If you are allergic to a certain type of food, it’s easy to find out. The hives can be a dead giveaway. But what about being intolerant or sensitive to a certain type of food? Symptoms of food intolerance can be vague. Some people vomit after drinking milk, so they know they are lactose intolerant. But others may simply feel a brain fog after drinking lots of milk. That’s a sign of intolerance or sensitivity, rather than an allergy.

Because there are no typical or fixed sets of symptoms for food intolerance, the problem can be hard to pinpoint. Some people may keep eating the same food and experiencing symptoms without connecting the dots. To find out if you suffer from intolerance to a particular kind of food, follow the suggestions below:

Get Tested

To know for sure if you have an intolerance to foods that you don’t even know about, consider undergoing IGG testing. These tests fully analyse a blood sample to see which foods out of hundreds of samples that your body may not tolerate well. This is better than the exclusion method, where you test several food items and see if symptoms develop. This type of testing is also more scientifically accurate.

Don’t Ignore Mood Problems

Most people erroneously believe that the only symptoms of food intolerance are physical, like diarrhoea or vomiting. That’s not at all true. Food intolerance can cause psychological symptoms like depression, moodiness, migraines, and the aforementioned brain fog. Sufferers are likely to ascribe these symptoms to other factors, like a rainy day, than the food they have eaten. Certain foods contain mood enhancers. Dairy products like cheese do contain natural opiates that can give temporary feelings of satiation and a “high”. That’s why you may have heard people say they just “love cheese” or simply cannot “give it up”. The mood can easily take a downturn if there’s an intolerance to high levels of cheese. So, be more attuned to shifts in mood after eating certain kinds of food. Significant changes can indicate intolerance.

Food Cravings are Related to Intolerance

You may think that you only crave food that you like, and your body likes in turn. Not always. If you eat something you are unknowingly sensitive or intolerant towards, the body reacts by sending antibodies to fight the food substance. The food molecules may not get digested well and could end up in the circulating blood, where they really shouldn’t be. This will spark an immune response. When the released antibodies are in excess, because food particles have escaped, they crave more to break them down. That results in you craving the food as well. If this happens, fight the craving. If you give in, you could experience physical symptoms like vomiting that could be hard to control.

Eating food that your body cannot tolerate repeatedly can cause symptoms like inflammation as a result of the immune response. You will also feel more tired and fatigued than energised after eating. This is not an ideal scenario to be in. So follow the above advice, and know what foods you may be intolerant of.