Food intolerance, what is it?

Ritesh Nigam
Sep 17 · 3 min read
food intolerance

Food intolerance is an adverse reaction of the metabolism itself, without the participation of the immune system (except in the case of gluten intolerance, in which the immune system does intervene), to the ingestion of a food or component of a food.

It is usually associated with alterations during the digestion or metabolism of food. It happens through genetics or simply appears over the years through a process of acquisition. The result is usually that it prevents the digestion, assimilation and use of some of the substances contained in food.

What are the symptoms of food intolerance?

The symptoms are similar to the digestive symptoms that cause food allergies, so in practice can be confused: nausea, diarrhea and abdominal pain. In this case, it is not always suffered when ingesting the food, since in small quantities the food or food component may not cause symptoms in consumers.

What foods or food groups cause food intolerances?

In the case of food intolerances, it is important to point out that the prevention of food intolerances goes through a rigorous control when it comes to excluding the food responsible for intolerances in the case of people sensitive to gluten, lactose and sulphites.

Lactose intolerance: milk and dairy products.

This intolerance is caused by the inability of the body to metabolize lactose, which is a type of sugar found naturally in milk and dairy products. More specifically, it is a disaccharide, i.e. 2 sugar molecules together (specifically glucose and galactose).

Patients with lactose intolerance are individuals who are deficient in lactase, the enzyme that metabolizes lactose, and suffer from spasms and diarrhoea after drinking milk or consuming one of its derivatives.

What foods can cause lactose intolerance?

Foods that contain lactose are: milk and its derivatives, such as yogurt, cheese, butter, etc. Other dairy products can cause problems even if they are not derived from cow’s milk, as we have mentioned: buffalo, sheep, goat, etc.

Symptoms of lactose intolerance.

The symptoms of lactose intolerance are easily confused with other pathologies, but they usually are:

● Abdominal distention.

● Diarrhea.

● Flatulence

● Vomiting.

● Abdominal pain or colic.

● Irritation.

As mentioned above, there is no treatment, but there are many alternatives to lactose on the market:

● Lactose-free milk.

● Milk from soy, oats or rice.

● Infusions.

● Eat dairy through fermented (yogurt and cheese), as they do not usually produce reactions like milk.

Gluten: intolerance to gluten or celiac disease.

In the case of gluten, IgE is not involved. An Enteropathy is produced by gluten. The person intolerant to gluten, which is called celiac, suffers especially a severe injury in the mucosa of the small intestine by inadequate absorption of gluten.

What foods can cause gluten intolerance?

Foods containing gluten are:

● Cereals such as wheat, rye, barley and oats.

● Flours of these cereals. Therefore, bread and similar.

● Pasta.

● Sauces and some dressings, as in the case of bechamel.

Symptoms of gluten intolerance or celiac disease.

Coeliacs may suffer symptoms of various kinds, but above all their gastrointestinal system is affected:

Food allergies and intolerances. Everything you need to know.

- Stomach pain, gas and flatulence.

- Chronic diarrhea.

- Pale, foul-colored stools.

- Weight loss.

- Bone and joint pain and muscle cramps.

- Dermatitis herpetiformis, which is a painful rash with itchy blisters.

- Growth stops in children.

The treatment does not exist and the diet must be adapted, avoiding the consumption of products with gluten. Although, fortunately, there is a large quantity of gluten-free products available (flour, bread, pasta, etc.).


Food allergies, food intolerances and lifestyle diet choices simplified by EatBot.

Ritesh Nigam

Written by

Chief storyteller, founder of Eat.Bot. Published Author of six-word stories with interests in all things technical and food.



Food allergies, food intolerances and lifestyle diet choices simplified by EatBot.

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