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Ask The Nutritionist - Food Intolerances?

Q: Hello Angie, When I eat certain foods I get a sick in the stomach and feel nauseas. I also need to go to the toilet about 6 six times a day which makes my intestines feel sore. I have been to the G.P and have been told that it is I.B.S. Could it also be food intolerances? Jan B Age 26


A: Hi Jan, I sympathise with you. You must feel uncomfortable at times. Yes, it is important that you get to the bottom of this. I.B.S is a functional disease. Food intolerance of functional origin is often caused only by an isolated functional disorder such as lactose deficiency in the small intestine. This is enzyme related.

Food intolerances can be caused by a structural alteration in the gastrointestinal tract which can cause secondarily food-associated symptoms. Small intestinal diverticula, for example, lead to bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine, which can cause diarrhoea and other symptoms.

Toxic reactions are due to the actions of toxins, which may be of bacterial, plant, or fungal origin, for example arising from food contamination, as well as other toxins such as glycoalkaloids.

There are many causes of intolerances, for example, carbohydrate malabsorption due to missing enzymes, histamine intolerance, I.B.S, salicylate intolerance and small intestine bacterial overgrowth, food poisoning and psychological factors. All of these root imbalances can lead to a cause and effect leading to intolerance symptoms.

Carbohydrate malabsorption can lead to glucose intolerance, and for example, rice, bread and ice cream intolerances. Intolerance symptoms can vary, you may have one symptom, a few symptoms or many symptoms. A Food intolerance describes a form of intolerance caused by a deficiency of a specific enzyme and does not involve the immune system.

Most food-related issues are intolerances, not allergies. When it is a food allergy the immune system has been involved. Nontoxic reactions can be immune based or non-immune based. Some people are sensitive not to the food itself but to a substance or ingredient used in the preparation of the food. Examples of non-immune system intolerances.

    • salicylates, biogenic amines, for example, histamine, tyrosine, serotonin.
    • sulphites found in wine and medications.
    • sodium glutamate which is a flavour enhancer
    • preservatives and added colours, for example, tartrazine, benzoates, sorbates etc.
    • sweeteners for example aspartame

There are others reasons why you might have a food intolerance, for example
  • Genetic diseases involving metabolism.
  • Celiac disease caused by a gluten sensitivity.
Your symptoms may be; Common symptoms of food intolerances include:
  • stomach pain
  • gas
  • cramping
  • bloating
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • headaches
  • irritability
  • nervousness
So a recap of why you might have symptoms;
  • Certain foods might be irritating the lining of you're your digestive system.
  • There might be Toxins in foods.
  • You might process Structural abnormalities.
  • You might not be able to break down certain food abnormalities.
  • It is important that you start a food diary, have tests done and go on an elimination diet.
You can have stool test, skin prick, hydrogen breath test, serum analysis and or imaging. Regards,nAngie