Food Intolerances Information Page
The rise of food sensitivities or intolerances leading to health symptoms is a growing concern. Post-pandemic we are seeing a big inflammatory picture emerge leading to an explosion in food sensitivities. But you don't have to suffer in silence. Nutrition and lifestyle changes can offer a whole host of solutions in how to address these food reactions. And I speak from personal experience, as it was my own food intolerances that led to me becoming a nutritionist and enabled me to find a solution for my health symptoms. Now, I guide others in finding their solutions.
Food Allergies, Sensitivities & Intolerances
Food intolerances or sensitivities are not the same as a food allergy, although some of the symptoms may be similar. Sometimes, it can be very difficult to differentiate between them. The terminology relating to food reactions can be very confusing. Generally speaking, a food intolerance relates to an inability to breakdown food in the gastrointestinal tract and is more reflective of the state of the digestive tract. It can involve impaired digestion, malabsorption, enzyme deficiency and gut microflora imbalance. But there can also be wider issues that contribute to similar symptomology such as reactions to toxic byproducts of gut microbes (bacteria, parasites, yeast, fungus, mould) or the chemical effects of caffeine, food additives, heavy metals and medications. Food sensitivities occur when there is an excess build-up of IgG antibody-food complexes which the body is not able to clear. Whereas, a food allergy occurs where the body has been sensitised to a certain food and produces an immediate immune response on ingestion of that food.
Food allergy reactions tend to be immediate or within minutes of consuming a food and can be acute and severe or even life-threatening in the case of anaphylaxis. But the prevalence of these types of food allergies is very low at around 2-5% of the population. The majority of food reactions fall into the less-severe food sensitivity and food intolerance categories. However, if you do suspect that you have or had a severe reaction to certain foods, it would be advisable to consult your GP to test for a food allergy.
Food sensitivity and intolerance symptoms tend to be less severe but can become chronic. They can start within 15 minutes but are often delayed by up to 3-4 days and can last for hours or longer. This delayed reaction makes it difficult to pinpoint the offending food and can often involve more than one food, which is reflective of the terrain of the digestive tract. To complicate things further, foods can cross-react with non-foods such as pollen, dust mites, animals or even your own body tissues. This can be because of a similar molecular structure. Symptoms most often involve the digestive system, skin or respiratory system but can also involve other symptoms if the gut barrier becomes impaired.
Skin - rashes (urticaria)
Swellings - eyes, lips, mouth, face, throat, tongue, voice box
Constriction - throat, breathing
Digestive - nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal bloating
Cardiovascular - dizziness, low BP
Food Sensitivities & Intolerances
Digestive - abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation, acid reflux
Skin - itching, rashes, hives, redness, swelling, scaling, thickening
Joints/Muscles - pain, stiffness, swelling
Respiratory - runny or blocked nose, food-induced breathing changes
Systemic - sweating, fever, chills, weakness, fatigue
Brain - brain fog, lack of concentration, memory disturbances, behavioural problems, reduced emotional tolerance
Top Common Problematic Foods
Problematic foods tend to be those foods that you are eating frequently. Protein foods can be especially difficult to breakdown. However, you can potentially react to any food, so it can be a very individual response. As a general rule of thumb, the foods listed below tend to be the most common problematic foods found on food intolerance testing and are very reflective of those foods being staples of the UK and Western diets.
Click on the arrow in the boxes below for further information on how to handle these specific food intolerances.
Milk, cheese, butter, yoghurt, chocolate
Bread, pastries, peanuts, beer, wine, cider, condiments
Coffee, tea, chocolate, energy drinks
Bread, pasta, noodles, breakfast cereals
Fermented foods, cheese, yoghurt, processed meats
Specific grains - wheat, rye, barley, oats
Dried fruit, packaged or processed foods, wine, beer
Food Elimination Diet
Food intolerances and sensitivities are often temporary. Many such foods can often be brought back into the diet after undergoing an elimination and re-introduction diet. This is considered the gold standard when it comes to addressing food reactions. It is much easier to do if you already know or suspect which foods are problematic. However, it can become quite difficult to implement if you don't know which foods are problematic and this can lead to a very restrictive diet and potential nutrient deficiencies. If you do not know which foods are problematic, consider taking an IgG food intolerance test. A key aspect of this process is to work on improving your digestion and gut health during the elimination phase to better tolerate the problem foods on re-introduction.
Food Intolerance & Sensitivity Testing
Testing for food intolerances or sensitivities can be one of the fastest ways to discover foods that may be causing problems for you. Many food reactions can go undetected or unsuspected because it can take 3-4 days before a symptom can manifest after eating a problematic food. This is because it takes 3-5 days for food to transit your digestive tract. Reactions in these cases are usually to food that is undigested or partially undigested lower down the digestive tract. Despite scientific controversy surrounding the effectiveness of IgG antibody tests, we are now seeing emerging evidence in the literature supporting the use of these tests and corroborating the thousands of reported anecdotal benefits of such tests.
The controversy surrounds the production of IgG antibodies. These are normally released alongside meals as a natural part of the body's defence mechanisms against toxins in foods coming into the digestive tract. The IgG antibodies complex with potential harmful substances and then this complex will be cleared from the body by the liver. However, problems arise when there is an excess of these complexes and the body is not able to clear them effectively. Those that are not cleared can be deposited in the tissues causing health symptoms. Food IgG antibody tests can detect and identify these elevated antibody levels in the blood. And this is what these types of IgG food intolerance tests are measuring.
YorkTest Food Intolerance Test
There are many food intolerances tests on the market but like any product, some are better than others. YorkTest is my preferred test as it has over 40 years of diagnostic testing experience in this area, during which time they have honed their product. It also tests for all 4 sub-types of IgG antibodies - not all tests do this - making the YorkTest product a more accurate diagnostic tool. The test is a simple home test kit finger prick blood draw. Finger prick blood draws are not appropriate for all blood tests for several reasons. However, YorkTest attests to the stability of the IgG molecule for such a test and have repeatedly shown reproducible results in scientific trials. Such is my confidence in this product, that I now also help advise YorkTest customers with their specific test results, as well as clients of Boundless Energy.
Direct From YorkTest Website
To order a test directly from YorkTest website, click on the link and choose the Premium Food Intolerance Test. This includes a 30 minutes telephone consultation with a nutritionist who can help you to implement your test results. As I also act as a nutrition consultant for YorkTest, you can specifically ask the Customer Service Team to book your call with me, otherwise you will be allocated another nutritionist.
Cost: £139. Use discount code: PENERGY for £5 discount.
Via Boundless Energy
FOR UK BASED CUSTOMERS ONLY
I can also offer a further discounted rate for the YorkTest Premium Food Intolerance Test if you order through Boundless Energy. This does NOT include a 30 minutes telephone consultation as part of the test price.
This option is suitable for those clients of Boundless Energy who will automatically receive advice on their test results as part of their programmes or for those who do not want or require a nutrition consultation to help with their test results.
If you wish to take advantage of this discount, complete your details in the form to the right and make payment via PayPal. Upon receipt of your details and payment, Boundless Energy will order the test and arrange for it to be sent directly to you.
DISCOUNTED COST: £109 - saving of £30
Price does NOT include the standard YorkTest 30 minutes telephone consultation
This section is still under construction and will be developed over time.
Additional Help For Common Symptoms
For more information on how to address specific symptoms related to food intolerances, click on the arrow in the boxes below for the relevant symptom(s).
Wider Issues - Pathogens, Mould & Environmental Sensitivities
The conditions of your digestive tract play a large role in food intolerances. Think gut terrain as a key determinator. Factors that affect the gut terrain can have a significant impact on your ability to digest and tolerate foods. These include reduced or lack of certain digestive enzymes; chemical effects from heavy metals, food additives and medications; as well as pathogens (such as parasites, bacteria, worms, fungi, yeast, mould). Gut pathogens are surprisingly common and often go unrecognised. Yet they can strongly mimic food intolerance symptoms. Mould is one such pathogen that has exploded since the pandemic. If you are experiencing any yeast/fungal symptoms such as fungal nails or skin, folliculitis or oral/vaginal thrush or if your food intolerance test has revealed high IgG levels for yeast, then you may have an underlying mould problem. Take the Mould Screening Questionnaire below to see if this might be a problem for you.
Mould Screening Questionnaire
Enter your details below and click the link to take the free screening questionnaire devised by Dr Jill Crista (world-leading expert in mould sickness). This will provide a potential indication of whether mould toxicity is contributing to your symptoms.
Do You Need More Help?
It's not always straight-forward addressing food intolerances, especially if there is a wider issue involved. Expert guidance can often be required for better and faster resolution. If you require further help, book a free 30 minutes telephone Discovery Call from my online booking system to discuss how I can help you. Calls outside of the UK will be via Zoom. Click on the button below to book your call.