In recent times more and more people have questioned as to whether a food intolerance or allergy could be contributing to their poor health. Symptoms including headaches, depression, itchy skin or hives, sinus problems, joint pain, IBS and digestive symptoms can all be triggered by food intolerance. Testing can can offer valuable information that can help to support health improvements when taken in context of the individual current health state. If you are thinking about food intolerance testing and wondering whether it could help you please read on….
Know the difference - Food allergies v food intolerance
Food allergies take place in the first instance in the immune system whereas food intolerances orginate in (but not exclusive too) the digestive system. Genuine food allergies are quite rare only occurring in about 2% for the population. In the case of allergies the immune system specifically immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies react to proteins in foods and cause histamines to be released. Histamines cause the “seen” allergy symptoms such as hives, swelling, diahorrea, respiratory complications and potentially life-threatening anaphylxis. Allergy symptoms are most often seen within 2 hours but sometimes within minutes of the coming into contact with the food.
Food intolerances are more common. Symptoms can take up to 72hours to appear; making identifying the offending foods more complex. A number of mechanisms can contribute to food intolerance these include a lack of digestive enzymes, chemical sensitivities such as the sensitivity to caffeine and immunoglobulin G (IgG) response seen when large food particles are able to pass unchecked in the bloodstream.
Testing methods I offer
- IgG food intolerance testing
For many people with food intolerances they have suffered from a wide range of symptoms for a number of years. Many people develop coping mechanism to deal with the symptoms but they will experience difficulties on a daily basis. Often if someone is experiencing an IgG reaction they will be reacting to between 4-8 foods.
The University of York carried out an independent survey in 2007 into IgG results and client experience. They found - 80% of people saw a moderate to high improvement in Gastro-intestinal symptoms such as IBS
- 78% saw a moderate to high improvement in neurological symptoms such as headache and migraine
- 81% saw a moderate to high improvement in psychological symptoms such as depression and panic attacks.
Elimination of IgG trigger foods has also been linked to weight reduction, improvements in BMI and body composition and improvements in emotional well-being.
IgG food intolerance testing works well if you are unsure of your trigger food or feel there could be a number of them.
In addition to food intolerance testing I offer Elimination & Challenge protocols. Elimination & Challenge is the “gold standard” of food intolerance testing because it will cover all mechanisms contributing to symptoms. Elimination & Challenge works well in cases where you suspect specific foods and there only a small number of foods (1-3 foods). Ideally you would only look to remove 1-3 foods as more then this can make the diet very restrictive and hard to stick too. To follow this protocol you need to strictly remove the food for a designated period of time and then follow a structured reintroduction in order to challenge the body.
Unsure what is your best option
Due to the complexities of food intolerance testing I offer a free 30 minute chat to help you identify the best option for you. Click here to contact me to make an appointment.