header print

The 11 Warning Signs of a Food Intolerance

 I have never really been aware of the distinction between allergies and food intolerance. In fact, up until recently, I didn't even know there was any difference. But thanks to this handy guide I understand that I may be food intolerant, even though I am allergy free. As much as 10% of us suffer from food intolerance, however, we usually don't realize and therefore, do nothing about it. Read on and see whether you have experienced any of these 11 signs of food intolerance.

Note: If you experience any of these symptoms it is advisable that you speak to your GP as soon as you can.


With food allergies, our bodies' immune systems reject certain foods. With food intolerance, a negative reaction happens because our threshold for a particular food, and perhaps certain chemicals, is exceeded. Tracking down the guilty perpetrator may be difficult because symptoms may not display until many hours or days have passed since the food was consumed. That means assessing whether you have experienced any symptoms is the most important first step. Take a careful look at the 11 most common signs of food intolerance.
1. Are you going to the bathroom too much?
Food Intolerance

This could be a sign of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), which includes symptoms like diarrhea, gas, a bloated feeling, and abdominal pain. Badly absorbed carbohydrates, which are called FODMAPs, are now considered the primary cause of IBS. The only reliable treatment for IBS is a diet change, called the Low FODMAP Diet, which aims to eliminate the fermentable carbohydrates that cause IBS from one's dinner table. 

2. Do you have chronic muscle or joint pains that are spreading?
Food Intolerance

This worrying phenomenon, called fibromyalgia, is said to affect 6% of us, particularly middle-aged women. If you experience such a long-term widespread pain which is not confined to any particular part of your body you may be suffering from fibromyalgia. This is said to be triggered in the majority of patients after they eat certain variable foods. 

3. Does caffeine over-stimulate you?
Food Intolerance

Some of us, particularly in the west where tea or coffee drinking had not been a part of our ancestors' diet, are slow at metabolizing caffeine. Therefore, consumption of something rich in caffeine, such as strong coffee, could be leading to your digestive stress, raised blood pressure, sweating, and an increased risk of heart disease. If you find caffeine is giving you such a reaction, cut down on coffee, tea, and chocolate, switching to decaffeinated alternatives instead.
4. Do certain meals give you headaches or migraines?
Food Intolerance

This is one of the most common symptoms and signs of food intolerance, which is generally considered to have one principal food cause: monosodium glutamate (MSG). Symptoms might not be experienced for quite a few hours after consumption. But it is always a good idea to stay alert for products and cooking that contains MSG.

5. After a good sleep, do you still feel sleepy?
Food Intolerance

Diet is one of the principal causes of chronic fatigue syndrome, a disorder that describes long-term tiredness and exhaustion. Anywhere between one and four million ordinary Americans suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, yet it is estimated that hardly even 20% of that number have been properly diagnosed. So if you are feeling tired even though you think you have had sufficient rest, perhaps this is the problem and you should consult a medical professional.

6. Do you have no tolerance for wheat, even though you test negative for celiac disease?
Food Intolerance

Up to 13% of people who do not suffer from celiac disease still have trouble digesting the wheat protein, gluten. This condition is called Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, or simply and more commonly Gluten Intolerance. So if you have had trouble eating wheat, perhaps you should also consider a low FODMAPS diet (see above).  

7. Is your thyroid underactive?
Food Intolerance

Known as hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones. Most cases of hypothyroidism are caused by an autoimmune disease, called Hashimoto's, which is linked with those who suffer a gluten intolerance. A gluten-free diet is a good way to reduce hypothyroidism, and therefore conversely an underactive thyroid is a likely sign of a food intolerance. 

8. Are milk & yogurt giving you tummy trouble?
Food Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is extremely common, particularly in East Asia. To deal with and digest the natural sugar milk contains, lactose, we make use of the enzyme lactase. Any deficiency in lactase within you will cause you great difficulty digesting dairy products. If you suffer from this problem but continue consuming dairy you may suffer serious gastrointestinal problems. Instead, see a doctor immediately for a diagnosis, and stay off dairy.

9. Is your arthritis getting worse?
Food Intolerance

Osteoarthritis is usually the result of aging, however, rheumatoid arthritis is much more difficult to determine the cause of, and lacks a cure. It may be that this form of arthritis is a sign of a food intolerance though. Some researchers believe that certain food sensitivities lead to an inflammatory immune response that worsens the existing joint inflammation - increasing your pain and swelling.
10. Do particular foods give you skin conditions?
Food Intolerance

Tomatoes and peppers contain quite a large amount of salicylate, which is known to cause skin problems in around 2.5% of those of European origin. Although, it can be hard to determine whether these two vegetables have caused your skin ailments since skin reactions can be delayed for a long time. However, to be on the safe side you should moderate your intake of these vegetables if you have such skin conditions.  

11. Do onions and garlic in meals give you belly problems?
garlic onions

A FODMAP diet specifically tries to cut out these foods. But since garlic and onions are so frequently used in cooking, many people find them hard to avoid. However, apart from them being high in FODMAPs that can damage your insides, they also contain fructans that can trigger those who are over-sensitive. Thus, onions and garlic are commonly intolerable. So, if eating meals heavily flavored with these foods causes you belly trouble, you probably have a food intolerance.

h/t: dietvsdisease.org 

Next Post
Sign Up for Free Daily Posts!
Did you mean:
By clicking "Join", you agree to our T&C and Privacy Policy
Sign Up for Free Daily Posts!