The terms ‘food intolerance’ and ‘food allergy’ are often confused and are two very different things. This article explains what you need to know about food intolerance, including how they develop and what testing options are available.
The difference between food allergy and food intolerance
Genuine food allergy is relatively rare, with only about 2% of the adult population being affected. In comparison around 45% of us suffer from food intolerance according to allergy UK. A food allergy is a swift response by the body’s immune system to a specific food. In this type of reaction, the body’s immune system mistakes a food for an ‘invader’. This results in a rapid allergic reaction often within minutes, but generally within a maximum of two hours.
Food intolerance is quite different to food allergy. Whilst the symptoms can severely impact the person’s quality of life they do not require immediate medical treatment. When foods and drinks are digested, the proteins within them are broken down into smaller fragments for easy absorption into the body. When a persons digestive system is compromised, larger fragments can pass through without breaking down. Sometimes the body reacts by attacking them using antibodies called Immunoglobulin G’s (IgG).
How to identify food intolerance
Food intolerance is a condition with a wide range of symptoms. This can include IBS, bloating, migraines, low mood, weight gain, fatigue and skin problems. It’s really difficult to identify which foods trigger reactions, because symptoms can take up to 72 hours to appear. Also, as most people are intolerant to more than one food. Therefore when they eliminate the suspected food culprit, their symptoms don’t go away completely. This can be disheartening.
The gold standard for identifying food intolerances is a medically supervised elimination diet. However the process takes quite some time and is difficult to stick to. As part of my Reinvent programme I guide you through this process. If you want to know right away which foods are triggering reactions in your body, so that you can start the process of healing, I recommend blood testing for all four IgG subtypes. I have partnered with Lorisian, a specialist healthcare laboratory, which offers 99.8% reproducibility.
How does testing work?
There are many food intolerance testing options available to the public now including hair analysis, kinesiology and pulse testing. The only tests that are evidence based and accurate are IgG blood tests. Please be aware of any bogus claims.
If you want to buy a Lorisian blood test, the process is really simple. Firstly, contact me to arrange the test and I will order your kit for you. Lorisian food intolerance tests use a very simple finger prick blood collection wand system. Because the finger prick system is so easy to use, the sample can be taken in your home, or I can do it for you in my clinic. The sample is then posted back to the Lorisian Laboratory (in a pre-paid envelope). The Lorisian laboratory analyse each sample for IgG antibody reactions to 100 food and drink ingredients.
What happens next?
Once we have your results, I work with you to eliminate any problem foods and replace them with alternatives. It is very important to avoid nutritional insufficiency during the elimination phase. The goal is to restore health in your digestive system so that the reaction foods can eventually be reintroduced without triggering any symptoms. It is important to understand that a food elimination diet is only one part of a gut healing programme. I will guide you through the process of restoring optimal digestive health. Read my IBS case-study to get a better understanding of how this works.
The Lorisian 100 can be purchased by current clients or Reinvent members for £199. If you are not a client yet, you can purchase the Lorisian 100 plus a 30 minute follow-up consultation via phone or Skype for £249. Just contact me here.