Gluten is a sticky protein which helps to bind dough together. It is found in a wide range of foods. Most people have an enzyme which breaks gluten down and digests it when consumed. But for those who lack the precise enzyme, eating anything containing gluten will cause any number of the symptoms mentioned earlier.
Note: If you react to gluten and wheat products, be sure to visit your GP to rule out Celiac disease.
Lactose is a sugar found in the milk of cows, goats, and sheep. The enzyme lactase is responsible for digesting lactose, but those not creating enough of this enzyme in their body will suffer from many of the previously mentioned intolerance symptoms. Primarily, their symptoms will pertain to those affecting the stomach and digestive processes - diarrhea, stomach cramping, bloating, nausea, vomiting, discomfort, and acid reflux.
Note: some people can be intolerant to lactose but still find a level whereby they can tolerate it in small quantities. For instance, a glass of milk may bring on symptoms, but a slice of cheese can be consumed without any ill-effect. Cheese and natural yogurt are generally quite low in lactose due to the way they are made.
Low lactose (may be OK for some):
- Hard cheeses – edam, tasty, Colby, feta, parmesan, camembert, brie, blue
- Yogurt – with added acidophilus, containing no cream (milk is fine)
Irritable bowel syndrome is a disorder of the bowel. There is very little known about the cause of this disorder, but diet and exercise can play a huge role in easing one’s symptoms. Often there is no direct reason for symptoms, and food that may cause you to react one day can cause no problems at all the next.
Discovering what foods don’t work for you and should be avoided can help eliminate persistent symptoms. Taking anti-spasmodics for stomach cramping, activated charcoal for bloating, an antacid preparation for acid-reflux, or taking a daily wheat based fibre can go a long way in alleviating present symptoms. It’s even been said that there are some foods that can help settle the stomach at the onset of symptoms – an apple, or a warm ginger drink.
Food Additive Intolerance
Among many food additives in the commercially made food we eat, the most prevalent are monosodium glutamate (msg), artificial colours and flavours, and aspartame. These are generally used to enhance the flavour and appeal of a food product, but can cause a wide degree of symptoms in some people that are difficult to pinpoint. Headaches, irritability, nausea, excessive sweating, restlessness, irritable bowel, heart palpitations and disturbed sleep are just some of the symptoms frequently reported by those who are intolerant to these chemical additives.