Food intolerances are common, and in many cases, it is a lifelong condition. Signs appear from a young age, and once diagnosed, individuals can take steps to manage their body’s inability to properly digest its edible contents. They can tailor their diet or use digestive enzymes to break down troublesome foods, setting the stage for years of enjoyable eating.
However, there are also times when a previously healthy individual develops a food intolerance as they age. It’s important to be aware of this possibility, see the signs, and take action if it’s needed.
reasons for developing an intolerance later in life
If you’ve always had a good digestional track record, it’s tempting to assume you’re good for the long haul. Your body knows how to handle food, and you don’t have to worry about sifting through tricky diets or avoiding certain choices on the menu.
This is certainly the case for some fortunate individuals. But for many, the possibility of developing a food intolerance remains a real concern as they age. And we’re not just talking about seniors. Intolerances can emerge even as you enter middle age.
These can develop slowly over time. They can also appear suddenly due to a dramatic shift or change. Here are a few of the biggest reasons you might find yourself dealing with a food intolerance after years or even decades of clean, healthy digestion:
- A change in diet: When you make a dramatic shift in what you’re eating, it can trigger an intolerance as your body tries to digest a new combination of culinary ingredients.
- A new medication: Medications are strong, and they can have many different side effects. If you start a new medication, it can lead to the sudden development of a food intolerance.
- Stressful circumstances: Stress is normal. However, abnormal events, such as losing a loved one or getting fired, can have a more serious impact on your health — including the potential of creating an intolerance to certain foods.
- Basic bodily evolution: Sometimes the answer is simply that your body has developed an aversion to certain foods as you age. You can still eat them, but you don’t have enough enzymes to digest them efficiently anymore.
There are plenty of events that take place as you age that can impact your digestion, which is why you want to stay aware of the possibility over time.
identifying and addressing intolerances later in life
Regardless of the reason, it’s important to keep an eye out for food intolerances as you get older. There are many common symptoms that come along with a food intolerance, including:
- Stomach pain
- Bloating and gas
Typically the side effects of an intolerance will appear in the hours after eating a troublesome food.
If you think you’re dealing with a food intolerance that wasn’t there before, we suggest trying our intolerance test. From there, you can take further steps.