Food Intolerance and Food Allergy Testing
What is food intolerance?
Food intolerance is a digestive system response rather than an immune system response. It occurs when something in food irritates a person's digestive system or when a person is unable to properly digest, or break down, the food. Intolerance to lactose, which is found in milk and other dairy products, is the most common food intolerance.
Reactions are usually delayed and symptoms may take several days to appear. You can be intolerant to several different food groups at the same time. Sufferers can experience multiple symptoms, from migraine to bloating, diarrhea, lethargy and a generally feeling un well.
What are the food intolerance presentations?
Presentations of food intolerance include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach upset
- Gas, cramps or bloating
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Pre-Menstrual Tension Syndrome (PMS)
- Pelvic Pain
- Irritability or nervousness
- Fatigue or Hyperactivity
- Urticaria/Hives/Itchy skin
- Joint Pain/Arthritis
- Muscle Pain
What is a food allergy?
A food allergy is an immune system response. It is caused when the body mistakes an ingredient in food — usually a protein — as harmful and creates a defense system (antibodies) to fight it. An allergic reaction occurs when the antibodies are battling an "invading" food protein. The most common food allergies are shellfish, nuts, fish, eggs, peanuts and milk.
What are the symptoms of a food allergy?
Symptoms of a food allergy can range from mild to severe, and the amount of food necessary to trigger a reaction varies from person to person. Symptoms of a food allergy may include:
- Rash or hives
- Cramping stomach pain
- Itchy skin
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Swelling of the airways to the lungs
Anaphylaxis is a very serious and potentially fatal allergic reaction that involves a sudden drop in blood pressure, loss of consciousness and body system failure.