Adverse reactions to foods occur in a small proportion of the population. These reactions are not the same as allergies, but may include:
- rashes and swelling of the skin, asthma, and stuffy or runny nose
- irritable bowel symptoms, colic, bloating, and diarrhoea
- migraines, headaches, lethargy, and irritability.
If you think you or your child has a food intolerance, it is important to seek advice from a medical practitioner since all of the symptoms you may be experiencing can also be caused by other disorders.
Both added ingredients, including food additives and processing aids, and naturally occuring food components, such as salicylates, lactose and gluten may be involved in food intolerance.
It may help to keep a food diary and note carefully any symptoms that may be related to food. To properly diagnose a food intolerance, the usual practice is to eliminate all suspect foods from the diet and then reintroduce them one by one, to see which food or component(s) of the food causes the reaction. This should only be done under medical supervision, since some of the reactions - such as asthma - can be serious.