What are Food Intolerances and Allergies?
People react to foods in many different ways and I will broadly categorise them below:
- Allergies: This directly involves your immune system. Upon consuming a food your body instantly recognises the food and releases IgE antibodies and an inflammatory response. This results in hives, swelling, anaphalactic shock, breathing difficulties and can cause chronic eczema.
- Intolerances (or secondary allergies): This is usually the case where people have a damaged digestive system and food particles leak out into the blood. The food particles can be attacked by the immune system causing some problems, or the food particles in the case of gluten and casein for example can directly have a drug like effect on the body. The effects are often slower felt and can take some time to develop, often exasperated by multiple exposures within a 72hr window.
- Sensitivities: Sometimes people can be sensitive to the natural chemicals in foods (and artificial preservatives and flavourings) like phenols, salicytates, oxalates, histamine to name a few. These chemicals can cause a whole array of symptoms mentally and physically. Most often when you heal the digestive system, reactions to these foods disappear.
- Poor digestion: People can believe they have food allergies/intolerances/sensitivities as they suffer digestive symptoms after eating some foods. This is often caused by weak digestion and gut flora imbalance, so again rectifying this often means people can enjoy a normal diet.
Food Intolerance Testing
Identifying and eliminating your food intolerances can make a huge difference to your health if you suffer from any of these conditions. Ongoing food intolerances can deplete the immune system, making you more susceptible to chronic and acute illnesses, and leaving you deficient in key vitamins and minerals. Food intolerances can affect people of all ages including babies who can be intolerant to substances passed through their mother’s breast milk.
How do you test Food Intolerances?
The equipment I use is a DiETX electrodermal screening machine (similar to a VEGA Machine) which measures the body’s electrical resistance to the afore mentioned substances (picture below).
If a substance is causing a problem then it will effect the body’s electrical resistance. The test is completely painless and is best described as a ball point pen touching the tip of your finger upon a acupuncture point and the results are instant.
In clinical trials this method of testing proved to have a similar level of accuracy to RAST (blood tests) and skin prick tests, however it is painless, instant and non invasive making the testing process more comfortable for the client.
How long does an appointment last?
A first Consultation will take up to 1 hour 15 minutes which includes a full nutritional consultation (where I will tak information on you medical history) and the test itself. You will be provided with a list of your food sensitivities and vitamin & mineral deficiencies to take away with you. I believe that an essential part of the consultation is to provide nutritional advice and work with you to devise a suitable healing plan to help you regain your health and tolerate more foods in the future. We will also discuss the possibility of further diagnostic tests depending on your condition. Please click here for a list of tests and what conditions they can benefit.
I would then recommend further follow up 45 minute consultations and retests if necessary, where we will work through the stages of your healing plan and ensure you are coping with your dietary changes. I believe ongoing support is key to making lasting diet changes, and having an opportunity to discuss how your body and mind are coping with your change in diet is hugely important to ensure you are actually healing not just eliminating foods long term, which in itself can cause further problems.
Who can be tested?
This test is suitable for anyone other than those with a pacemaker and any aged child subject to them being on solid foods. I can also help breastfeeding mothers identify foods that might be causing their baby problems. If you are taking prescribed medication this will not interfere with the test.
Will I have to avoid certain foods forever?
After a period of time (this does differ from person to person) many people find they can reintroduce the re offending foods between 6 weeks and 6 months. Some individuals will need to avoid certain foods or food groups on a longer basis to allow deeper healing to take place. Some conditions like Coeliac may never be able to eat gluten based foods again. I will ensure you have as much knowledge as possible to find healthy and available alternatives to the foods you eliminate and continue to have a balanced diet during the elimination phase. This is vitally important as removing certain food groups can leave you deficient in the very nutrients you need to heal your body and digestive tract.