For some people, eating certain foods or additives can lead to a bad physical reaction. This food- hypersensitivity can involve the immune system (the body’s defence against attack) and is called a food allergy. If it doesn’t involve your immune system, the reaction is called food intolerance.
Sometimes it can be difficult to identify the foods which may be causing a reaction. It is my job to work with you to identify what could be causing you problems. You may have a good idea of what it is, and need advice about how to manage you food allergy/intolerance. Or, you may need help to identify what foods are causing you the issues.
Common food allergies include fish, shellfish, dairy, soya, wheat, peanuts and tree nuts such as almonds, brazils, cashews and walnuts. Generally food allergies are more common among young children than they are in adults, though many do outgrow them before they reach their teenage years. Though incidences are quite rare, some adults may develop a food allergy to something they were previously able to eat.
Although not life threatening, it should never be underestimated how big an impact food intolerance has on the lives of sufferers. It is possible that food intolerances can cause a plethora of symptoms such as migraines, joint problems, diarrhoea, constipation, bloating etc. Common food intolerances include dairy, lactose, wheat, gluten, as well as naturally occuring food chemicals such as salicylates, amines.
Food intolerances can cause or contribute to a long list of health problems
The only tests that stand up to scientific scrutiny are IgE blood testing (also known as RAST test) and skin prick testing. Others, such as IgG, vega, hair analysis and kinesiology are not reliable methods in the diagnosis of genuine allergy.
Intolerances can not be diagnosed using allergy testing as they do not involve the immune system. Some practitioners use IgG blood tests, however, the data is not scientifically robust and allergy specialists to not consider results to be reliable.
The Gold Standard, and only way, to ascertain which foods cause adverse reactions, is by accurately recording in a diary the times and duration of all symptoms, illness or stress, as well as everything you eat and drink.
Allergy UK says:
“Ideally, the diary should be analysed by a registered dietitian, as they will be able to advise you on alternative foods so that you still are able to follow a healthy well balanced diet. It is also helpful to keep any food packaging for examination by the healthcare professional, as manufactured food contains many ingredients and the packaging alongside the food diary may help to pinpoint the offending food.”
If you need advice about an allergy or intolerance, call me for a free 15 minute consultation. You can then decide if you would like a more in depth consultation.