Food intolerance


Food intolerances are those Cause of a multitude of symptomswhich initially appear for no apparent cause. The range of Symptoms ranges from Flatulence and stomach pain, over Diarrhea up to Rashes, itching and other inconveniences. Problems are caused by intolerance to substances contained in the food consumed. The most famous food intolerances hang with Fructose (Fructose) and Lactose (lactose) together. But also dishes containing gluten can lead to complaints in the context of simple intolerance and may with a certain illness - the Celiac disease - not even be fed under any circumstances.

The role of the fabric histamine is still discussed in science. It becomes medical Distinguished intolerance from allergy, but is usually milder than with a complete intolerance. The human reacts to an allergy immune system on the ingredients of the food and fights them like a pathogen. The immune system plays no role in food intolerance or intolerance.

In Germany are only a few humans actually affected by a food intolerance. While 3 to 4% have problems, the pollen allergy sufferers make up a significantly higher proportion of 15 to 20%. The impression that there are many people with intolerance reactions is only spread through the media and the food industry. More and more products are appearing that do not contain lactose or gluten. In fact, it is questionable whether such behavior does not encourage the development of intolerances.

In the case of food intolerances, between toxic (poisonous) and non-toxic reactions distinguished. That malaise arises when consumed spoiled food everyone should be aware. Consists no poisoning, lies a non-toxic reaction, i.e. an intolerance in the true sense of the word. The complaints are here by a limited or lack of function of enzymes caused - at least with the fructose and Lactose intolerance. The fabric gluten can on the one hand lead to food intolerancewhich, however, does not automatically come with the disease Celiac disease may be associated. Celiac disease is one serious illnesswhere the own immune system attacks the intestinal mucosawhen it comes into contact with gluten. A strict gluten diet is the only possible therapy and therefore brings many restrictions and often malnutrition with it.


General tests

A Food intolerance is usually determined by the attending physician. To do this, he must exclude all possible possibilities and one precise patient survey (anamnese) carry out. In advance, the person concerned can Self-test carry out. A Diary created in which all the meals eaten and any complaints are documented. An evaluation can then be carried out after 2 to 4 weeks by checking whether certain foods are chronologically related to the symptoms noted. Is there not only a food intolerance but also one Intolerance or food allergy, can a further testing respectively. Of the Prick test represents the Standard of diagnosis for an allergy check-up represent. This is a Skin test, in which the smallest amounts of the substances to be checked are injected into the skin and a reaction is awaited. If the patient has an allergy, at best it will local redness and swelling of the skin. However, since the solutions administered are not standardized, as is the case when testing pollen allergies, incorrect results can occur. That's why she plays Examination of the blood plays an important role in the diagnosis of food allergies.

Blood test

At a Blood test can checked various parameters of the immune system be that at Allergies show abnormal values. The main tests are the Radio-Allergo-Sorbent-Test (RAST) and the Enzyme-Linked-Immuno-Sorbent-Assay (ELISA). With these procedures, the Test allergen - the substance that triggers the allergic reaction - bound to a carrier and added to the patient's blood. Does the patient already have so-called antibody (Defense cells) formed against the substance, it comes to one Complex formation. This can proven and measured become. In this way, the blood can be tested for reactions with a wide variety of foods, from apples to chicken. But it is important that a positive test result does not necessarily require treatment: The examination is only relevant if the patient reacts clinically to the allergens. In addition to the test procedures described, which can be carried out as a multitest for many or specifically for one substance, the Total concentration of immunoglobulins E checked become. Immunoglobulins are the antibodies that trigger the defense reaction. The subgroup E of the immunoglobulins can be increased in various clinical pictures - including an existing allergy.

Which doctor?

Which doctor should be consulted with an existing food intolerance depends first on the Time of determination or from Age of the patient from. At Children is primarily a Pediatrician (Pediatrician) to consult. He is generally familiar with the initial clinical symptoms of various food intolerances. In addition to a simple intolerance, you can also metabolic diseases or severe allergies behind the symptoms. Through the experience of practicing paediatricians, such cases are usually recognized quickly and the child can be helped.

To notice Adultsthat they cannot tolerate a food, they can first tell their attending family doctor (usually a general practitioner, sometimes a resident internist). It is a widespread disease that in all classes and regardless of gender occurs. The family doctor can often make a diagnosis to the patient and give advice on how to deal with the disorder properly. To further clarification or at serious history can the Referral to a specialist respectively.

Since these are issues with certain foods, this is the Gastroenterologist the right place to go. These can be found in hospitals, but also as resident doctors. The gastroenterologist deals specifically with that Gastrointestinal tract and its diseases. It comes from the food intolerance skin-related symptoms how Rash, can also be a Dermatologist (Dermatologist) be visited. Many dermatologists, as well as paediatricians and general practitioners, have completed further qualification as allergists, a specialist training that deals with allergies, in the course of their training. Since food intolerance is often related to allergies, affected patients have come to the right place.


Food intolerance can trigger a wide variety of symptoms. In addition to skin symptoms, problems with the digestive tract are probably the most common signs of intolerance. If a food is not tolerated, it can lead to diarrhea. This is directly related to food intake and usually ends when the food in question is no longer consumed. If the diarrhea lasts for a long time, there is probably another cause - for example, there is an infection of the gastrointestinal tract.

Diarrhea can also occur when eating spoiled food, as it will poison the body. This intolerance is only noticed once (if you do not consume the spoiled food repeatedly). If the negative effect is limited, the patient can easily test again independently whether the food intolerance is a one-off or a permanent matter. The testing should be done with fresh food. In the case of brief diarrheal attacks, the patient has to drink a lot of fluids - further therapy is usually not necessary. In the case of severe diarrhea, anti-diarrheal drugs can be used, which thicken the stool. However, this should be clarified with the family doctor.

You might also be interested in this article: Abdominal cramps and diarrhea

With the baby

Babies suffer more often from a food intolerance as adults. However the problems grow together in almost 90% of children in the course of their development. In the case of intolerance, symptoms only appear some time after consumption and are not life threatening. Is there a Food allergy, that can become a allergic reaction lead that dangerous for the child can be.Food intolerances occur particularly in early childhood. Parents can Prevent discomfort through targeted diets, but must ensure that the diet is balanced with other foods so that the child does not contain any nutrients.

Intolerances are particularly common of eggs, cow's milk and milk products, wheat products and foods containing gluten, nuts and fish (also seafood). Babies can not yet express the complaints and cry therefore as Reaction to gas and abdominal pain.
Signs that parents should notice and interpret are Diarrhea and Vomit such as Skin reactions such as redness or itching. At extreme symptoms an allergic reaction must first be expected, an immediate one emergency medical treatment requirement.

The Testing Food intolerance and food allergies can be done in the same way as in adult patients respectively. At Suspected celiac disease - the disease has a manifestation peak in infancy - can further blood tests to check the activity of the immune system against the intestinal wall.
However, celiac disease is not a food intolerance, it is one serious illnesswhich, if the gluten diet is neglected, can have serious health consequences for the patient.