It’s hard to know if you or your kids have a food intolerance. Symptoms are similar to allergies*, but are often delayed so it’s hard to pinpoint the offending foods. They are also non-specific (from headaches to tummy pain, bad moods and fatigue) and vary widely from person to person. So how do you tell?
There are two main ways – elimination diets and IgG testing – and often a combination of the two works best.
Elimination diets are very effective but time consuming and you need to be disciplined. A strict diet is followed with low-moderate chemical foods, then foods are added back one group at a time and symptoms are recorded in a food diary. This gives you a good indication of what groups of food chemicals, such as salicylates, amines or glutamates might be causing you problems.
However, there may be other foods you react to, such as gluten, dairy, soy or something less common, and so an IgG food intolerance test may be beneficial. It is a quick way to see what foods may be causing a reaction, but won’t show up chemical sensitivities (eg. salicylates). It is a simple finger-prick blood test that we can conduct for you in clinic.
Kinesiology is another way to ‘ask the body’ what foods are causing a reaction, based on muscle testing. This can be done in clinic too, and saves having to prick little fingers when testing kids.
Regardless of testing method, you will need to cut out the indicated foods for a period while you work on gut health with the support of a nutritionist who understands intolerances. Contact me for an appointment and I can help you navigate through all the information, find appropriate substitutions for the foods you need to avoid, heal your gut and ensure that nutrition is maintained for optimal health.
*if you suspect allergies, which are an IgE immune reaction and can be life-threatening, please see your doctor and get a referral to an allergy clinic for a skin prick test and specific advice.