ORLANDO, Fla — Some studies suggest that up to 20 percent of the world’s population may have some type of food intolerance.
The most common—dairy, gluten, and surprisingly—caffeine. Could a certain food be to blame for your symptoms?
Could the food you’re eating be killing you? If you have trouble digesting certain foods it could be a food intolerance. Symptoms include gas, bloating, constipation, weight gain, fatigue, joint pain, acne, brain fog. “The esophagus gets narrowed into a stricture, and food actually gets stuck,” said Jonathan M. Spergel, MD, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
But it’s different than an allergy. While a food intolerance targets your digestive tract, a food allergy affects your immune system. There are some tests to detect if you produce IgG antibodies after eating foods, but the jury is out on their effectiveness.
“Standard allergy testing, which is the specific IgE, the blood test, or the skin prick test, really don’t identify foods in this disease cause this disease is sort of a different mechanism,” said Spergel.
If you think you have a food intolerance, it’s best to see your doctor, keep a food dairy and try an elimination diet, where you remove certain foods to help pinpoint triggers.
Most professional organizations don’t recommend the IgG test due to lack of evidence. Additionally, most insurance companies won’t cover the cost.