People with adverse food reactions or intolerances cannot digest certain food components. Adverse food reactions are much more common than food allergies. In food allergies, the body’s immune defense system reacts to harmless food components. Food allergies often occur as a cross-reaction with pollen allergies.
Adverse food reactions occur most frequently with dairy products (this is the so-called lactose intolerance), with fructose and with foods that contain histamine such as chocolate, pineapple, nuts or pulses. Gluten, a component of many cereals, also causes difficulties for many people.
Adverse food reactions can occur when the digestive system has not been optimized for the food components it processes.
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Which food intolerances are there?
In the following section, we will introduce youthe most frequent food intolerances and explain what causes them.
Lactose intolerance means that the body cannot digest lactose, the sugar that is a component of all dairy products. The reason behind this is that the enzyme which breaks down lactose is missing, which is why it ends up in the colon undigested. This results in fermentation processes producing gases that inflate the abdomen. In addition, the colon absorbs more and more water as lactose binds water, causing the intestine to fill up faster than usual with stool that becomes more and more liquid. Furthermore, the decomposition of lactose produces acids that stimulate intestinal movement and lead to cramps. The consequences are obvious: Flatulence, cramps, and diarrhea
Hereditary fructose intolerance and acquired fructose malabsorption are not to be confused. The latter is often referred to as intolerance, but it is much more harmless than the rare, so-called hereditary fructose intolerance, which is based on a genetic defect and causes a significant metabolic disorder. People with this intolerance cannot eat even the smallest amount of fructose. Fructose malabsorption, on the other hand, is not hereditary and normally allows those affected to ingest at least small amounts of fructose. This form of intolerance relates to fructose that ends up in the colon undigested. It can lead to flatulence, cramps and diarrhea.
Gluten, from the Latin word for glue, occurs in many types of grain. As soon as the intestinal mucosa of those affected comes into contact with gluten, inflammation develops due to an immune reaction of the body. This leads to symptoms such as nausea, abdominal pain, abdominal cramps, diarrhea or constipation. Since the inflammation is reduced when you stop eating gluten, the complaints can be avoided with the help of a gluten-free diet. There are different types of gluten intolerance: Celiac disease, wheat allergy and wheat sensitivity. In all three forms, the consumption of wheat is not tolerated.
Recognise and react to food intolerances
The symptoms of most intolerances are similar – flatulence, abdominal pain or diarrhea – and those affected often do not associate them with an intolerance. Even if those affected go to see a physician, a diagnosis is difficult. Lactose and fructose intolerances are often diagnosed with a breath test, gluten intolerance with a blood test or a complicated avoidance diet.
INTEST.pro, the intestinal flora analysis from BIOMES, can, however, make statements about the probability of the various intolerances with only one stool sample.
With the INTEST.pro you get everything you need for easy home sampling: a sterile cotton swab for a tiny stool sample from used toilet paper, a test tube with a solution that preserves the DNA of your gut bacteria, and a prepaid return envelope to transport your sample to the BIOMES Lab.
Your analysis results will give you information about many different aspects of your intestinal health two to four weeks later. You will also receive dietary recommendations and an individualised diet plan.
- How intact is your intestinal mucosa?
- How are inflammation & constipation factors?
- How well do you digest certain components of your food?
- How well do your bacteria support your immune system & vitamin synthesis?
- Are you lacking the bacteria you need to digest lactose & fructose?
- Do you absorb more calories from food than necessary thanks to your bacteria?