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A food intolerance is an abnormal reaction of the body to a food or food additive that is eaten.

It is estimated that 5-20% of the human population has a food sensitivity,

but the exact prevalence is still uncertain. Food intolerance associated with antibodies to IgG classes is thought to be due to increased intestinal permeability. In the case of increased intestinal permeability, substances (proteins) from the undigested food are released into the bloodstream and the accumulation of such proteins can trigger an immune reaction in which IgG antibodies are produced and bind to the food proteins to form antibody-antigen complexes. 

Antibody-antigen complexes can cause inflammation leading to a range of symptoms.

Food intolerances can cause symptoms and conditions

such as rashes, hives, gastrointestinal problems (e.g. constipation, bloating, diarrhoea), persistent fatigue, migraines and hair loss.

Symptoms usually do not appear immediately and may start 24-72 hours after eating, making it difficult to establish a precise link between the symptom and a particular food.

Symptoms similar to food intolerance can be caused by intolerance to food proteins, when IgG immunoglobulins are produced, but also by other causes:

· Sensitivity to salicylates, biogenic amines (e.g. histamine).

· Susceptibility to sulphites (found, for example, in wine)

· Sensitivity to monosodium glutamate

· Sensitivity to food colours and preservatives (such as tartrazine)

· Sensitivity to artificial sweeteners (such as aspartame)

· Enzymopathies (when certain enzymes are present in insufficient quantities or are not fully functional).

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Food intolerance tests detect IgG antibodies from the blood, while allergy tests detect specific IgE antibodies,

which are responsible for rapid-onset allergic reactions (reactions in which symptoms can occur within a few minutes to a couple of hours after ingestion of a food).

The most common symptoms associated with food allergies can include nausea, vomiting, swelling and swelling of the mouth, larynx, lips and tongue, and sometimes a sudden rash all over the body, a drop in blood pressure or even anaphylactic shock. If your food intolerance results show that you are intolerant to certain foods, this does not mean that you are also allergic to them – and vice versa.