As you get older, you may notice that your favorite foods become hard to stomach. Pain, discomfort, reflux, gas and bloating are some of the symptoms you may experience. This is most likely the result of developing food intolerances – not to be confused with allergies.

Food intolerances affect the digestive tract as the system tries to process food. If you are unable to break down certain ingredients, your body will respond by expressing painful and uncomfortable systems. The impact of food intolerance typically manifests within a few hours after eating.

Food allergies are different, in that symptoms are the result of an autoimmune condition. The immune system has a bad reaction to certain foods, which results in the release of antibodies to fight the perceived threat. This type of reaction happens within minutes of consuming the allergen.

Food Intolerance Causes

Reduced production of lactase, an enzyme that helps break down lactose, can result in intolerance to dairy products. This includes milk, cheese and yogurt. Symptoms may include gas, diarrhea, bloating, cramps, nausea and stomach pain.

Wheat, barley and rye contain proteins that combine to make gluten. If you have stomach pain or reflux after eating bread, pasta, cookies or cakes, you may have an intolerance to gluten. Avoiding foods containing gluten will eliminate symptoms but you may have to resist some of your favorite foods.

Food Additives

Certain food additives, chemicals and preservatives have been identified as potential causes of food intolerance. This is an area of research that is focused on isolating the particular elements responsible. This allows the patient to better avoid trigger foods.

Government agencies around the world regulate additives in many food stuffs. However, restrictions vary from place to place. You may benefit from researching documented reactions to additives in the food that you consume.

If you are experiencing digestive problems after eating certain foods, reach out to Dr. Shouhed at his Los Angeles clinic. It is important to identify the cause of your issues so you can receive effective treatment. Call our offices today to book a consultation with an experienced GI or bariatric surgeon.