If for most people eating is a pleasure, for others, eating certain foods means getting sick and having a few intestinal discomforts, just like those with some intolerance.
“Foos intolerance is a disorder of the body that occurs most often in the digestive system, due to problems in digesting a food”, explains Karina Gama, dietitian of the Instituto Dante. Pazzanese of Cardiology. According to him, the discomfort can be caused by the absence or malfunction of the action of enzymes that cause the “breakdown” of certain foods according to the ingredients contained in the food. which makes digestion difficult.
Among food intolerances, lactose intolerance is the most common, and occurs when there is an insufficiency of the lactase enzyme, responsible for the digestion of lactose, a sugar found in milk and milk products. , such as cheeses and yogurts.
But there is also an allergy to gluten (or non-celiac gluten sensitivity), intolerance to fructose (sugar found in fruits, some vegetables and cereals and in finished products), for sucrose (sugar) and undigested carbohydrates, which are then fermented. from intestinal bacteria and also called fodmap (derived from milk, fruits, cereals, legumes and some sweets).
Every person can have a food allergy and the conditions that cause it depending on the patient, such as genetics, health, immunity, or the food itself, such as allergies, conservation and diet, according to Hélcio Maranhão, obstetrician and pediatrician. Nutrologist, Professor of the Department of Pediatrics at UFRN (Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte).
How to identify if you have a food allergy?
Signs and symptoms may vary, but are usually related to indigestion: cramping or abdominal pain, indigestion, discomfort, borborygmus (stomach upset), nausea, regurgitation, flatulence. , constipation and even diarrhea. Symptoms such as irritability, fatigue, migraine, hives and joint pain can also occur, according to Auzelivia Rêgo Falcão, gastroenterologist, professor of disciplines of the gastrointestinal tract and disease coloproctological of the Department of Public Health of UFRN.
Symptoms can begin soon after or sometime after a meal, and last for up to an hour. Squeezing usually occurs after complete fermentation of undigested components by intestinal bacteria or removal of waste products from the feces.
But it is important to make sure that only pain after a meal is not a food allergy. “That’s because there are other stomachs that can cause similar symptoms, including food poisoning,” Falcão said.
To diagnose this condition, the continuity and risk of symptoms is necessary when eating a diet at different times. “Making a menu that describes the symptoms and what foods you eat that day can help,” added the gastroenterologist.
If the person thinks they have an allergy, he or she is encouraged to skip the food in question. “This test is recommended to reduce and relieve the symptoms. After a few weeks, he can go back to eating to see if such symptoms come back. that there is, there is a high probability that he has the disease. ” , says Maranhao.
If the onset of symptoms occurs regularly, the doctor or therapist can perform a detailed examination to confirm the diagnosis. This includes research on medical history, medications or supplements used, lifestyle, intestinal function, and diet.
Which tests can be done?
Some special tests and experiments can help diagnose the disease. Among them, there are oral tests, which will help identify lactose intolerance, for example. The test was given to the person who was examined, on an empty stomach, and after 30, 60, 90 and 120 minutes, collected blood to show a blood sugar increase of more than 20 mg / dl. , as a result of digestion of the drug has been studied. If the blood sugar level is lower, it indicates that the digestion is incomplete and there is not enough absorption.
The time-tested hydrogen experiment uses the same principle as the oral measurement, but instead of measuring changes in blood glucose, the patient blows an object that measures the amount of hydrogen constant state of fasting after taking the test samples, in a period of about 2 to 4 hours.
“In patients with intolerance, the undigested and absorbed substances are fermented by bacteria in the last part of the intestine, producing hydrogen. Therefore, the increased detection of hydrogen in the Breathing indicates the inability to digest and inhale properly. ” , explains Karina Gama, master in food research.
There are also other tests that can be used, such as stool acidity test, which is usually used for infants or young children, intestinal and genetic tests, more often indicated during clinical trials. always incomplete. For non-celiac gluten sensitivity, tests were performed to diagnose celiac disease.
Intolerance and allergy are different
Screening to ensure that the diagnosis is important, however, should not interfere with food allergies with food allergies, which are different situations.
As already explained, food intolerance has no enzyme responsible for digestion, making it difficult for it to absorb. It is a condition that causes more local symptoms, linked to indigestion.
Allergies, on the other hand, because they are antibacterial, may have general effects or affect different products, such as the skin and the respiratory system, in addition to the digestion.
What is the treatment like?
As the experts discussed in the report, treatment of malnutrition should be personal and consistent with the reduction or exclusion of harmful foods.
Some people can avoid the small size of the product, but this limitation is personal. In lactose intolerance, preference should be given to lactose-free or lactose-free products. There is also the option of using the enzyme lactase, in the form of tablets or powders to be diluted in liquid, before or in combination with lactose-containing foods. This will reduce the incidence of symptoms, but may not be perfect.
Nutritionist Gama further advises that “all complaints should be examined by a physician to avoid dietary restrictions”.
Location: auzelivia Trench Hawkgastroenterologist, specialist in the discipline of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and coloproctological from the Department of Integrated Medicine of UFRN (Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte), also works at Onofre Lopes University Hospital (HUOL/ UFRN); Helcio Maranhãogastroenterologist and pediatric nutrologist, all professors of the Department of Pediatrics at UFRN, secretary of the Department of Nutrology of the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics; Karina GamaPhysician diet of Instituto Dante Pazzanese in Cardiology, and holds a Master’s degree in Food Science from the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at USP (University of São Paulo).