Food Intolerance: A Major Trigger of Bloating

 

lactose intoleranceOther than the occasional bloating upon consuming certain foods, my first and most memorable experience with the discomfort of serious bloating happened a couple of years ago. I was blissfully unaware of my food intolerances until then.

For most of that year, my stomach was frequently painful and bloated with gas. All I could think of after certain meals was to run home to loosen up my clothes. I was so uncomfortable that meals became a traumatic experience, especially when invited out.

I constantly felt fat and bloated, believing I was overindulging in food. Little did I know it was related to the unsuspected food intolerances I had.

Luckily, my doctor decided to run some food intolerance tests, consisting in administering a highly concentrated dose of the suspected culprits- in my case fructose and lactose.

Sure enough I tested positive for both…

 

Food Intolerance

Food intolerance and mal-absorption are 2 major triggers of bloating and gas. They affect a large majority of people at some point or another in life.

Food intolerance -medically referred to as 'non-allergic food hypersensitivity'- is far more common than food allergy. The immune system does not cause the symptoms of food intolerance as it does in the case of allergy. Intolerance is rather caused by an enzyme deficiency. It is completely unpredictable and can be very confusing, as well as difficult to pinpoint.

The 8 foods recorded in the food allergy labelling account, which are responsible for an estimated 90% of allergic reactions, are:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts (such as almonds, cashews, walnuts)
  • Fish (bass, cod, flounder)
  • Shellfish (crab, lobster, shrimp)
  • Soy
  • Wheat

Food additives, preservatives and colorants can equally trigger food intolerance symptoms. This could explain the reason behind the significant rise in the number of sufferers, since food additives have become so ubiquitous.

Salicylates, a very common naturally occurring chemical found in in many foods including fruits, vegetables, nuts, spices, juices, herbs, wine, tea and coffee can also cause intolerance symptoms in susceptible individuals.

Symptoms of Intolerance

Those vary from one person to another but genrally include:

lactose intolerance

  • Abdominal bloating, cramping and pain
  • Chronic diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Pale and foul-smelling stools
  • Weight loss
  • Unexplained iron-deficiency/anaemia
  • Fatigue
  • Skin rashes
  • Asthma-like symptoms

 

Lactose intolerance is by far the most common among food intolerances. It affects 75% of adults at some point in life, and could definitely be the root cause of your bloating problem.

You’ve been drinking milk and loving tasty cheeses and cream desserts all your life… All of a sudden now, you have the tiniest drop of milk and your belly inflates like a parachute, and the colic makes you want to scream!

An important point to note is that lactose intolerance can develop even in people for whom dairy products have never caused problems previously.

The other common food intolerances are to fructose, gluten and corn.

So… How do can deal with my food intolerance?

If intolerance is a serious contributor to your gas, flatulence and diarrhoea problems, it may be best to completely abstain from consuming the suspected foods for a couple of weeks. Should your symptoms subside, it is a clear indication that your body is intolerant to this particular food.

By Lina Baker and Rand Khalil

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More tips on natural bloating and gas relief:

Bloating Causes and Remedies
Zen Secrets to a healthy and flat tummy
Natural Dietary Fibres
Foods That Cause Bloating
Activated Charcoal
Food Combining for Better Digestive Health
Swedish Bitters
Food Intolerance: A Major Trigger of Bloating
Triphala

 

Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to replace the opinion of a qualified health care professional
and is not intended as medical advice.
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