You are here because you want to know more about food sensitivities and intolerances. It is important to point out that depending upon where you are in the world depends on the terminology you use for these conditions. At Lifelab Testing we will use food sensitivity and food intolerance interchangeably. Our aim is to give you a greater understanding of the different types of food sensitivities and intolerances and what causes them.
First things first, an intolerance or sensitivity is not an allergy. It is more common than an allergy, but does not have the potential to cause life-threatening symptoms. Allergy is generally a life-long condition however intolerances and sensitivities are not necessarily, depending upon the type. Sensitivities and intolerances can still cause debilitating symptoms and chronic inflammation. Linking trigger foods can be challenging as symptoms may occur hours after a person ingests an offending item, but they can also occur up to 7 days later.
People who show food sensitivity symptoms may experience these symptoms chronically; digestive issues, including diarrhoea, loose constipation, flatulence, bloating, stomach cramps, as well as vomiting, headaches, migraines and skin issues. Irritability is also a possible sign of someone struggling with food sensitivity, but symptoms are highly individual.
It is also possible to have food sensitivity and not experience any symptoms. In the case of an immune-mediated intolerance or sensitivity, inflammation caused by the production of antibodies against an offending food and the subsequent cellular response, may still occur without symptoms being present.
However, not all food intolerances and sensitivities involve the immune system and antibody production. There are enzyme-mediated intolerances and sensitivities, meaning the body is producing insufficient amounts of an enzyme, normally required to digest or breakdown certain components in particular foods. There is also the malabsorption of certain food components, meaning that the body has poorly absorbed certain food particles in the small intestine.