Food intolerance symptoms or food intolerance are common in the modern world and there are studies showing that they affect 15-20% of the population. Food intolerance does not show its effects on the immune system. It can occur in response to the structural properties, pharmacological effects, chemical structures, or deficiencies of enzymes that break down food, enzyme errors, of food or food ingredients. It mostly manifests itself with digestive system complaints. In this article, we wrote about the symptoms of food intolerance.

Most people with food intolerance have complaints about the digestive system. It is seen that 50-84% of the complaints in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which is most common in patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders, are related to food intolerance.

It causes complaints such as increased gas, abdominal pain, bloating or diarrhea related to the digestive system.

It can also cause complaints other than the digestive system, such as migraine, headache, cough, runny nose.

Wheat bread, cabbage, onions, peas/beans, milk, spices, oil/fried foods and beverages such as coffee are the most common foods that cause food intolerance.

What are the causes of food intolerance?

Enzymes are necessary to fully digest food. If some of the enzymes secreted to break down food in the digestive system are missing or insufficiently working, proper digestion will not occur. People with lactose intolerance do not have enough of lactase, an enzyme that breaks down milk sugar (lactose) into smaller pieces and allows it to be absorbed through the gut. If lactose remains in the digestive tract, it causes complaints such as stomach pain, spasm, bloating, diarrhea and gas. In the absence of enzymes that break down fructose, complaints such as recurrent abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and low blood sugar may occur, especially after fruit or fruit juices. Digestion of all foods requires an enzyme. Complaints related to enzyme deficiencies such as fructose intolerance and lactose intolerance are confused with food allergies. Enzyme deficiencies are a cause of food intolerance.

Chemicals in foods and beverages, amines in some cheeses, and caffeine in coffee, tea and chocolate can cause various complaints. Some people are more sensitive to these chemicals than others. For example, when you drink coffee, palpitations may occur.

Foods have chemicals in their natural structure that are toxic, causing diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting. Undercooked beans contain aflatoxins that can cause extremely unpleasant digestive problems. Fully cooked beans are free of toxins. So they can sometimes react when they eat beans.

Food Intolerance Symptoms

Some foods, such as fish, that have not been stored properly can cause histamine build-up due to “rot and staleness”. Histamine accumulated in foods can cause skin rashes, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea. Often the symptoms lead to a strong reaction similar to anaphylaxis.

While salicylate in some foods does not cause problems in normal people, some people who are sensitive to salicylate experience complaints such as itching, redness, swelling, shortness of breath, and dizziness in the body. Salicylates are derivatives of salicylic acid naturally produced in plants as a defense mechanism against harmful bacteria, fungi, insects and diseases. Salicylates are found in most fruits and vegetables, as well as in most plant-derived foods, including spices, herbs, tea and flavor additives. Peppermint flavor, tomato sauce, strawberries and citrus fruits have particularly high levels of salicylate content. Foods processed with flavor additives often contain high levels of salicylates.

Intolerance to food additives has become a growing problem in the last three decades. Because it contains more and more food additives. Additives put in foods are used to increase the taste of foods, make foods attractive and extend shelf life. In particular, reactions with nitrites, monosodium glutamate, sulfites, some coloring agents have been described in them.