Food Allergy Or Intolerance?

It is far from unusual nowadays to hear someone say ‘I can’t eat wheat’ or ‘I have problems if I eat dairy’, or one of a myriad other foodstuffs. Both food intolerance and food allergies are on the increase, and can have a major impact on your quality of life should you be unfortunate enough to suffer from them.

First, let’s get the semantics out of the way. Allergy produces an almost immediate response and can be life-threatening – airways swell, tissues swell, blood pressure drops and the person goes into what is called anaphylactic shock. Some of the more common trigger foods for this are nuts and seafood.

The severity of this response is due to an immune system malfunction which causes the body to produce antibodies against a certain type of food. Whenever this food is eaten, it immediately triggers a reaction. The more exposure to the allergen there is, the more severe the reaction becomes. So initially, eating a peanut may cause a low level reaction, but each subsequent time the reaction becomes more severe until it is life threatening without medical intervention. The only response to this is to completely avoid the trigger food.

Food intolerance produces much more low level symptoms, although they can severely impact on quality of life. Health problems can range from catarrh, sinus problems, digestive upset, rash or skin problems, fatigue and hives to hyperactivity, migraines, eczema, asthma and even joint pain. It is usually a delayed reaction, which means it is difficult to pinpoint to any one food easily.

As symptoms are often minor and wide ranging, and despite a battery of tests the doctor doesn’t find any physical disorder to explain them, the problem is often labeled psychosomatic.

Intolerance usually comes about in response to a number of factors including a weakened body system generally, due to poor nutritional status or ill health, or over-exposure to a foodstuff to chemical toxins in our environment. It is almost always commonly eaten foods which are the cause of the problem – the most common being wheat and milk in the West, although almost any food can produce intolerance.

The general pattern of food intolerance often begins with a problem with some commonly eaten food. As things progress, new sensitivities and new symptoms appear, to less commonly eaten foods. If the problem is left unaddressed as many as 20 or 30 foods may become problematic over the years.

At one time the best way of ascertaining an intolerance was by undertaking an elimination diet, where all commonly eaten foods are excluded for a period of time and then gradually re-introduced to see if they provoke a response. This can be time consuming and difficult to maintain.

Nowadays, many people are turning to a form of intolerance testing called electro-dermal testing, which has its roots in the theories of quantum physics. Everything has a defined energetic signal, and by forming a circuit and passing the energetic signals of a range of foodstuffs through the client’s own energy field it is easy to see what, if anything, is going to cause an imbalance. A report is produced, giving immediate results.

If any foods are found to be problematic, by excluding those foods for a few months from the diet, whilst also working to build up the underlying system weaknesses that have contributed to the intolerance, it is often possible to re-introduce the foods to the diet at a later stage. So, unlike food allergy, an intolerance or sensitivity to certain foods need not be a lifetime sentence!

Other factors which might be causing an intolerance reaction can be environmental. We are exposed to a wide range of pollens, chemicals and other xeno-toxins which can all cause problems in sensitive individuals. Indeed, our exposure to chemical toxins nowadays is huge, and it is believed this toxicity underlies many chronic health issues. So if you think your health issues might be down to an intolerance problem, you need to see a professional to check out your diet and nutritional status and ascertain what might be causing problems.