Could You Benefit from Food Intolerance Testing?

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Could You Benefit from Food Intolerance Testing?

Recent studies have shown that around 15-20% of all adults have some form of food intolerance or sensitivityThere is a difference between food intolerance and food allergies. Could you benefit from food intolerance testing?

What is Food Intolerance?

Food intolerance is a broad term that is used to describe a fairly wide range of adverse reactions to certain foods. It usually creates an inability to digest that particular food, leading to a range of mostly gastro-intestinal related symptoms such as:

  • Stomach pain
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Diarrhoea
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Rashes
  • Hives
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Sometimes food intolerances can be easily identified.

Jenny, for example, found that despite her lifelong love of bananas, once she hit her thirties they did not love her back! After experiencing excruciating stomach cramps following a banana split dessert, she began to wonder … and after a little more trial and error, it was confirmed. Every time banana was an included ingredient, whether it be in fruit juice or hummingbird cake, the symptoms hit hard and fast.

Other times the symptoms may seem quite vague or tend to manifest over a considerable period of time and don’t seem to be connected to anything in particular.

Take John, who found his weight ballooning to nearly 140kg and was staring down a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes.  John suffered from poor sleep and extreme fatigue which saw him eating a diet full of starchy carbs and sugars. What John didn’t know was that he was intolerant to gluten; the food he ate was inflaming the lining of the gut and causing multiple chronic health issues.

So, what should you do if you suspect you have an intolerance or sensitivity?

  1. Start a food diary – keep track of the foods you are consuming, when you experience symptoms and how they materialise.
  2. You could try cutting out some of the more common allergens – things like dairy, eggs, gluten and soy.
  3. Then after a couple of weeks, start adding them back into your diet and see if one of those foods causes the symptoms.
  4. If you still have problems, then your best bet is to see your local naturopath for food intolerance testing and follow-up treatment. They can also help you ensure your diet includes the appropriate nutrients even if you do have to eliminate some items from your menu.

Food Allergy or Food Intolerance?

Remember, food intolerance while distressing and uncomfortable, is not life-threatening.

A food allergy, on the other hand, might be. A food allergy occurs when your immune system reacts to certain proteins in food, causing immediate and potentially severe symptoms like hives or difficulty breathing.

A food intolerance, on the other hand, is when your body has trouble digesting or processing certain components of food, leading to symptoms like bloating or stomach cramps, which may appear hours or days later.

While both can cause discomfort, allergies can be life-threatening and require strict avoidance of the food, while intolerances may be managed by limiting or modifying the intake of the problematic component.

Featured image by Pexels

Janet Camilleri is an Australian copywriter and blogger. No matter what she writes, or who she is writing for, Janet aims to amuse, inspire or inform – and sometimes, all three!

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