Allergy and food intolerance are on the rise, particularly in Australia which has one of the highest allergy prevalence rates in the world. The most common food related allergy offenders are milk, eggs, nuts, soy, shellfish and peanuts. However, the term ‘allergy’ is often used incorrectly when in most instances it should be referred to as an ‘intolerance' or ‘sensitivity'. What’s the difference?
A food ‘allergy’ is when your immune system reacts to something that is harmless to most other people. Somewhat like a ‘false alarm’. If you experience a ‘true’ food allergy (IgE antibody mediated) you most likely know about it because you will have an immediate reaction to the offending food and have probably experienced this since childhood. The symptoms are usually swelling, difficulty breathing, asthma, eczema or in more serious cases cause an anaphylactic shock. Because the allergic reaction is immediate, it's easy to identify the foods you are allergic to. ‘
More commonly however people are experiencing food intolerances and sensitivities (IgG antibody mediated) with the most common reactions arising from milk, eggs, beans, nuts and grains. Food sensitivities affect a much larger percentage of the population and these start to develop later on in life. Common conditions associated with IgG related food sensitivities and intolerances include:
Bloating and fluid retention
Irritable bowel syndrome - constipation & Diarrhea
Mood disorders such as depression and anxiety
Skin conditions such as eczema or rashes
Behavioural problems in children
Food Intolerance Testing is a test I run in my clinic to help clients identify if they have an intolerance and what foods they are reacting to. The great news about food sensitivities is many of them can be reversed. The biggest cause is related to impaired gut health and intestinal permeability, also known as leaky gut.
By knowing which foods you are reacting to and removing them from your diet, you reduce your symptoms, inflammation and most importantly can start the gut healing and repair process. Once you have repaired the gut, more often than not clients are able to reintroduce the offending foods without any problems.
If you are experiencing one or more of the signs and symptoms mentioned above, this might be due to a food intolerance and a food intolerance test might be a helpful tool in restoring and rebalancing your health.