We’re taught to ignore small discomforts, but it can be valuable to view even quiet symptoms as your body trying to tell you something. Some less obvious signs of food intolerance may include:
- Itchy skin
- Joint pain
- Allergy-like respiratory symptoms
Foods your body doesn’t like can drain your energy. This is because your body treats the offending food as an invader and works extra hard to break it down and eliminate it. That can leave you feeling wiped out after a meal. Tiredness can also occur when your body has a hard time absorbing the food’s nutrients.
Itchy skin or skin rashes can often result from food allergies, but food intolerance may cause itchy skin too. Skin rashes from food intolerance often appear as eczema or red itchy bumps. They might not be as obvious as hives or a life-threatening flare-up like you might associate with a food allergy, but they are bothersome nonetheless.
Eating foods your body cannot tolerate can cause an inflammatory response in your body. For some people, this can result in acne.
Another reason a food intolerance may show up as acne is because your skin is an excretory organ, which means it eliminates waste. Your body gets rid of waste through the kidneys and intestines, through the lungs, and through the skin as sweat. Sometimes, when your body has extra waste to deal with, you may excrete more and bumps may form on the skin.
Just like your face may break out in acne due to inflammation, the same thing may happen with your joints. As your body overreacts to the foods you consume that it cannot tolerate, it can cause inflammation throughout your body, increasing your joint pain.
If you have been noticing seemingly random pains in your joints, start paying attention to what you’ve eaten when you notice it. Keeping a food journal can help ensure that you track everything.
Allergy-like Respiratory Issues
If you have persistent food intolerances, you might notice you have respiratory symptoms, such as a runny nose, difficulty breathing, or congestion. Sometimes, when you eat something your body doesn’t tolerate, you might notice increased mucus that’s not associated with the common cold or seasonal allergies. This is another response in your body that might stop if you cut out the offending foods.
Again, you have to know what’s causing it in order to make it stop, so keeping a log of what you eat can help here.
Difference Between Food Intolerance and Food Allergy
It’s easy to confuse food allergies with intolerances because they have similar physical responses. However, food allergies are often more serious and can even be life-threatening.
When your body is allergic to something it comes into contact with, it negatively affects the immune system. Most people with food allergies cannot consume even a small amount of the offending food without having serious, sometimes life-threatening problems.
With a food tolerance, your body may tolerate a small amount of the food without symptoms, but too much, and it can negatively react.
Food intolerance is something many people suffer from but don’t realize it. If you don’t always feel your best or have nagging issues, consider keeping a food journal. Notice the foods you eat often and how they relate to the symptoms you experience.
One by one, eliminate foods you think harm your body and continue keeping the food journal. Then, pay attention to how your body reacts to narrow the list of offending foods. If you find a food you’re intolerant to, consider eliminating it from your diet to let your body look and feel its best.