Food Allergy and Intolerance Symptoms

Food allergies and intolerances can cause a variety of different symptoms in individuals

Doc and patientsWe all need food to supply our body with nutrients and energy so we can live a full and healthy life. Everyone is individual and has unique needs. This also applies to our nutrition: The foods that are good for you might be harmful for someone else and cause them problems.

IgG food allergy – possible trigger of various chronic ailments

There are many reasons why certain foodstuffs might not be well tolerated, causing symptoms such as bloating, diarrhoea, headaches or skin problems. One possible cause is an IgG food allergy (type III).

These delayed allergies can cause low-grade inflammatory conditions. Inflammatory processes in turn are thought to be possible triggers of different chronic diseases. Hence, IgG food allergy testing followed by an elimination and provocation diet may be a useful approach for individuals suffering from persistent ailments such as:

IgE food allergy – symptoms in a matter of minutes

IgE-mediated food allergies (type I) may also be responsible for certain symptoms. However, the mechanisms and the way the immune system responds are significantly different compared to a type III allergy. Consequently, the symptoms may differ as well – even from person to person. A distinguishing factor is the time that elapses between ingestion of a food and appearance of the symptoms.

You will find an overview of possible symptoms below. Learn more about the differences and the mechanisms behind type I and type III food allergies.

  1. Overview: IgE Food Allergy (Type I) Symptoms vs. IgG Food Allergy (Type III) Symptoms
      IgE Food Allergy IgG Food Allergy
    Time after ingestion < 30 min 3 h – 3 days
    Duration 1 day up to 3 days/ chronic


    Hypertension   x
    Hypotension x  
    Tachycardia x x


    Abdominal fullness   x
    Colics   x
    Constipation   x
    Crohn’s disease   x
    Diarrhoea x x
    Flatulence   x
    Irritable bowel x x
    Nausea x x
    Reflux   x
    Stomach pains x x
    Vomiting x x


    Anxiety x
    Depression x


    Insulin resistance   x
    Malabsorption syndrome   x
    Metabolic syndrome   x
    Excess weight   x


    Anaphylactic shock x
    Autoimmune disease x
    Chronic fatigue   x
    Chronic iron deficiency   Bleeding excluded
    Dizziness x x
    Exhaustion 2 hours after eating   x
    General weakness   x
    Infertility x


    Chronic joint pains x
    Fibromyalgia x
    Headaches x x
    Migraine x


    Asthma (chronic) x x
    Chronic rhinitis x
    Difficulty breathing x x
    Dry nose x
    Rhinitis x


    Skin problems (erythema, itching) x x

    Note: This list is intended to give an overview of possible symptoms. No liability is assumed for either its completeness or accuracy. It cannot replace the medical advice of a trained health professional. Please consult your practitioner in case of any health-related concerns.

Another suspect: food intolerances

Besides IgE- and IgG-mediated allergies, food intolerances may also cause health related problems. Intolerances are due to enzyme deficiencies, dysfunctions or malabsorption. In these cases, the immune system is not involved. The symptoms differ depending on which type of intolerance you may have.

Here you will find a list which gives an overview of possible food hypersensitivity symptoms. It considers lactose intolerance, histamine intolerance, fructose malabsorption, IgE food allergy and IgG food allergy.


Common food intolerances are:

  • Lactose intolerance: inability to digest milk sugar (lactose) because of insufficient levels of the enzyme “lactase”
  • Histamine intolerance: inability to break down histamine (biogenic amine) due to a reduced enzyme activity or deficiency
  • Fructose malabsorption: inability to absorb fructose due to deficient fructose carriers

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