When the reaction to a particular food consumed is triggered in the digestive system, the reaction is due to sensitivity or intolerance. For example, symptoms of food intolerance and sensitivity include bloating, diarrhea, constipation, gas, cramping and nausea, where a food allergic reaction will likely include swelling, hives, itching, dizziness, or anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening. Many leading allergy and immunology experts say food sensitivities are not life threatening, nor are they immune-mediated, but are instead caused by an inability to process or digest food properly. Food sensitivities are also far more common than food allergies and occur for several reasons, including:
- Improper amount of enzymes needed to digest food properly.
- Reaction to food additives or preservatives (MSG, artificial colors).
- Sensitivity to caffeine or other chemicals.
- Sensitivity to natural sugars found in certain foods.