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December 2010 newsletter news: Food allergy or intolerance?

Easily confused, food allergies are quite rare and trigger an immune response while food intolerances occur when the body is unable to process or digest a certain foods, usually being unable to break it down into its component parts for absorption into the bloodstream.

Common food intolerances include lactose (found in cow’s milk), alcohol, gluten, fish, shellfish, seafood, eggs, mushrooms and citrus fruits. Typical symptoms arising from food intolerance can range from diarrhoea, bloating, itchy skin, headaches, fatigue, constipation and water retention.

Basic advice is to try an ‘elimination diet’, but this can prove an arduous and even ineffective task (you’d be having both gluten and lactose if you had bowls of Weetbix and a cup of tea with milk for breakfast and a normal bread sandwich and white coffee at lunch). Taking our dairy or wheat from a normal diet can be surprisingly heard. Food intolerance tests have to date only been done under clinical conditions, but this food intolerance testing kit can be used at home.

The Food Detective has been developed to test for over 45 common foodstuffs and takes only 40 minutes to deliver comprehensive results using a testing tray to which you add a small sample of your blood which you have processed using the detector and developer fluids. Hey, you can do a blood test while you’re at it.

The fact that many supermarkets are alert to the presence of food intolerances and now have ‘free-from’ ranges, reflecting the levels of food intolerances across society. So it’s possible to get alternatives that mean you do not have to completely forego the likes of bread, pasta or cheese products. Some people have also found that once their intolerance is discovered and their diet altered, they can even lose weight too. Find out more at www.peak-nutrition.co.uk

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