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Richard O. Buck, M.D.

Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

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Stomach issues? It could be food intolerance

Posted by on in Allergy
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150519FoodIntollerance-300People frequently come to us with digestive issues, wondering if they have food allergy. Food allergy in adults is uncommon. When it comes to recurrent bloating, cramping, diarrhea and/or constipation, food intolerance is often to blame.
 
There are certain carbohydrates in foods that are considered FODMAPs, which is short for sugars that are highly osmotic, meaning they pull water into the intestine and are hard to digest or absorb.
 
Examples of such foods include:

  • Fructose (fruits, honey, high-fructose corn syrup)
  • Lactose (dairy)
  • Fructans (wheat, garlic, onions)
  • Galactans (beans, lentils, soybeans)
  • Polyols (sweeteners, such as isolate, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol and stone fruits, such as cherries, peaches, plums, etc.)

Could one or more be the cause of your symptoms? The Stanford Digestive Health Center has come up with a low FODMAP diet that may help.

The diet, which also limits high-fiber foods, has proven useful for those with common yet bothersome intestinal issues, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). They recommend adhering to the diet for six weeks to improve symptoms then reintroduce one FODMAP food at a time to see if it triggers symptoms. Food intolerance can be hard to diagnose, as symptoms may be delayed, but this diet has proven to help many.

If you're considering this diet as an experiment or as a way of life, talk with your doctor.

Tagged in: Food Food Allergies

Knowledgeable and cheerful, Dr. Richard Buck's friendly personality and more than 30 years of experience complement one another perfectly. Board certified in asthma, allergy and immunology, as well as pediatrics, he diagnoses and treats patients of all ages.