Food Intolerances

Eating a healthy and balanced diet is essential for optimal health. Whilst this seems to be an obvious self-explanatory statement, the reality of achieving a healthy diet that is right for a given person is sometimes more complex and challenging than this. The reality is that anyone can potentially become intolerant or allergic to the foods they eat, even if these foods are healthy. And the reality is that there are many potential ways by which foods can affect our health.

There are several potential types of food intolerances:

Type I – IgE mediated immediate reaction- this an allergic reaction, for example, a peanut, egg or a pollen allergy. They are often known to the patient as they can lead to immediate reactions, sometimes even an anaphylactic reaction. There is about 1-2% of the population that suffers from a Type I allergy. However, there are other milder forms of IgE Type I allergies, that do not cause classic allergic symptoms. They can lead to much more gradual and pervasive health and behavioural issues, for example, issues of attention, hyperactivity. These milder forms of Type I allergies are more common.

Type III – IgG mediated intolerance. This is a relatively common form of intolerance, affecting up to 40% of the population. These forms of delayed allergies play a role in chronic health diseases such as IBS, excessive weight gain or Autism/ ADHD to name but a few. They can be difficult to identify because the ingestion of the offending food does not immediately lead to an adverse response. In fact, there can sometimes be delays of several days for a noticeable adverse consequence.

Besides these immune-related intolerances, that are other ways in which foods can cause an intolerance.

A lactose intolerance is a genetic incapacity to metabolise lactose from the milk and certain milk products due to insufficient amounts of lactase, the enzyme that digests lactose. A lactose intolerance can be very common, especially in certain ethnic groups. The symptoms typically affect the digestive track, can include diarrhoea and bloating, but can also affect mood and attention.

A non-coeliac gluten sensitive (NCGS), with typical digestive (e.g. IBS) and extra-digestive symptoms including, fatigue, headaches, fibromyalgia, foggy brain, depression, anxiety.

There are also foods such as foods that are rich in FODMAP (Fermentable oligo, disaccharides, monosaccharides  and polyols, which are fermentable foods found in certain vegetables and fruits) which will contribute to SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth).

Understanding the source of a food intolerance can be a mind field, and it is often not possible to proceed using a food diary and systemic exclusion of each possible individual foods in turn.

In the first instance you may want to consider establishing whether you suffer from a food intolerance by ordering this test here:

Premium Food Intolerance Test (Yorktest): Comprehensive food and drink intolerance (IgG based) test to find out whether you have a sensitivity to over 200 food and drink ingredients.If you want to discuss your specific requirements do not hesitate to book a free 10 min call here.