Food Intolerance & Malabsorption Treatment by Mercy Specialists

The Institute for Digestive Health & Liver Disease at Mercy - Baltimore, MD

Mercy’s Center for Neurogastroenterology and GI Motility provides specialists to address a range of chronic digestive issues that may affect everyday activities and quality of life. Our team offers clinical expertise and advanced diagnostic and treatment options to help relieve problematic GI conditions.

About the Condition

Food intolerance, or non-allergic food hypersensitivity, refers to difficulty in digesting certain foods. Food intolerance is different from a food allergy.

Malabsorption also refers to difficulty in digesting certain foods or difficulty with the absorption of nutrients from food.

Both food intolerance and malabsorption can affect an individual’s growth and development. In addition, both conditions can lead to specific illnesses.

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Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

Symptoms of food intolerance and malabsorption may include:

  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Bloating and gas
  • Migraines
  • Headaches
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Feeling under the weather
  • Stomach ache
  • Irritable bowels
  • Hives
  • Growth failure
  • Avoidance of certain foods

It is important to note that food intolerance can mimic food allergies, but typically takes longer to emerge.

Food intolerance and malabsorption can be difficult and time-consuming to diagnose. Options may include:

  • Elimination diet
  • Skin test/blood test to rule out food allergy
  • Breath tests
  • Researching the specific cause (traditionally easier to do with malabsorption)
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Treatment Options

Treatment depends on the cause of the illness. Typically avoiding certain trigger foods can help alleviate symptoms as well as taking supplements to aid with digestion.