Thinking of taking a Food Intolerance test? 4 Things to consider.
Not all tests are created equally.
Because food intolerance testing is not available on the NHS, it’s difficult to know where to begin when considering taking a food intolerance test from an independent provider.
As we have become more heath conscious, the food intolerance testing market has grown to meet demand, offering a variety of testing options and it’s important to do your research.
Many types of testing available, such as kinesiology and vega actually have no basis in science and are not proven to be effective. It’s a good idea to look for companies who offer testing methods backed by scientific studies and research, are rated highly by their customers and offer good nutritional aftercare to help support you in your dietary changes.
Allergies and Intolerances are not the same thing
The words ‘allergy’ and ‘intolerance’ are often used interchangeably but they are, in fact, very different things. An allergy (classed as an IgE reaction) is usually instantaneous after contact with the ingredient. The symptoms are often severe and can be life threatening – think of the typical peanut allergy in children.
Intolerance (defined as an IgG reaction) is delayed and far less serious. Although not life threatening, sufferers can still experience a range of problems from IBS and bloating to migraine, eczema and psoriasis. The trouble with intolerances is that, unlike in allergy, the reaction can take up to 72 hours to occur, making it very difficult to pinpoint the problem food.
This is where testing comes in. Rather than working through each and every food, eliminating it for a few weeks, monitoring how you feel, reintroducing it, monitoring and then moving on to the next food, with a fast and accurate test, you can find out in a matter of days exactly which foods you need to remove from your diet, replacing them with nutritious alternatives.
You might not get the result you’re expecting
It’s tempting to assume that we already know what our problem foods are by guesswork. Dairy often get the blame and it’s also become fashionable to ‘go gluten free’.
In reality we are all unique. An ingredient which causes a problem for one person can be completely fine for another. People are often surprised to find that rather than dairy or bread, they are actually reacting to the proteins in tuna, tomatoes or coffee.
It’s also worth noting that frequently there isn’t just one single problem food. Typically people experience reactions to a number of ingredients in their diet, although the severity can vary.
You won’t have to do without
People often put off getting to the bottom of their intolerances because they have the sneaky suspicion they will have to wave goodbye to their favourite foods.
Whilst your results may confirm your suspicions, there are always ways to continue enjoying the foods and flavours you love.
The Free From market is continuing to grow, offering a wider selection of intolerance friendly treats and store cupboard staples than ever before, meaning its never been easier to remove and replace problem foods and feel better.
Choosing a test that comes with free support and guidance from a BANT registered Nutritional Therapist is a good way to ensure that you get all the advice you need for maintaining a varied and tasty diet once you’ve received your results.