Medical director Dr. Lluís Vidal. -

Food intolerances and allergies

Both intolerances and allergies cause a chronic inflammation of the small intestine. Symptomatology is quite diverse: from nothing at all to undernourishment.

Intolerance to sugar (lactose, fructose, saccharose) are very common and provoke unspecific abdominal pain, flatulence and some diarrhea. Some of these patients can be diagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome, when in reality they are just intolerant to something. The diagnose is performed by breath test with H2 determination. The elimination of dairy products of a lactose intolerant patient and fruit on fructose intolerant produces immediate results.

Of allergies, we should point out dairy milk, egg white, some fish and shellfish protein allergies. Though more infrequent, there are also some allergies (not intolerance) to some fruit and some legumes.

Permanent intolerance to corn, rye and probably barley gluten is present on individuals genetically predisposed and is characterized by an inflammatory response (immune-based) on the small intestine mucous membrane which makes the absorption of macro and micronutrients more difficult. There are some differences between non-celiac sensibility to gluten and clearly celiac corn allergy (HLA-DQ2 or HLA-DQ8).

Patients with a celiac disease and corn allergy and other cereals have a history of nausea, pain, diarrhea, weight loss, vomits, anemia, osteoporosis, and malaise. On women, it might be responsible of repeated miscarriages which solves by eliminating gluten from your diet.

In the case of coeliac patients, there is a genetic predisposition (HLA-DQ2) and there is a prevalence of 1/150 among the general population. It can be diagnosed by antibodies in blood, but to confirm it is best to run a test on an intestinal tissue sample obtained by endoscopy.


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