Hardly there is a man who doesn’t suffer from any type of discomfort after eating – gastrointestinal symptoms, such as swelling and heaviness, colic and pain, diarrhea and flatulence, but they also can be from other organs and systems, such as migraine headache, facial redness and swelling, palpitations and change in the blood pressure, rashes, shortness of breath or general malaise. There are many other symptoms which can seriously impair the quality of life of those affected by food intolerance.
The more and more widespread prevalence of this type of complaints, the variety of symptoms and their relatively weak knowledge and neglecting are a reason the food intolerances to be serious diagnostic and therapeutic challenge.
Heart burns, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), allergy, migraine, neurosis, depression or other mental deviation are some of the most common misdiagnoses. The common thing between them is that after the prescribed treatment, the symptoms of these patients do not disappear and they walk around from cabinet to cabinet in order to find a solution or they become reconciled.
The modern concept of adverse reactions to foods includes food intolerances (intolerance) and food allergy (hypersensitivity).
Food allergy is immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated nutritional reaction in which the immune system of the organism reacts to exposure of harmless food protein with immunopathological process. Food-induced allergic reactions are most common up to 2 years of age, as they decrease with age. Food allergies are a relatively rare phenomenon – it is believed that their frequency is only between 1% and 4%.
Food intolerance is an undesirable nutritional response due to toxic, pharmacological, metabolic, idiosyncratic or other NON-immunoglobulin E (IgE) – mediated reactions to certain ingredients of the food. The etiology for the occurrence of this condition is not quite clear but is often the lack of certain enzyme or defect in the transport mechanism, responsible for the degradation or absorption of a given food ingredient.
It is very important to distinguish between allergy and intolerance as the behavior in the two diseases is quite different.
The most common food intolerances are lactose, gluten (celiac), fructose and histamine.
According to current data from 10% to 30% of the population suffers from lactose intolerance, from 5% to 7% – fructose intolerance, from 1% to 3% are affected from histamine intolerance, and 1% – celiac disease. However, the significant change in nutrition over the past two decades has led to a significantly more frequent spread of this problem.
In the internet portal intolerances news and useful materials can be found for patients as well as specialized literature for medical specialists on the subject.
Coming next: Histamine intolerance – how to recognize it and how to treat it!