It’s pretty common to have a reaction to a certain food, but in most cases it’s an intolerance rather than a true allergy. Why does it matter? Although they may have similar symptoms, a food allergy can be more serious. | WORDS BY DR. MARIE-CLAIRE WESTGARTH
Food allergy is not the same as food intolerance, but the two are frequently confused. A classical food allergy (such as peanut or shellfish allergy) is usually characterised by an immediate and often severe reaction of the immune system to exposure to a specific food. Food allergy is quite rare with only about 2.5% of the population being diagnosed with the condition. The most common instances of food allergy are to peanuts, tree nuts (almonds and brazils), eggs, milk, fish and shellfish.
SO WHAT EXACTLY IS FOOD INTOLERANCE?
Although not life threatening like a food allergy, food intolerance should never be underestimated as its impact on sufferers can be significant, severely impacting on their ability to live normal healthy lives. The most frequent intolerance nowadays is Gluten. Food intolerance is extremely widespread and it is estimated that 45% of the population could be affected. Many people with food intolerance experience more than one symptom. Symptoms can often be vague and the root cause of the problem is food,and it is not always correctly diagnosed. Sufferers often complain of feeling bloated and being tired all the time.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THESE TWO DISORDERS?
• Usually sudden
• Small amount of food can trigger
• Happens every time you eat the food
• Can be life threatening
• Food irritates your stomach and your body can’t digest it properly
• Cramps, bloating
• Heart burn
• Irritability and nervousness
COMMON FOOD ALLERGIES AND INTOLERANCES:
• Tree nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds)
The most common food intolerance is lactose intolerance. It happens when people cannot digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and dairy. Another kind of intolerance is being sensitive to sulfites or other food additives. Sulfites can trigger asthma attacks in some people.
DO YOU SUFFER FROM ANY OF THE FOLLOWING?
Gastrointestinal Abdominal bloating, cramping, excessive wind, water retention, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, colic, vomiting, nausea
Central Nervous System Migraine, headache, impaired concentration, mood and behavioral changes, autism, depression, anxiety, fatigue, dizziness and hyperactivity.
Dermatological Urticaria, atopic dermatitis, eczema, acne, psoriasis, itchy skin and other rashes.
Musculoskelekal Arthritis, joint pain, aching muscles and weakness, fibromyalgia.
Respiratory Asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, wheezing
Others Weight gain, weight loss, glue ear, infertility
HOW CAN THE A FOOD INTOLERANCE TEST HELP
After you have taken the FoodPrint test you will receive a patient pack which contains your test results as well as detailed patient support guide.
With the information you obtain from your test results you can make some changes to your eating patterns. If your test shows any positive reations it means that you have an elevated antibody reaction to that particular food and the simple act of removing them from your diet can completely change your life and wellbeing.
Reactions for foods can be mild, moderate or strong, and it is advisable to eliminate those foods which have shown a moderate or strong reaction from the diet for 3 months.
The majority of people find their symptoms reduce within one to three months after cutting out the foods to which they have shown an antibody reaction to.
HOW TO BE TESTED The FoodPrint IgG antibody test is a simple finger prick test that can be done quickly at the clinic. It uses state-of-the-art technology which allows more than 220 foods to be rapidly analysed from just one drop of blood. There is no fasting required prior to the test.
For more information and to book your appointment please call: 800 ALLIED (255433)
Phone: 04 3328111 / 04 3329928
Fax: 04 3328222