Just in case you’re wondering, if you have a food intolerance (not the same as an allergy, see below), you don’t have to remove the food forever. But it’s important to know that it’s not enough to just take the food out and not do anything about it.
If you find you have a food intolerance, this is your body telling you your gut needs some TLC to restore, rebalance and heal. Without this vital step, you’re likely to end up (over time) with more intolerances and more symptoms
HAVE YOU GOT A FOOD INTOLERANCE?
Do you experience any of the following:
Weight that won’t shift
Itchy or overly waxy ears
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FOOD INTOLERANCE & ALLERGY
Food intolerance is different to a food allergy, which is actually pretty rare in the big scheme of things. However, both an intolerance and an allergy will provoke some kind of response from the immune system.
A true food allergy produces IgE antibodies in response to a food, drink or other substance the body mistakenly thinks is attacking it. The issue can be restricted to one area (your digestive system, skin and so on) or the whole body, where the immune system triggers widespread inflammation and swelling – anaphylaxis – which can be deadly. The reaction is often immediate.
If you think you have a food allergy, you can often get tested free of charge via your GP.
If you have a food allergy, you will need to avoid the food forever.
When you have a food intolerance, it can be vey difficult to spot the problem food because the reaction can happen quite some time after eating – hours or, in some cases, days after eating something your body doesn’t like. This makes it really hard to spot connections.
These food sensitivities cause the body to produce IgG antibodies, and raised levels to specific foods can cause low level inflammation through the body and a huge variety of symptoms. Signs of food intolerance vary greatly from one person to the next but some of them are listed above.
Now, I’m betting you identify with one or two of those in the list or, if you’re unlucky, even more. True? Do you want to do something about it?
WHO SHOULD TEST?
If you suspect you have a food intolerance, testing is the first step so you can actually start putting it right. However, if the symptoms don’t bother you enough to actually do anything about it (like temporarily remove offending foods and heal the gut), you will be wasting your money.
HOW TO TEST
This kind of test is a hair test. You send a hair sample back to the lab and get the results within 3-4 weeks
WHAT DO TESTS COST?
Various tests at different price points are available, with support to go through the results with a qualified Nutritional Therapist
George is the Nutritional Therapist at Cotswold Better Health. She qualified at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in 2006 and has been a practising Nutritionist ever since.