“In biology, nothing is clear, everything is too complicated, everything is a mess, and just when you think you understand something, you peel off a layer and find deeper complications beneath. Nature is anything but simple.” Richard Preston

What is Food Intolerance? A variety of symptoms may be associated with eating different foods. Some of these are familiar and predictable and experienced by the majority of people - such as flatus or bloating after eating baked beans! - but in other cases the culprit food may be less familiar and the symptoms experienced only by certain individuals. Food intolerance should not be confused with food allergy. Food intolerance is common and is usually due to the chemical nature of the food itself. Allergies are due to the body's immune system recognising the shape of proteins in the food and initiating an inflammatory response which then causes the symptoms.

What are the symptoms of food intolerance? Most food intolerances lead to typical symptoms of bloating, distension, abdominal cramps or change in bowel habit - symptoms that are generally those described with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. However, a wide variety of symptoms can be asociated with food intolerance, and in some cases these may be experienced outside the abdomen - such as headaches or muscle aches.

What are the different types of food intolerance? Food intolerance is highly variable and not a single condition. It may be caused by a variety of different mechanisms that could be seen as different conditions:

How is food intolerance diagnosed? A
How is food intolerance treated? I

Are there any long term complications of food intolerance? I

Where can I get more information? T

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