Food Intolerance Symptoms

Updated: Mar 11, 2020

Food intolerance also referred to as non-IgE mediated food hypersensitivity, which is a condition that causes problems in the digestion of some food. While a food intolerance does not trigger the immune system, it causes some discomfort after consuming a certain food. Foods usually linked to food intolerance include grains with gluten, dairy products, and foods, like cabbage and beans that cause, induce intestinal gas accumulation.

Like any other health challenge, understanding the symptoms of a food intolerance is the first and important step towards handling it. Thus, in this article, we shall see the common symptoms associated with a food intolerance for different kinds of people.

Before we get into details about the symptoms, it is good to understand some facts about food intolerances.

Symptoms include:

  • Lead to symptoms that occur slowly, usually some hours after taking unwanted food.

  • Is not about your immune system. It is not about the body reacting to some foreign bodies and it is not life-threatening.

  • If you consume a substantial amount of food, there will only be some symptoms- traces of food can't lead to food intolerance.

  • Can be induced by different types of food.

  • Tend to take relatively long to manifest compared to other related conditions.

  • May be as a result of the inefficiency of a certain enzyme.

Although food intolerance symptoms differ, they generally involve the skin, digestive and respiratory systems. It is important to point out that the symptoms may be slightly different depending on the type of food. With that in mind, there is a need to understand every symptom caused by each of the foods.

1. Lactose Intolerance

This is as a result of the failure to digest milk sugar (lactose) because of low amounts of the enzyme, lactose. To be specific, lactose is the major sugar in milk and its products from goats, humans or cows.

Symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea

  • Flatulence (wind)

  • Bloating

  • Abdominal discomfort or pain

  • Infantile colic

  • Constipation and nausea (in some rare cases)

2. Histamine Intolerance

Tyramine, phenyl ethylamine and histamine are vasoactive amines chemicals occurring naturally in some foods.


While many people condone the quantities available in a usual diet, others may start experiencing the intolerance even with normal vasoactive amines amounts. This is chiefly because they have insufficient hormones for breaking these chemicals. The symptoms of this intolerance are:

  • Headaches

  • Rashes and flushing

  • Blocked or runny nose

  • Nausea, vomiting or Diarrhea

Normally, the Histamine intolerance may manifest at least (space) 30 minutes after consuming the(delete) food with this chemicals. Notwithstanding, the level of intolerance will differ from one person to the other.

3. Gluten Intolerance

Of all the common food intolerance, this is the freshly discovered condition. There are still a considerate number of discussions about its existence and whether the intolerance is induced by gluten or a different protein in wheat. More so, it is uncertain if it is food intolerance or whether human’s immune system is connected to it. Other uncertainties include its lifespan- whether it is a short-term or a lifelong condition.


After wheat, many patients report the following symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain

  • Changed bowel habit

  • Bloating

  • Reflux

  • Nausea

Apart from the above symptoms, other symptoms are not gut-related that you might need to know. These include:

  • Joint pains

  • Foggy mind

  • Fatigue

  • Headaches

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Overall lack of wellness

Food intolerance can be managed by using the elimination method. This is made to narrow down the list of the foods causing the intolerance. Elimination strategy removes foods most ordinarily linked to the intolerances for a specific time until the observed symptoms reduce. Foods are then repeated one after the other while keenly observing the symptoms.

This kind of diet assists people to point out which food is leading to the symptoms. In turn, this will be of great help. Actually, you will avoid the hustle and bustle seeking medication rather that getting rid of some specific food.

With proper examination and observation of these symptoms caused by various foods, arriving at a conclusion and avoiding certain food that may be causing the intolerance can be easy. Therefore, it is good to read and understand the above listed symptoms for each type of food. Perhaps, you think you have some food intolerances and identifying those intolerances will help you eliminate your food intolerance symptoms.

My Intolerance Test

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