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Food Intolerances

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Food Intolerance Treatment in Charlotte

Food intolerances can be a frustrating and difficult condition for many individuals, and can impede your diet and daily life. At Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center, we understand the impact that food intolerances can have on your lifestyle and well-being, and we are committed to providing comprehensive care to help manage and treat this condition.

Our team of board-certified allergists and experienced healthcare professionals is dedicated to providing personalized treatment plans and ongoing support to help you live your life to the fullest. Whether you are seeking a diagnosis, treatment, or ongoing management of your food intolerances so you can find relief from your symptoms, we are here to help you every step of the way.

How to Request an Appointment

At Carolina Asthma and Allergy Center, we offer comprehensive evaluation and treatment for your food intolerances. If you suspect you may have a food intolerance or have experienced symptoms after eating certain foods, you can request an appointment with our team of board-certified allergists and experienced healthcare professionals.

To schedule an appointment, you can call our office or fill out the online appointment request form on our website. Our friendly staff will work with you to find a convenient date and time for your visit.

During your appointment, our allergists will review your medical history, perform a physical exam, and conduct any necessary tests to determine if you have food intolerances. Based on your evaluation, our team will develop a personalized treatment plan to help manage your symptoms.

What is a Food Intolerance?

Food intolerance is sensitivity to a certain food that results in a range of bowel symptoms. These symptoms are often gradual in onset, occurring hours after eating the problematic food. Typically, you must ingest a sufficient amount of this food for symptoms to occur.

It is important to note that unlike food allergies, food intolerances are not life-threatening. Food intolerance is not a reaction from your immune system, but rather results from digestion. It’s characterized by slow onset and general feelings of being unwell.

Food Intolerance vs. Food Allergy

Food intolerances and food allergies differ in several ways. To start, food allergies result from a reaction in your immune system. Basically, your body mistakenly fights off “harmless” substances, releasing chemicals that trigger allergy symptoms.

Food allergies can be life-threatening, even with ingestion of a small amount of the offending food. Symptoms are typically severe and immediate, including a rash or hives, shortness of breath, chest pain, etc.

On the other hand, a food intolerance involves digestion, not the immune system. This condition is never life-threatening, and symptoms typically set in hours after eating. You may experience a stomachache, diarrhea, nausea, and fatigue.

If you suspect you’re having an allergic reaction, seek urgent medical attention. For both food allergies and food intolerances, you should consult your doctor or allergist to identify the foods responsible for your symptoms.

What are the Symptoms of Food Intolerance?

While they vary according to the individual, some common symptoms of food intolerance include:

  • Stomachache
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas, cramps, or bloating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Headache
  • Runny nose/increased mucous production
  • Skin rash
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability

Because symptoms result from digestion, they may take a few hours or days to appear.

What are the Causes of Food Intolerance?

Food intolerance is typically caused by the absence of an enzyme that’s required to digest a food. This makes it difficult for the digestive tract to break down this food, resulting in poor digestion and bowel symptoms.

Food intolerance may be caused by a range of foods and substances. Some common ones include:

  • Lactose: a sugar found naturally in cow’s milk and other dairy products
  • Fructose: a sugar found naturally in honey, fruits and some vegetables, and artificially in products with high-fructose corn syrup
  • Gluten: a substance found in wheat, barley, oats and rye
  • Salicylate: a substance commonly found in fruits, vegetables, spices, as well as non-food products like toothpaste
  • Food additives including sulfites, sodium benzoate and food colorings: these substances may be found in dried fruit, canned goods, jams, wine and other foods 

What are the Risk Factors for Food Intolerance?

You may be at greater risk of food intolerance if you’re stressed or have negative feelings about certain foods.

In addition, if you have celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, or other digestive disorders, you may be more prone to having food sensitivities.

How is Food Intolerance Diagnosed?

Food intolerances can be challenging to diagnose. Your doctor will likely ask about your symptoms and ask you to keep a food diary. With a food diary, you will take note of what you eat and any symptoms you have. This will help identify which food or substance you are sensitive to.

Once your doctor suspects you’re intolerant to a certain food, he/she may recommend an elimination diet to stop eating this food and see if your symptoms improve. Later, you might be able to reintroduce a food with little to no problem.

Finally, if your symptoms are immediate or severe, your doctor may want to rule out a food allergy. In this case, you may undergo testing to check if you’re allergic to certain foods.

Remember that there are no scientifically based food intolerance tests. To diagnose your symptoms, your doctor will have to work with you to identify the foods and reduce or eliminate them from your diet.

Summary

At Carolina Asthma and Allergy Center, we are dedicated to providing compassionate care and ongoing support to help you live your life to the fullest. Contact us today to request an appointment and take the first step towards managing your food intolerances. 

Food Intolerance FAQs

Can you cure food intolerances?

No, you cannot cure food intolerances. However, you can manage symptoms by avoiding causative foods. You may also reduce your intolerance over time through an elimination diet. 

Can a child outgrow food intolerance?

Yes, it’s possible to outgrow food intolerance – though it doesn’t always happen. Your doctor can monitor your food intolerance with the possibility of trying to reintroduce the food later. 

Do food intolerances get worse with age?

Food intolerances certainly change over time, for better or for worse. Some people may outgrow food intolerances, while others may develop them. As our digestive system ages, it becomes more difficult to break down foods. However, this isn’t the same thing as developing a food intolerance. 

How do you find out if you have a food intolerance?

To find out if you have a food intolerance, you should consult your doctor. He/she will rule out food allergies or digestive disorders, and work on resolving your symptoms by monitoring your diet. 

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