have an allergy even though they haven’t received a diagnosis.
Keep reading to learn more about common food intolerances and how to know if you have an allergy or food intolerance.
Food Allergy vs Food Intolerance
Allergy and food intolerance symptoms look similar. Your body reacts to food. But there’s a difference between how your body is reacting.
With a food allergy, your immune system treats a protein or other ingredient like it is a threat. Approximately 90 percent of all food allergies come from one of these foods:
- Tree nuts
Once you’ve consumed one of these foods, if you’re allergic to them, your body will react. The reaction will take place in as little as a couple of minutes and as long as 2 hours from the time you eat the food. Severe reactions will cause you to break out in hives, have difficulty swallowing, swell your tongue, lips, or throat, and cause you to have trouble breathing.
In short, you’ll know you have a problem right away.
Food intolerance is different, though. If food doesn’t agree with you, you simply may have a food intolerance. For example, if milk gives you gas, you will avoid dairy products.
With food intolerance, your body is unable to break down a certain ingredient or food. You will experience symptoms like heartburn, nausea, stomach pain, an upset stomach, gas and bloating, and diarrhea.
Common Food Intolerances
The good news is that if you do have a food intolerance, you won’t die. Unlike when you have a food allergy and have a severe reaction, eating a food you’re intolerant to will make you uncomfortable but not deathly ill. Additionally, the same list of most common food allergens is the same as the list of foods that most people with intolerances are sensitive to.
Diagnosing a Food Intolerance
If you have a food allergy, you can find out quickly by taking a scratch allergy test at the doctor’s office. Food intolerance is a bit more tricky. You will have to participate in an elimination diet.
This means that you begin eliminating the foods that you believe you’re sensitive to. Go without the food in your diet for two weeks. Then slowly begin to introduce it back into your diet.
If you notice symptoms, avoid that food in the future. Diagnosing a food intolerance takes time and patience. Keep a food diet in the process in case you suspect you have multiple intolerances such as gluten intolerance.
Once you know your intolerance, read food labels carefully to avoid uncomfortable food intolerance symptoms.
Embrace the Intolerance
If you have common food intolerances, begin to explore food avenues that you’ve never tried. You might be surprised at how much you enjoy soy-free foods or gluten-free treats. You will begin to focus on eating more fresh foods rather than processed foods to avoid having to read labels.
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Contact us today, and let us help you.