10 Glaringly Obvious Signs You Have A Food Allergy Or Intolerance

Plus: how to DEAL...


Karomaza |

If you are prone to reacting badly to certain foods, you may have a food allergy or an intolerance. Here’s how to tell the difference, and what to do about it…

Milk

If It Causes…
Facial swelling, breathing difficulty, skin reactions, headaches or gastrointestinal symptoms.
Then You’re Allergic
Because your body’s immune response is triggered by the whey (lactoglobulin) or casein protein in milk.
Do This
Read food labels carefully — whey, casein or lactose indicates the presence of milk. Substitute milk with soy or rice milk and cheese with goat’s cheese.

If It Causes…
Bloating, cramping or frothy diarrhoea (we’re grossed out too).
Then You’re Intolerant
Because your body is deficient in the lactase enzyme needed to digest lactose, the sugar found in milk and milk products.
Do This
Limit dairy and opt for lactose-free milk. Cheese and yoghurt can often be tolerated.

Watch: 6 Milk Alternatives You Should Consider If Dairy Is No Longer Your Friend

Eggs

If It Causes…
Skin reactions, breathing difficulty, gastrointestinal symptoms or headaches.
Then You’re Allergic
Because egg proteins (more commonly egg white proteins) trigger your immune reactions.
Do This
Avoid food containing egg. Hidden sources include baked products, sauces, mayonnaise, nougat or marshmallows. On food labels, lecithin, globulin, albumin or ingredients starting with “ovo” or “ova” indicate the presence of egg.

If It Causes…
Bloating, cramps, diarrhoea
Then You’re Intolerant
Because poorly digested egg ends up in the colon, with gastrointestinal symptoms as a result.
Do This
Same as above.

Watch: Are You Lactose-Intolerant? Here’s How To Tell If You’ve Got Dairy Issues

Bread, Rye or Wheat

If It Causes…
Skin reactions, breathing difficulty or gastrointestinal symptoms.
Then You’re Allergic
Because your body reacts to one or more of the proteins found in wheat, often gluten.
Do This
Stay away from wheat products (that includes semolina and couscous) and eat rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes and corn instead, or eat bread, cereals and pastas made from corn-, potato-, soy- and rice-flour.

If It Causes…
Bloating, cramping, diarrhoea, constipation, headache, skin reactions or mouth ulcers.
Then You’re Intolerant
The protein gluten irritates your small intestines and hinders the production of digestive enzymes.
Do This
Eliminate gluten from your diet for two weeks, then reintroduce it. If your symptoms reappear, opt for gluten-free foods and alternate with low-gluten-containing foods like couscous, rye and oats.

Watch: Is Bread REALLY The Devil In Your Diet?

Peanuts

If It Causes…
Facial swelling, airway constriction or gastrointestinal disturbances.
Then You’re Allergic
Because the protein particles in peanuts are seen as invaders and trigger an immune response.
Do This
This can be a life-threatening allergy — so tell people that you’re allergic to peanuts and wear a Medic-Alert band. Read food labels and avoid anything that contains “vegetable protein”. If in doubt, don’t eat it!

If It Causes…
Gastrointestinal symptoms or headaches.
Then You’re Intolerant
Because nuts are poorly digested by your body, resulting in undigested nut particles ending up in your colon.
Do This
Usually a small amount can be tolerated every now and then. Avoid completely if the intolerance is severe.

Watch: Could FODMAPs Be The Reason Why You’re Always Bloated?

Soy Products

If They Cause…
Facial swelling, runny nose, abdominal pain or breathing difficulty.
Then You’re Allergic
Because the soy protein is mistakenly seen as harmful and your immune system then releases histamine and other chemicals into your bloodstream, leading to allergic symptoms.
Do This
Read food labels and avoid hydrolysed vegetable protein, lecithin, MSG, vegetable oil, vegetable gum and vegetable starch. When in doubt, opt for fresh and unprocessed foods.

If They Cause…
Bloatedness or cramps.
Then You’re Intolerant
Because your body is unable to digest the soy protein.
Do This
Same as above.

Actually, you’ve been wrong about soy this whole time. Plus: The 5 biggest misconceptions about eating fat.

Watch ON: Allergies Health Health Advice