How to test for food intolerance

By Amy Crawford

Many of you would know by now that I received some hugely disappointing news last week following a food intolerance test; news that now sees me removing a whole host of my VERY favourite foods (and I don't use the capital 'VERY' at all lightly!). These changes will substantially alter the recipes I produce day to day so I felt it worth sharing (in particular for those of you who have multiple intolerances and will some intolerance friendly recipes). I also thought you may be interested to learn more about the test itself.

But firstly, you may be wondering why I decided to undertake this food intolerance test at all. Essentially it has become pretty clear (to me and my nutritionist), that given the goodness I feed my body day to day, something isn't quite right. To help you understand, if I have just two days without a green juice or smoothie and loads of vegies (raw and cooked) my health will start sliding - that quickly. I have no choice but to eat as well as I do. Essentially my body is not efficiently absorbing the nutrients I eat so I need far more nutrients than the average person to stay healthy (I have a condition called Leaky Gut which means I need to be very, very kind to my digestive system). Anyway, it was decided that I should find out once and for all whether my seemingly healthy diet was the real issue in my constant battle for good health (and not simply my incessant need to 'DO' as I referred to in yesterday's adrenal fatigue post).

Well, didn't I get a shock because almost all the main offenders are foods I eat a lot, in some cases daily. Speaks volumes for moderation don't you think?!

The worst three offenders where cows milk, almonds and kidney beans - I am to avoid this group for life. The next offenders were wheat, eggs - white and yolk (NOOOO!!!) and cacao (NOOOOOO!!!!) - these I have to avoid for the next 3 months but hope to be able to re-incorporate slowly in time. The final group was extensive and includes corn, goat and sheep's milk, lentils, hazelnuts, peanuts, brazil nuts, strawberries, tea, nutmeg...the list goes on. These I can eat very occasionally. It's been one week now and I'm yet to feel the benefits however I was told that removing these foods from my system (whilst incorporating a range of new supplements to help heal my gut) could render me feeling a little worse before feeling better. That does seem to be the case right now.

Would you like to know once and for all, what you can and can't eat for the sake of your health?

As we travel through our days, meal to meal, we often believe we are doing the best by our bodies, consuming the 'right' foods. However it's actually quite hard to work out which foods are doing our particular bodies good and which ones may be doing more harm than good. Sometimes the foods we eat can literally kill us. Peanut allergies are an example.

The majority of adverse reactions to food however are rarely life threatening, but merely life altering. These adverse reactions can manifest as considerable discomfort in many chronic conditions and diseases. The most common food sensitivities occur with cow's milk, eggs, beans, nuts and cereals and it is common for people to live with minor adverse food reactions for years without ever suspecting certain foods may be involved in their ailments (I am a good case in point here). Could you too be part of this group?

Food sensitivity is often given a low priority in the investigation of disease, however common conditions where food sensitivity may play a significant role include:

  • Chronic fatigue and low energy
  • Recurring pain and discomfort
  • Bloating the fluid retention
  • Digestive upset, heartburn
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Migraine
  • Depression and mood swings
  • Asthma and breathing difficulties
  • Skin conditions
  • Behavioural problems in children

Last week, in consultation with my Nutritionist, I underwent the IgG Food Sensitivity test to once and for all understand those specific foods that were best suited to my body and those that were not, with surprising results as you know. The test entailed a blood test which subsequently provided me with a breakdown of the foods I am most adversely sensitive to, and to what degree I am intolerant to that particular food.

The IgG test is available via Healthscope in three different versions:

  • IgG 5 Panel Food Allergy Test (tests for cow's milk, wheat, white fish, soy and nut mix) - valued $100
  • IgG 40 Panel Food Allergy Test - valued at $260 - this test I believe will provide general areas of intolerance
  • IgG 93 Panel Food Allergy Test - valued at $385 - the most detailed results and the test I chose. Rather than tell you for example, that you have an intolerance to nuts, it'll tell you which specific nuts you are intolerant to, such that you won't then need to avoid ALL nuts. That was important to me, I didn't want to feel entirely robbed! 

I hope you have found this information helpful. If you are interested in having this testing completed, I recommend you carry out your own research and consult your Doctor or Health Practitioner to discuss its efficacy for you.  You'll need a referral for the tests.

I would dearly love to hear from others who have had this test and have come out the other side stronger and healthier than ever. Have you got a story to share? I'd love to know whether you had initial adverse reactions to removing those foods and in turn, how long it took you to feel a difference?

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May 14 2014

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