What is food intolerance? What is food allergy?
A “food allergy” is usually an acute, often severe, occasionally life-threatening reaction to food. It occurs within seconds or minutes, sometimes to even the tiniest trace of food and can be picked up by measuring IgE antibodies.
It is often confused with the term “food intolerance”. this is usually a more chronic response with symptoms often slow to develop (sometimes days) and may last for weeks. The reaction can therefore be very difficult to pick up. However it also mediates an antibody response (lgG) which can also be measured.
The antibodies combine with the food to form complexes. The body should break these complexes down, however if the immune system is weak or overworked, they can migrate to different parts of the body and cause reactions. These are thought to be wide-ranging, for example:
- Gastrointestinal: abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, difficulty controlling weight, wind, water retention.
- Respiratory: sinusitis, asthma.
- Skin: eczema, dermatitis, rashes, itchy skin.
- Structural: joint pain, stiffness, weakness.
- Neurological: headaches, anxiety, tiredness, poor concentration, hyperactivity.
What does the test involve?
In order to see whether the body reacts to a certain food, a blood sample is taken. This is a simple pin-prick which provides the small amount needed. This sample is first diluted then applied to a plate containing various food protein samples. An antibody detector solution is applied and finally the developer solution. The whole process takes about 45 minutes at which stage the results are finalized
Which foods are tested?
- Cereals: corn, durum wheat, gluten, oats, rice, rye, wheat.
- Nuts and Beans: almond, brazil, cashew, cocoa bean, peanut, legume mix (pea, lentil, haricot), soya bean, walnut.
- Meats: beef, chicken, lamb, pork.
- Fish: freshwater mix (salmon, trout), shellfish mix (shrimp, prawn, crab, lobster, mussel), tuna, white fish mix (haddock, cod, plaice)
- Vegetables: broccoli, cabbage, carrot, celery, cucumber, leek, peppers (red, green, yellow), potato.
- Fruits: apple, blackcurrant, grapefruit, melon mix (cantaloupe, water melon), olive, orange & lemon, strawberry, tomato.
- Other: egg (whole), cow’s milk, garlic, ginger, mushroom, tea, yeast.
Results will be listed in a table which will be available to take away at the end of the session. You will be able to see if you have had any reaction to the foods, and whether it is a strong or mild reaction.
What if the test is positive for a certain food?
A strong reaction would suggest it is better to eliminate the food completely from the diet for at least 3 months. It may be possible to rotate or just cut down on foods with milder reactions.
Follow up sessions can be arranged if you would like help constructing a suitable dietary plan; these will last for half an hour and will be priced at £45.00.
The cost of the appointment will be £125.00 and you will need to allow 45-60mins.
If you have any concerns about the test or results seek medical advice.