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Food Intolerance Causes Types and Diagnosis

Food Intolerance Causes Types and Diagnosis

Posted By Rupa Jaiswal Posted on Sep 16, 2021

Food, an essential need for every living creature existing on the earth. What if this source of energy becomes a reason for health issues?

What is food intolerance?
Our body may react to certain foodstuffs which otherwise have no significant effect, this unusual reaction is attributed to food intolerance and not to food allergy. Signs and symptoms of food intolerance resembles the symptoms of food allergy, creating a confusing situation. For a clearer picture, lets know the difference.

Food Intolerance Causes Types and Diagnosis

Food is the basic source of energy for all living beings, stands as a universal fact. But, sometimes, these food trigger an abnormal immune reaction which tells us that food can also become harmful to our body. Confusing? Let's simplify things for a better understanding.

Your body may react differently to certain foodstuffs to which others may not experience any effect, this unusual reaction can be due to food intolerance. Symptoms of intolerance may overlap with the food allergy, both may appear similar but are two different concepts.

Food allergy is an immune reaction that involves IgE antibodies against a specific food. This reaction is visible within 3-4 hours after the food is ingested. However, Food intolerance is due to an immune reaction involving the IgG antibodies. These antibodies form complexes with the intolerant food that act as immunotoxins, affecting negatively to our body. They delayed allergic hypertensive reaction, hence, also named as "delayed food allergy or latent food allergy.

inflammation and chronic diseases may develop due to continuous consumption of non-tolerated food. Globally, between 20% and 25% individuals suffer from food intolerance with adults contributing 45% of all.

Know the reason of Food allergy:
In normal condition, the digestive tract epithelium does not allow antigens to enter it. During the process of inflammation, the antigens gain entry into the digestive tract and initiate an immune response activating IgG antibodies. Similarly, during food intolerance, inflammation occurs due to the interaction between IgG antibodies and food allergens (antigens), this binding damages the digestive tract layer and allows the food antigens to gain access, thereby activating more IgG antibodies. Thus, the presence of IgG antibodies against a specific food allergen direct towards the natural defense reaction against that pathogen that has entered due to the epithelial barrier damage.

Signs and Indicators of Food Intolerance!
-Headache
-Fatigue
-Vomiting
-Running nose
-Dry cough
-Gastritis
-Bloating
-tching

Causes of Food Intolerance :
Some of the common allergens that cause food intolerance are Milk products, Eges, Peanut, Wheat and Soya. Intolerance can be explained by either of the below reasons.

Enzymatic Defect: Common example of enzymatic defect is lactose intolerance. Enzyme betagalactosidase hydrolyzes lactose into two monosaccharides making them easily available for the body. During deficiency, lactose reach the colon where the bacteria degrades the lactose causing disturbances like bloating, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Pharmacological Food Intolerance: Vasoactive amines that cause vasodilation (dilation of blood vessels decreasing blood pressure) are also a cause of food intolerance. These include dopamine, histamine, nor-epinephrine, phenylethylamine, serotonin and tyramine. Food rich in histamine stimulate reactions similar to the allergic reactions. Under normal conditions, histamine activity is inactivated by Diaminoxidase (DAO) in the gastrointestinal tract. If this DAO is damaged then the activity of histamine takes place. Histaminic effects like erythema, vasodilation, tachycardia, hypertension, migraine, vomiting and diarrhea can be seen.

Toxins: Food may even contain toxins of the bacterial or plant origin that provoke intolerance symptoms.

What's the difference between food allergy and an intolerance?
Food allergy refers to an immune reaction against a specific food. The antibodies produced by the body against specific food (allergen) stimulates an adverse immune reaction. However, this reaction is spontaneous and the consequences range from mild to severe life threatening effects. Even a little amount of the allergic food would stimulate the reaction. On the flip side, food intolerance involves an unwanted immune reaction involving the IgG antibodies. These antibodies combine with the intolerant food or the allergen, and form complex that act as immunotoxins, this in turn affects our body in a negative way. These immunotoxins cause delayed allergic hypertensive reaction, hence, food intolerance is also named as "delayed food allergy" or latent food allergy.

On continuous consumption of non-tolerated foods, inflammation and chronic diseases are developed. Recent studies state that 5% of the adults and 8% of children suffer from food allergy. Between 20% and 25% individuals globally suffer from food intolerance with adults contributing 45% of all.

Book Food intolerance profile from Thyrocare

How does a food intolerance test work?
Human serum consists of 70-75 IgG antibodies. They are the basic antibodies to secondary immune response. Of the four subclasses IgG1, IgG2, IgG3 and IgG4; IgG3 are capable of activating the complement. These immunoglobulins are the main form of acquired immunity and produce specific humoral response to pathogens.

In normal condition, the digestive tract epithelium is impermeable to antigens. During the process of inflammation, the antigens gain entry into the digestive tract and stimulate an immune response acti antibodies. Likewise, during food intolerance, inflammation caused due to the interaction between IgG antibodies and food allergens (antigens) continue to damage the membrane and increase the permeability to food antigens, thereby activating more IgG antibodies. Thus, the presence of IgG antibodies against a specific food allergen direct towards the natural defense reaction against that pathogen that has entered due to the epithelial barrier damage.

In a study conducted among the irritable bowel syndrome and dyspepsia, the patient's body had a significant high levels of IgG antibody against the food antigens than the normal individuals. Immune response to specific food can even be related with the dietary habits and other factors,

What is the root cause of food intolerance?
Food allergens vary from person to person. The same food They are that may be intolerant to an individual can be widely tolerated by the general population. Some of the common allergens are Milk products, Eggs, Peanut, Wheat and Soya. Intolerance can be explained by either of the reasons like enzymatic defect toxins histamine and salicylates those that cannot be classified in any of the above are called as undefined food intolerance

Enzymatic defect: The food intolerance symptoms Toxins: Food may even contain toxins of the bacterial generally manifest in the gastrointestinal tract. The most or plant origin that provoke intolerance symptoms. common example of enzymatic defect is lactose intolerance. It arises due to the deficiency of the enzyme beta-galactosidase that aids in the hydrolysis of lactose into two monosachharides making them easily available to body. In case of deficiency, lactose cannot be hydrolyzed and used up rather they reach the colon where the bacteria degrades it. This results in disturbances like bloating, abdominal pain and diarrhea The prevalence of lactose intolerance is about 60,23% in the population .

Pharmacological food intolerance: Vasoactiveamines that cause vasodilation (dilation of blood vessels decreasing blood pressure) are also a cause of food intolerance These include dopamine, histamine, norepinephrine, phenylethylamine, serotonin and tyramine Histamine is a diamine and a prominent mediator of allergies. Food rich in histamine stimulate reactions similar to the allergic reactions. Histamine is inactivated by the Di-Aminoxidase (DAO) in the gastrointestinal tract rendering many people unaffected . other diamines ar drugs damage the activity of DAO thus triggering intoxication symptoms ,the similar symptoms are likely to appear after consuming spoiled fish. High levels of histamine are found in fish, two other diamines produced in spoiled fish are- putrescine and cadaverine They are responsible for hindering the DAO activity followed by histaminic effect like erythema vasodilation tachycardia, hypertension, migraine, vomiting and diarrhea. It is very uncommon that the symptoms last for a longer time and result in severe consequences unless associated with comorbidities like coronary artery diseases, etc.

Toxins: Food may even contain toxins of the bacterial or plant origin that provoke intolerance symptoms.

Undefined intolerance: Intolerance due to food additive reactions can be termed as undefined intolerance . generall, additives used in food production are limited to their legal dosage, and are Generally Recognized as safe (GRAS) products. some individuals may still show intolerance glutamate and some food colorings intolerance is seen via the symptoms such as asthma, rhinitils, urticaria, itchiness, and migraines. The exact mechanisms of these intolerances are yet to be understood completely .

Food intolerance Types
Food intolerance can be of different types. Few of them are mentioned below:
- Lactose intolerance
- Wheat intolerance
- Gluten intolerance
- Caffeine intolerance
- Histamine, present in mushrooms, pickles and cured food
- Additives such as artificial sweetners, coloring or flavorings

Diagnosis between food intolerance and food allergy
Diagnosis between food intolerance and food allergy remains a challenge as most of the symptoms overlap Both come with an advantage that aids in diagnosing food intolerance is shown in delayed manner whereas allergic reactions are seen immediatey. Further, to rule out allergy, a doctor may suggest for askin test or blood tests. The presence of IgG antibodies is checked for intolerance, whereas for allergy, the presence of IgE antibodies

At Thyrocare, we use state-of-art Microarray technology which aids in detecting food specific IgG antibodies. It is a highly sensitive and accurate technique that detects allergens (food specific IgG antibodies) to over 217 commonly eaten foods. This helps in the identifying the foodstuffs that cause intolerance symptoms and guide in designing the elimination diet (food that needs to be avoided).

What is an Elimination Diet?
A food intolerance test would aid in identifwing the food causing adverse symptoms. Based on food intolerance testing elimination diets are advised which include food causing an adverse reaction .Eliminating the food for a short duration of time can help in coping up whit the condition .After the particular time, showly addition of the food can be done so as to see for any kind af intolerance still existing .

Elimination diet is recommended in gastroenterology (e.g. irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease ulcerative colitis), rheumatology (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis), dermatology (atopic dermatitis, psoriasis) and immunology (autoimmune disorder including Hashimoto disease).

Food intolerance Test The best treatment option for intolerance lies in eliminating the food or reducing their quantity. But to plan out the diet, testing is a must. Taking supplements that help in digestion can also be an option for dealing with intolerance. Fasting from the food allergen is also an ideal treatment option.

Elimination of allergen may at times create nutritional deficiencies, to overcome them additional supplements or vitamins can be used. One of the major problem that remains is the hidden ingredients in the commercial foods that may be an allergen. Thus advised to check the food labels before consuming it .

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