One of the biggest issues when it comes to food reactions is whether you have an intolerance or an allergic reaction to certain foods. A food allergy is an immune system response, while food intolerance is a digestive system response.

So at the core of it, they’re fundamentally different reactions. So what’s the best way to diagnose a digestive system reaction to specific foods? Since they’re both different, the best way to look at it is through the symptoms of each.

As such, we will lay out the most common symptoms of food intolerance.

Most Common Symptoms Of Food Intolerance


Our short guide will lay out the most common symptoms you need to look out for to determine if you have an intolerance to certain foods. The list of symptoms goes as follow:

  • Vomiting

Vomiting is one of the most common reactions to food intolerance. Certain foods such as dairy products can cause vomiting since the digestive system sends a signal that tells your body cannot tolerate dairy products.

  • Gases, cramps, or bloating

Painful gases, cramps, or bloating are common signs of a digestive disorder. It could mean something much more dangerous, such as a health problem, but you shouldn’t rush to any conclusion just yet. If you are intolerant to a particular food, expect a lot of gas symptoms.

  • Nausea

Nausea is another common symptom that is related to both food allergies and intolerance. After nausea, it’s common for people to vomit. As such, this is one of the most indecisive symptoms. Nausea is triggered as an immune system response and digestive system response. So if you’re unsure about a particular food and whether or not your body cannot tolerate it, it’s best to do a food intolerance test.

  • Diarrhea

Diarrhea is a common digestive system response to food intolerance. While it could be an immune system response, your doctor will most likely compare it with other symptoms to diagnose intolerance to specific foods.

Other common symptoms also include irritability (extreme symptom), stomach pain, heartburn, and headaches.

Most Common Food Intolerances


There are certain foods that we, humans, tend to face issues digesting. Unlike allergies, being intolerant to any particular food isn’t dangerous. This is the opposite with food allergies such as peanuts. With all that said, nearly 20% of people share this disorder. So, let’s briefly go over the most common foods your digestive system might have issues with.

  • Dairy Products – Cheese, milk, yogurt, kefir, ice cream, and butter.
  • Gluten – Wheat, rye, barley, triticale, seitan, durum, faro, flour, etc.
  • Caffeine – Coffee, espresso, tea, soda, chocolate, energy drinks, supplements
  • Salicylates – Vegetables and fruits
  • Amines – Oranges, bananas, tomatoes, pickled cabbage, soy products, peanuts, and other foods containing high amounts of amines
  • Sulfites – Naturally occurring in grapes and aged cheese

Just because you might be intolerant to any of these food types doesn’t mean you will experience a reaction. People with intolerance to dairy products often have an issue with milk but not with cheese – and vice versa.

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