Common food allergy symptoms include:
• Tingling and itching in the mouth
• Rashes (hives/urticaria)
• Swelling (e.g. face, mouth or lips)
• Difficulty swallowing
• Difficulty breathing
• Dizziness/ lightheadedness
• Nausea and vomiting
• Abdominal pain or diarrhoea
• Itchy eyes
Allergic reactions can range from moderate to fatal (anaphylaxis). If you suspect you have a food allergy you should speak to your GP to ensure this is investigated and that you are given an EpiPen to carry if you need one.
Symptoms of food intolerance may include:
• Headaches and migraines.
• Depression, anxiety and hyperactivity.
• Mouth ulcers.
• Joint pain
• Gastrointestinal discomfort.
• Water retention.
If you suspect that certain foods are causing problems book a Vega test which will identify these for you. A food diary can be helpful but because symptoms are usually delayed it can be difficult to pinpoint the cause without eliminating a lot of foods.
Lactose intolerance is different again – this is where someone cannot make the enzymes necessary to break down lactose (milk sugar) in the gut. This usually has a genetic cause and symptoms are of upset stomach and loose stools.
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