Food Intolerances & Allergies
What’s the difference between Food Allergies and Food Intolerances?
Food Allergies involve the immune system, Food Intolerances generally do not.
Food allergies involve the immune system in different ways. Symptoms vary but can include stomach symptoms (more typical in babies) or a combination of:
- Oral tingling
- Difficulty breathing
DO YOU NEED A FOOD ALLERGY TEST?
Depending on symptoms and history, I will usually write to your GP requesting a lab form for a skin prick or RAST test. I don’t conduct my own tests, but rather work alongside other medical professionals to test, diagnose and help manage food allergies in children and adults.
TESTING FOR FOOD ALLERGIES
The type of suspected food allergy determines the tests I will recommend. ASCIA (Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy) recognise that skin prick tests, RAST tests (blood tests) and skin patch tests (carried out by an immunologist) are the only valid tests to determine a client’s food allergy.
Other tests, such as kinesiology and hair analysis, are not recognised as being accurate. They can vary significantly depending on where, when and how the test is performed, and who interprets the results
Occasionally, food intolerances involve the immune system and can result in the release of histamines. However, the immune system is generally not implicated in food intolerances, as there will be other mechanisms involved. Food intolerance symptoms vary greatly, depending on what mechanisms are involved, and sometimes food intolerance symptoms will mimic those of food allergies.
Some people figure out for themselves which foods they’re intolerant to. However, they’re often not able to work out the whole picture. People may say things like, “I feel food is involved, but the pattern isn’t clear.”
If you suffer from any of these symptoms you may have a food intolerance
- Mood swings
- Fuzzy feeling in the head
- Issues with balance
- Stomach pains
- Joint pains
DIAGNOSING FOOD INTOLERANCES
Some food intolerances are dose related and symptoms are only experienced when a personal threshold for that particular food chemical is reached. Previously, food additives and colourings received a lot of publicity for being the culprits. The reality, however, is that naturally occurring chemical substances in food can be just as much to blame for food intolerances.
Some substances in foods need time to work themselves out of the body’s system before improvement in symptoms will occur. Often, someone will need to take a break from certain foods to give their body a chance to heal, before slowly reintroducing the food to determine the individual’s tolerance level. On average, this break will be for about three weeks.
Using current scientific research in conjunction with client’s symptoms, I limit or exclude certain foods in my client’s diets. Once the triggers are known, they can usually be managed by the client themselves. Many clients have complete resolution of their symptoms through dietary management of their food intolerances.
Working together in 1 on 1 consultations, I can help you to work through your food allergy or food intolerance to reduce or remove your symptoms. Based on the results of tests or food elimination, we can create a plan that allows you to manage your diet for the healthiest you.
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