Food intolerance is characterised by difficulty in digesting particular foods.
Food contains proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, fats and natural chemicals that add to its flavour and smell. Some of these can trigger symptoms of food intolerance.
Food intolerance differs from food allergies, where even a small amount of the allergenic food can cause a mild-to-severe immune response. Food intolerance usually develops gradually and may occur when you consume too much of the particular food too often.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
IBS is a chronic disease. While it can be mild and manageable for some, for others it can severely affect their quality of life and interfere with daily activities.
Irritable bowel syndrome has a set of gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, discomfort, cramping and bloating, occurring together due to the abnormal functioning of the gastrointestinal tract (usually the large intestine). Symptoms ofIBS include:
- Changes in bowel movements
- Abdominal pain and cramps
- Bloating and gas
- Presence of whitish mucus in stools.
IBS can be treated to relieve symptoms; however, this condition cannot be cured. Your doctor will be able to manage this condition with the help of:
- Lifestyle changes
- Dietary changes
Coeliac disease is a condition characterised by inflammation of the lining of the small intestine due to an autoimmune reaction (body’s immune system mistakenly attacks own healthy tissues) against gluten.
Gluten is a protein found in foods such as oats, wheat, rye and barley. Intake of such foods may lead to gastrointestinal and malabsorptive problems.
Coeliac disease usually causes an inflammatory reaction that leads to various gastrointestinal and malabsorptive problems. The condition may sometimes be associated with dermatitis herpetiformis, an itchy skin rash.