Food intolerances occur when the body has difficulty digesting certain foods. While there is currently no cure for food intolerances, making certain alterations to your diet can help relieve symptoms.

In this article you can find:

  • What is a food intolerance?
  • What are the signs and symptoms of a food intolerance?
  • How do you diagnose and treat a food intolerance?

What is a food intolerance?

A food intolerance refers to the body’s difficulty in digesting a food which can cause unpleasant physical reactions. This impairment may be due to a lack of digestive enzymes or a sensitivity to certain chemicals. Some people with a food intolerance find that they can tolerate a certain amount of a food before experiencing any negative symptoms. However, the onset may occur several hours after consuming the food, and may persist for several hours or days. Some common food intolerances include; dairy, gluten, caffeine, amines (present in high amounts in aged, overcooked or processed meats, and overly ripe fruits), FODMAPs (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols short-chain carbohydrates), preservatives (sulphites, salicylates), fructose, artificial sweeteners (aspartame), flavour enhancers (MSG), food colourings, toxins (alcohol) and histamine (present in high amounts in fermented dairy products, fermented vegetables, pickled vegetables, cured or fermented meats, kombucha).

What are the signs and symptoms of a food intolerance?

Symptoms of a food intolerance include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Excess gas
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhoea
  • Headaches
  • Runny nose
  • Malaise (feeling under the weather)

If a food intolerance is left untreated it can also result in:

  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy
  • Anaemia
  • Migraines
  • Psychological symptoms (confusion, depression)

How do you diagnose and treat a food intolerance?

A food intolerance can be difficult to diagnose, particularly when a person has several food intolerances. There are many companies that produce food intolerance tests, however they are not based on scientific evidence and are not recommended by Irish Nutrition & Dietetic Institute. The best means of determining whether or not you have a food intolerance is to follow an exclusion diet (also known as an elimination or diagnostic diet) and take note of symptoms in a food diary. Taking note of which foods you eat, the symptoms that appear, and their timings can you and your doctor determine which foods are causing adverse reactions.

Some people discover that if they avoid a certain food for a period of time, they have no reaction when they consume it again. This is known as tolerance. Maintaining tolerance is often a matter of determining how long to refrain from consuming the food and how much to consume when it is reintroduced. Your doctor can also help you with this.

Sona Enteric Coated Pure Peppermint Oil Capsules is a natural digestive aid that can provide symptomatic relief of discomfort caused by a food intolerance. The special enteric coating renders the capsules gastric resistant and helps deliver the oil intact into the intestines thus preventing the heartburn often caused by ingesting peppermint oil.


  1. ie. 2021. Food Intolerance Testing - INDI. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 1 May 2021].
  2. MacGlashan, D., 2003. Histamine. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 112(4), pp.S53-S59.
  3. uk. 2021. Food intolerance. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 1 May 2021].
  4. Sicherer, S. and Sampson, H., 2010. Food allergy. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 125(2), pp.S116-S125.
  5. Tuck, C., Biesiekierski, J., Schmid-Grendelmeier, P. and Pohl, D., 2019. Food Intolerances. Nutrients, 11(7), p.1684.