Many people feel uncomfortable after eating a certain type of food, but the gas pain and bloating are not always the result of a food allergy. Dietary intolerance is a type of sensitivity that the body has when a trigger food is consumed, but the reaction is not as bad and not life-threatening like that of an allergy. Many people may even be able to prevent a food intolerance.
Symptoms of a Dietary Intolerance
Lactose intolerance is a common type of dietary intolerance. You may be fine eating a bowl of cereal with a splash of milk or putting a spoonful of half and half in your coffee. However, eating a helping of lasagna with cheesy garlic bread and following the meal with ice cream could set you up with bloating, flatulence and stomach pain. Other symptoms of dietary intolerance include cramping, diarrhea, abdominal pressure and nausea.
Common Triggers of a Dietary Intolerance
Lactose, which is the sugar in dairy products, is a common cause of dietary intolerance. Some people have a similar reaction to gluten, which is a protein in some grains. Others have an intolerance to food additives such as artificial colors and sweeteners. For example, you might notice that you cannot drink a cup of milk, but you do fine with a plant-based beverage such as almond, coconut or soy milk.
Ways to Manage or Avoid a Dietary Intolerance
When the trigger foods for a dietary intolerance are clear, one way to avoid the symptoms is to use a substitute, such as soy milk instead of dairy milk. This could be challenging when dining at a restaurant or someone's home. Eating small portions or limiting yourself to one serving or less of the trigger food per day could also help.
Many people find relief from the symptoms of a dietary intolerance by using an enzyme-based product. There are enzyme-based products such as Digesta for people who have gas, bloating or stomach cramps after eating beans, lactose and other common triggers. With this information about dietary intolerance, you can take action to reduce the likelihood of developing symptoms and treat them as soon as they develop.