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If you have a food intolerance, you already know it can be a handful. If you’re not careful and eat something that causes you to have a reaction, the effects can range from very mild, to slightly bothersome, to potentially deadly [1].

Food Intolerance: Managing food intolerances for better well-being
Diagnosis and management of food intolerance without causing symptoms of a food allergy.

Allergies tend to be a lifelong occurrence, so you’ll have to take the necessary steps that eliminate triggers in the long run.

Since there’s no cure, what are the best mechanisms that can help protect you from having a reactive episode and dealing with some truly unpleasant symptoms of a food allergy?

Let’s examine some of them and find out what you need to do to live a better, healthier life.

4 Things To Manage Food Intolerances

#1. Discover the cause

The first and most important thing is to discover what food group or ingredient you’re sensitive to. Unless you have a clear picture of what’s causing your symptoms, you won’t know what to guard yourself against.

You might even discover that you’re sensitive to more than one thing. But finding out what your allergens are is tough. Apart from diagnostic tests and the supervision of an immunology specialist, you can take some active steps to discover your diagnosis.

For example, you can keep a food diary where you write down patterns and symptoms you’ve noticed.

If you have a suspicion that certain foods, such as egg whites, chocolate or citrus, are likely to cause your food allergies, eliminate them from your diet for a while. If you don’t notice any symptoms after that, you’ve discovered the culprit.

You can also run a food intolerance test that uses a few strands of your hair to determine what you’re intolerant to [2]. Your sample will be analysed against roughly 700 known allergens and toxins in their comprehensive database to determine what’s giving you trouble.

Knowing the triggers means you’ll be able to live your life with fewer inconveniences and less embarrassment and pain. 

#2. Read the labels

This is essential advice even for the people that aren’t struggling with food intolerance, but for those that are, it’s a prerogative. Food labels include important allergy information that you should be aware of.

It’s essential to read the labels carefully, as some ingredients are somewhat hidden, meaning that you maybe wouldn’t expect a particular food product to contain them. For example, some additives might contain dairy or wheat byproducts. The place where your food is produced is also important.

If you have a peanut allergy, eating something processed in a facility that also processes nuts can trigger an allergic response, even if the product you’re consuming doesn’t contain any nuts.

Lastly, it doesn’t hurt to still read the label, even if you’re familiar with a product. Manufacturers can change the ingredients, and the new formulation might contain ingredients that’ll trigger an allergic reaction in you. When you’re sensitive to something, it’s always best to err on the side of caution to stay safe. 

#3. Careful when outside

Dining out is one of the most pleasant experiences you can have. It’s enjoyable to spend a quaint and relaxing evening with friends or relatives.

It’s also great not to worry about cooking dinner and getting that responsibility out of the way for one evening. But when you have a food intolerance, dining out can also be the cause of significant anxiety.

After all, there’s no way of knowing precisely how your food was handled before it is brought to your table, and the menu might not even list all the ingredients.

The best thing to do is to be upfront about your allergy before you order. The easiest way to do this is to carry a chef card. This is a note that specifies all the ingredients you’re allergic to.

As such, the request is that the dishes, preparation surfaces and utensils be free from all traces of that particular food. And don’t think this only applies to fine dining places. Fast food restaurants and cafes are no exception.

If you’re feeling reluctant to discuss this with members of the staff, remember that this isn’t some fad. It’s actually important for your safety and well-being. 

#4. Cook carefully

Cooking is a common hobby. If you enjoy it too, you know how nice it feels to come up with recipes and try them out. You get a particular sense of satisfaction for coming up with something truly special. Sharing dishes with friends and family also makes you feel like you’re closer to them.

Even if the ones you’re cooking for aren’t next to you while you prepare the food, it still sends the clear message that you love and care for them.

However, since it’s most likely that not everyone in your household follows an allergen-free diet, you should be extra careful before you set off to cook a big meal for your family.

If you have to use the same dishes during preparation, make sure they are thoroughly washed in hot water between uses and with plenty of washing-up liquid to make sure everything is scrubbed clean. If your food allergies are particularly troublesome, you might want to use different sets of cooking and dining utensils.

This way, you ensure a knife used to cut a dish containing ingredients you’re allergic to isn’t pressed into your service, and then you have to deal with a reaction. 

#4. Carry your medication

Your doctor has certainly prescribed emergency medication for you. The best way to be prepared is to carry two doses with you at all times.

It may seem excessive for some, but you can deal with an unexpected allergic episode when you’re outside. Sometimes you might forget about your food allergies and eat something you aren’t supposed to.

For situations such as this, it’s good to have your medication readily available. You can also carry antihistamines.

It’s not easy dealing with food intolerance. You have so many things to keep in mind, and you must make sure you avoid anything that could harm you.

You can’t just eat something without checking the ingredients prior, and you have to be careful both at home and during social situations. This can, unfortunately, cause a strain in some relationships.

Moreover, it can be very stressful for you on a daily basis. Remembering a few key things means you’ll be able to prioritise your well-being and overall health.

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2 Sources

We review published medical research in respected scientific journals to arrive at our conclusions about a product or health topic. This ensures the highest standard of scientific accuracy.

[1] Food Intolerances: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6682924/
[2] Find Out If You Have Hidden Food Intolerances: https://www.intolerancelab.co.uk/food-intolerance-test/
Author

Michael Tamez

Michael Tamez is a Lifestyle Expert, Wellness Author, Eco-Consultant, and Motivational Speaker. He experienced a 15-year health and lif