The many faces of intolerance: Histamine, lactose, fructose

Jorg Reibig, MD, Specialist in Paediatric Medicine

Intolerances (lat. intolerantia, from tolerare “endure”, “tolerate”) are a causally diverse group of metabolic diseases which occur due to inadequate processing of supplied or released substances. The cause is often an enzyme defect or deficiency. With food in­tolerances, the body is not able to process certain substances and/or absorb them. Be­cause they operate without participation of the immune system, they are also referred to as pseudoallergies.

Intolerances can cause many different and, to some extent, very considerable symp­toms.

These include vague abdominal pain, flatulence, failure to thrive, headache and joint pain but also hyperactivity, concentration disorders, fine motor dysfunction or out­bursts of aggression, problems at school, as well as respiratory and skin problems, e.g. neurodermatitis. These conditions can often exist for years without it being possible to identify a cause.

These problems are often a result...

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