What Are Food Intolerances?

October 10, 2011

What is a food intolerance?

Firstly, a food intolerance is not the same thing as a food allergy. While many allergies, such as peanut, egg and shellfish allergies lead to dramatic and dangerous reactions, food intolerances typically give you less severe, but more prolonged symptoms.

Around 45% of people are intolerant to a food or food additive. Most are unaware an intolerance exists.

Put simply, allergies are immune reactions to food proteins, while intolerances don’t involve the immune system at all. Intolerances are triggered by food chemicals which cause reactions by irritating nerve endings in different parts of the body. These food chemicals can be natural or artificial additives.

Intolerance to natural foods:

Natural chemicals that can upset sensitive people are found in many different foods. The usual suspects include:

• Salicylates: are a family of plant chemicals found naturally in many fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs and spices, jams, honey, yeast extracts, tea and coffee, juices, beer and wines. They are also present in flavourings (e.g. peppermint), perfumes, scented toiletries, eucalyptus oils, and some medications (Aspirin is a member of the salicylate family).

• Amines: come from protein breakdown or fermentation. Large amounts are present in cheese, chocolate, wines, beer, yeast extracts and fish products. They are also found in certain fruits and vegetables, e.g. bananas, avocados, tomatoes and broadbeans.

• Glutamate: is a building block of all proteins, and is found naturally in most foods. In its free form, not linked to protein, it enhances the flavour of food. This is why foods rich in natural glutamate are used in many meals, for example tomatoes, cheeses, mushrooms, stock cubes, sauces, meat extracts and yeast extracts. Pure monosodium glutamate (MSG) can also be used as an additive to increase the flavour of soups, sauces, Asian cooking and snack foods.

Sadly for us the foods most likely to cause problems are the tastiest ones, since they have the highest levels of natural chemicals.

Some common food intolerance reactions:

Symptoms triggered by food chemical intolerances vary from person to person. The commonest ones are:

• Recurrent hives and swellings.

• Headaches.

• Sinus trouble.

• Mouth ulcers.

• Nausea.

• Stomach pains and bowel irritation.

• Some people feel vaguely unwell, with flu-like aches and pains, or get unusually tired, run-down or moody, often for no apparent reason.

• Children can become irritable and restless, and behavioural problems can be aggravated in those with nervous system disorders such as ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

Monique, Shesaid Publisher Says:

I have always had a big of “dodgy tummy” and have spent most of my life avoiding spicy foods and certain foods that I knew did not agree with me but when I read about the Imupro 300 test I thought it might be time to find out what is really going on with my digestive system and stop guessing what foods really did agree or disagree with me.

The quick and easy blood test can be done at most local pathology clinics and then small sample is sent to Imupro’s offices in Sydney where they then send the blood off to be tested in Germany. The 10 days later “Voila” my results were sent back to me. I was super happy to see that I am not food intolerant to many things but I do have a slightly elevated level of IgG in Cereals – Gluten/Wheat, Fish/Meat. This would indicate I do have slight intolerances to some gluten products or some fish/meat products.
Also when I looked deeper into my report I saw that I also have some mild intolerance levels are starting to build up to all of the Gluten grains, as well as a mild intolerance to Pistachio Nuts and Crayfish.

So all in all not a bad result but most of all it did clear up for me why I do feel sluggish and bloated after bread and pasta etc. I have adapted my diet and after 4 weeks can say I feeling so much better but do notice if I fall off the wagon and indulge my love of white bread! Staying healthy is so much easier when you have all the information at your fingers tips and this is the easiest and advanced form of testing I could find.

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