Many people these days think they have food allergies, but what they actually have is a food intolerance.
The difference between the two is that an allergy is a severe almost immediate reaction to food with symptoms that can range from difficulty breathing, rashes, swelling, runny nose and in some cases, a life- threatening anaphylactic shock
Intolerances on the other hand are characterised by a delayed response which will normally be a few hours but in some rare cases can take up to a week. Various studies have shown that allergies only affect about 3% of the population whilst food intolerances can affect 40% of the population at some time in their life.
A person can be intolerant to multiple foods and experience a number of symptoms such as:
Normally when someone has a food intolerance, this is down to the underlying poor health of the gut. The gut lining is only a few cells thick and is easily damaged; creating erosion that increases the permeability. Partially digested food particles are then able to pass through the barrier into the blood stream and are recognized by the immune system as foreign invaders. This process is know as leaky gut and can be the root cause of chronic inflammation and autoimmune responses in any organ or tissue.
A food intolerance test will allow a person to identify and eliminate key allergens, so that inflammation can be reduced and the gut lining and body can be given the opportunity to heal.
However, it is important to understand what has caused the damage to the gut lining in the first place. This could be due to poor diet, stress, excess alcohol, antibiotics and bacterial and viral infections such as E Coli, H Pyloria, SIBO, yeast and parasites. There are other tests around gut health that will help you determine this. If the underlying gut health issues are not resolved then a person may become intolerant to more foods and chronic health problems will persist.
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