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An Explanation of Food Intolerance

What is the difference between allergy and intolerance

The term ‘food intolerance’ and ‘food allergy’ are often confused and are two very different things.

True food allergy is relatively rare. Only about 2% of the adult population are affected. In alergic type of reaction, the body’s immune system mistakes a food for an ‘invader’ which often results in a rapid allergic reaction often within minutes or a maximum of two hours. This type of allergic reaction is most common to peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs and seafood.

Food intolerance is quite different to food allergy and even though the symptoms can impact the person’s quality of life they are not life threatening. Food intolerances are much more common than food allergies.

When foods and drinks are digested the proteins within them are broken down into smaller parts for easy absorption into the body. Larger fragments can pass through without breaking down and sometimes the body reacts by attacking them using antibodies called Immunoglobulin G’s (IgG). 

Different studies has shown that those who eliminated trigger foods based on food-specific IgG test results had reductions in weight, body mass index, waist and hip circumference and improvements in all indicators of quality of life that were measured. The quality of life indicators included physical and emotional wellbeing, mental health, social life, pain levels and vitality.

What are the symptoms of food intolerance?

Food intolerance is a condition with a wide range of symptoms including:

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Aches and Pains
  • Acne
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dizziness
  • Eczema
  • Fatigue
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Itching
  • Fluid Retention
  • Headaches
  • Hyperactivity
  • Migraine
  • Nausea
  • Rashes
  • Rhinitis
  • Sinusitis
  • Stomach Cramps
  • Tension
  • Tiredness
  • Urticaria
  • Weight loss/Weight Gain
  • Wheezing

Symptoms of food intolerance can take up to 72 hours to appear after eating the trigger food or group of foods.

On average people who suffer from food intolerances usually have between 4 and 8 trigger foods.

Many people suffer for years, having formed a coping mechanism to deal with the symptoms but being unable to enjoy a normal work and home life. Many people don’t realise that there are easy steps to take that could resolve their condition.

Using Food intolerance tests like these is another way of extending and optimising your health and wellbeing.

What are the effects if food intolerances are left untreated?

If food intolerances are left unatreated it compromises the immune system. The consequences are:

Infection and Inflammation.    

A compromised immune system is easily infected. Serial infections like colds, flu and mouth ulcers indicate food intolerance.

When you consume a food that you are intolerant to your immune system sends out the antibody defence, (the natural immune response) and the inflammation begins.

  • Inflammation at the joints causes stiffness and arthritis
  • Inflammation in the lungs or nasal passages causes respiratory congestion, asthma and chronic cough
  • Inflammation in the membranes of the brain causes headache and migraine
  • Inflammation in the nervous system causes neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis, epilepsy
  • Inflammation at the skin can cause hives, eczema and psoriasis

Chronic inflamation in the body is the root cause for developing:

  • Inflammatory conditions like the ones mentioned above
  • Autoimmune diseases like Rheumatoid arthritis, type I diabetes, psoriasis, alopecia, lupus, thyroid disease (Hashimoto’s, Graves’), Addison's disease, pernicious anemia, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, vitiligo, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and others.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Skin conditions including: acne, eczema, urticaria (hives)
  • Food allergies & intolerances
  • Arthritis, joint pain
  • Autism
  • Multiple food/chemical sensitivities
  • Memory problems
  • Migraines
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Feeling toxic

Food allergies and intolerances are one of the major causes of Leaky Gut Syndrome. 

   A key part of relieving the symptoms of common food allergies or food intolerances is identifying the foods responsible for the distress by testing.

If you have food intolerances I can create a healing protocol for you so that the trigger foods are removed from your diet and are replaced with other foods that taste great and can cover all your nutritional needs.

With a change in the diet and a targeted nutritional support food intolerances can be overcomed and foods can be reintroduced in the diet.