It’s a known fact among nutritionists and functional medicine practitioners that the foods you consume on a daily basis can have a far reaching effect on your health and the worst part is you might not even realize it.
Most people have heard about food allergies, you know the ones where someone can be so allergic to peanuts or shellfish that if they eat even a spec of that food they can swell up and be put in a life threatening situation.
Food intolerance hhhhmmm not so much. So I am going to explain the difference between food allergies and food intolerances as it’s very important to understand how and why they are different.
Let’s begin with food allergies.
Around 2% of the world adult population is affected by food allergies, it is typically with them for life and even a tiny amount of the food can cause an allergic reaction.
There is an antibody that is involved in this allergic reaction and the name of it is the IgE antibody
(antibody’s are a protein molecule that can be found in the blood and is intended to attack bacteria, viruses and transplanted organs.)
The way I like to remember the IgE antibody is to correlate the word EMERGENCY with the letter E.
Symptoms can be instant and potentially life threatening. Therefore food allergies are best dealt with by a medical doctor.
Food intolerance are much more common affecting about 45% of the population, wow that is a lot of people wandering around there blissfully unaware that they could have a food intolerance.
The reason being that they are much harder to identify as reactions can take up to 72 hours to reveal themselves and multiple food and drink ingredients can be involved.
Some Common Symptoms of Food Intolerances
Loss or Gain
Identifying Problem Foods
Now in clinical nutrition there is a gold standard of finding out about problem foods and that is the elimination and challenge diet.
The cons of this are that it can take a few months to uncover the offenders and compliance can be poor as people have to remove foods for a specific amount of time.
On top of that it is difficult to determine the exact combination of foods causing the symptoms.
Some symptoms show up 2 hours later however some take up to 72 hours to manifest after consuming the reactive food.
So even with keeping a really strict food diary it can be difficult to find which foods are causing the problem.
This also has to be done under the guidance of a nutritionist or specialist in this area and it can be a prolonged process and be costly in the long run.
So Why Measure Food Specific IgG
So for food allergies we measure IgE and to test for food intolerances we measure IgG, why is this?
Well firstly it is used as a fast track strategy for identifying problem food(s).
Because the foods are known before hand it is a much stronger position to be starting an elimination diet.
Raised food-specific IgG antibody levels in blood show reactions to specific foods and you will know what you react to and therefore you know what to remove from your diet.
Plus IgG is plentiful in our blood and is a stable antibody.
So in a way it is like your “fingerprint” as your individual IgG results can be used as a shortcut to following an elimination diet that is right for you.
So What is Going On? Why are 45% of the population reacting to foods that their grandparents ate with no problem
Here Is a List of Some of The Possible Reasons
Intensive rearing of animals
Use of antibiotics
What is going on in a compromised Gut?
Some of The Various Factors Affecting Our Health
Let The Results Speak For Themselves
% Who Found Relief
Psycological i.e. anxiety, depression
Gastro-intestinal e.g. bloating, IBS, cramps
Others e.g. lethargy, general feeling of malaise
Neurological e.g. migraine, headaches
Dermatological e.g. eczema, acne, psoriasis
Respiratory e.g. sinusitis, rhinitus
Musculo-Skeletal e.g. joint pain, rheumatism
How long after altering their diet did people start to feel the benefits?
A Potential Solution
As a result of this collaborative process, 3 out of 4 people who took one of the Lorisian food intolerance tests, and tested positive, reported an improvement.
68% noticed this within 3 weeks*
91% of customers would recommend the Lorisian testing.
The Top 6 Reasons Why People Took The Food Intolerance Test
(York Test Data Capture 2015)
3% Joint Pain
Through a simple finger-prick blood test, we can measure food-specific IgG antibody reactions to 158 food and drink ingredients – identifying which ones may need to be reduced or removed from the diet.
As our bodies and digestive systems are unique, we each have a unique ability (or inability) to digest certain foods.
We refer to this as a ‘Food Fingerprint’. Our tests are a great way to help optimise an individual’s diet.
What Happens When I Take The Test?
You will visit me at my practice and we will do a very simple blood prick test. Alternatively I can post the test off to you in the mail and we will arrange for the courier to collect once you have completed it.
Is This Test For You, Is It Something That You Need?
I normally organise these types of tests if you have tried everything else, if your symptoms are not going away and we need to get to the bottom of something quickly.
If you have been contemplating doing an elimination diet and want to improve symptoms associated with food intolerance e.g. digestive, skin, fatigue, maximise your health, maximise your fitness, improve your wellbeing and find foods which could even be stopping your weight loss. Then this test would be for you.
What Happens After You Take The Test?
Ok, so once you have taken the test the important next steps are to talk to your health care practitioner who will guide you through the next steps.
Results are provided in a colour coded sheet divided into three columns.
Foods highlighted in red are your reaction foods and should be eliminated for three months.
Foods highlighted in yellow are your borderline foods and should be limited to two to three times per week.
Green are your no reaction foods and are fine to eat and no intolerance found at present.
Gut Healing Protocol The 5R's of Functional Medicine
Often used in practise is the gut healing protocol of the 4R's. Remove, repair, replace,and re-inoculate the gut. This can be explained in the following terms.
It' like having a wardrobe full of messy clothes (the wardrobe is your body and the messy clothes are the problem foods). We then take out the clothes that no longer suit you, repair the wardrobe, replace with foods that work for you and then we put the correct clothes back one at a time to see if they suit you.
Remove and Replace
It’s important to consider nutritional alternatives for ingredients. Here are some of the more complex ones.
Dietary Changes for Complex Foods
Wheat and gluten
Egg (white and yolk)
Cow’s Milk Reactions
Cows’ milk is found in cream, butter, margarine, ice cream, yoghurt, cheese and many processed foods. Cows’ milk shouldn’t be substituted with other animal milks in the first instance
IgG reactions are due to the proteins in the milk and not the milk sugar (lactose).
Because of this, lactose free milk will not be beneficial
Cow’s Milk Other Names
Cow’s Milk Alternatives
Milks - oat, rice, hemp, almond, hazelnut or coconut milks – rotate
Choose one with fortified calcium and vitamin D
Soya & rice – recommend organic first
Yoghurt – coconut
Nut butters – cashew, hazelnut, almond, pumpkin seed butter
Think calcium – increase leafy green veg
Think whey protein drinks – body builders
Wheat, Gluten and Gliadin Reactions
Gluten is found in wheat, barley and rye, look out for the following:-
Wheat (starch, bran and germ), couscous, emmer, farina, faro, gliadin, kamut, matzo, semolina, spelt, bulgur, durum.
Wheat and Gluten Alternatives
In order to maintain a balanced diet providing all the carbohydrates, fibre and vitamins needed you can supplement with:-
Amaranth, quinoa, rice noodles, chickpeas, rice, corn, buckwheat, millet, gram flour, potato flour etc
Yeast is a living fungus which is used as an active ingredient in many products including baked goods and alcoholic drinks.
If someone is intolerant to yeast they may also experience reactions to mushrooms, truffles, blue cheeses and malt. It is also a good idea to reduce intake of sugary foods which can fuel the growth of natural yeasts in the body (such as Candida).
Marmite, dried fruit, vinegar, gravy and stock cubes, fermented drinks, beers, wines and ciders.
Reactions can occur to the egg yolk, egg white or both. Hens’ eggs should be avoided as well as other eggs (duck, quail and goose etc) which have similar proteins.
There are many products which contain eggs and it is important to read labels.
Eggs can also be called albumin, globulin, lecithin (E322), egg derived lysozyme (E1105), ovomucoid, ovovitellin and livetin.
1 egg equates to about 15% of the daily requirement for protein and so eggs are an important part of the diet. Eggs are a source of vitamin A, B, D and E and also provide calcium, phosphorous and iron.
To ensure a balanced diet when omitting eggs include a varied mix of milk, meat, fish, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds.
Live natural yoghurt
Provide a mix of lactobacilli and bifodobacterium (particularly containing L.acidophilis & B.Bifidum
Most research been conducted on these strains. Other strains can be added for maximum effect e.g. L. Bulgaricus, B. Infantis. Especially needed if you have been on a course of antibiotics
As much of the damage caused to the gut lining by digestive imbalances is inflammatory, it's time to introduce natural anti-inflammatories.
Digestive enzymes – ensure foods are broken down
L-Glutamine – helps heal the cells of the digestive lining
Herbal teas Chamomile, lemon balm, ginger root, fennel, liquorice root – 3 x mugs per day.