Food allergies or intolerances are medical diagnoses with sometimes similar symptoms. Self-diagnosis of allergies or intolerances is risky because many of their symptoms are common to a number of other diseases. Having diagnosed yourself, you can mistakenly exclude from your diet some foods that are nutritious and safe for the body.
What happens when an allergic reaction occurs?
In allergies, when you eat, the immune system reacts to the food ingredient, which triggers the release of chemicals such as histamine. This allergic reaction is usually accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms:
- itching or swelling in the mouth and throat;
- urticaria on any part of the body;
- runny nose and lacrimation;
- redness of the skin;
- bad feeling;
- diarrhea and / or vomiting.
With a more severe reaction, severe symptoms such as:
- a sudden feeling of weakness (caused by a drop in blood pressure);
- breathing problems.
What are the symptoms of food intolerance?
Some of the common symptoms of food intolerance include indigestion - diarrhea, bloating, upset stomach, etc. Weight loss, lethargy, anemia, headaches, migraines and even depression can sometimes occur. In some cases, the symptoms of food intolerance are similar to a mild allergic reaction.
Many of the symptoms of intolerance are also associated with other disorders of the digestive system, such as Crohn's disease and irritable bowel syndrome.
What foods cause an allergic reaction?
Any food can cause an allergic reaction in susceptible individuals. To date, there are over 180 registered allergic products. Most of them are very rare, and some products are especially associated with a specific population or region. For example, in Scandinavia, fish allergies are common, in China - to rice, in France - to celery. The most popular allergy-causing foods are nuts, citrus fruits, sweet foods, and starchy foods.
What foods cause food intolerances?
There is also a wide variety of foods associated with food intolerances. The most common foods are milk (lactose intolerance) and gluten (found in cereals, wheat, etc.), as well as food additives (such as monosodium glutamate).
Some people complain of symptoms such as fever and headaches after eating foods containing monosodium glutamate. These symptoms are also referred to as "Chinese Restaurant Syndrome" because this additive is very popular in many Chinese dishes.
Other foods can also have adverse effects on sensitive people due to their salicylate content, such as red wine, cheese, caffeine, certain vegetables, herbs, spices, fruits and chocolate.