Intolerance Lab

Your Food Intolerance Journey

Welcome to the food intolerance blog, we are thrilled to have you here. Chances are you’ve landed here because you suspect either yourself or someone you love has an undiagnosed food intolerance. This post is going to take you on a journey from suspected food intolerance, right through to diagnoses and the steps that follow once you’ve received your results. You’ll get to read some testimonials on how people’s lives have been changed through this testing, and some tips on how to manage your intolerances once you know what they are. We’ve even included some ideas on what foods you can use in replace of some of the most common intolerance foods and some easy recipes that are allergy-friendly. Let’s begin the journey with a chat about how food intolerances manifest, and some ways in which you can tell that your symptoms may be caused by food intolerances.

So how does a food intolerance manifest in the body?

This is a great place to start, but it can also be a confusing one. The truth is that food intolerances manifest differently for each individual person, so there are no hard and fast rules. This is why food intolerances are often misdiagnosed as other conditions. Some of the most common food intolerance symptoms include digestive upsets such as:

  • Acid reflux/heartburn
  • Belching
  • Flatulence
  • Bloating
  • Indigestion
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
However, your food intolerances can also manifest into symptoms that appear to have nothing to do with your digestive system, and these can include:
  • Migraines & headaches
  • Joint pains
  • Arthritis
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Hives
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Asthma
  • Fatigue
  • Chronic Post nasal drip & hay fever-type symptoms
  • Adult acne
  • Weak immunity with frequent infections

This isn’t an exhaustive list of symptoms by any means, but it gives you an idea of how diverse food intolerance reactions can be.

To give you a picture of someone with food intolerance reactions, they may feel bloated soon after eating a meal with foods they are intolerant to, have wind or belching, and potentially develop some eczema or postnasal drip the following day. Often they feel tired ‘for no reason’ as well, particularly after meals; and they may be that person who picks up every cold or bug going around. All of these symptoms are related to what is going on in the body and the digestive system and show you that undiagnosed food intolerances certainly have potent effects on the body.

If you have had many different tests with your doctor but nothing to show for it and you are sick&tired of always feeling unwell, it’s worth your while considering food intolerance testing. Getting tested for food intolerances can be life-changing, as shown here by William’s Testimonial:

I took a food intolerance and mineral and vitamin deficiency test a couple of months ago as I was suffering from severe IBS symptoms.  The symptoms were so severe that I had to rely heavily on painkillers to relieve the pain. I was on the sick from work for months and had been to see the Occupational Health and Wellness Services who were unable to help me.

My results from this test showed I had a strong sensitivity to Gluten, Garlic, Onion and Avocado . Also, a mild sensitivity to brown sugar came up. Iimmediately avoided these foods and cut out certain tinned foods I was eating as instructed by the nutrition consultant and within 1 week I was back at work and a completely different person.
No cramps, no bloating, no rushing to the toilet literally no issues. 

What causes food intolerances?

The actual cause of food intolerances are varied and include functional, structural and pharmacological reactions to foods. The following is a shortlist of causative factors:

  • Overuse of antibiotics and proton pump inhibitors
  • Poor digestive health
  • Leaky gut syndrome
  • A lack of enzymes – such as lactase which digests lactose in milk products
  • Reactions to things in food, such as histamines and salicylates

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity – where gluten is an issue, but not to the extreme of celiac disease

These reactions are listed under metabolic (such as lactose and gluten), Pharmacological (such as a reaction to caffeine), Toxic (e.g., responses to toxins inherent in foods) and Idiopathic (usually caused by things like sulphites or histamine that are inherent in food). In our modern world, it’s also speculated that the declining quality of our food and the overuse of pesticides, herbicides, chemicals and food additives in our food production is a contributing factor to the rising rates of food intolerance reactions. 

If you have leaky gut or bacterial overgrowth in your digestive tract, this can be the cause of food intolerance symptoms. Primarily what happens is that the overgrowth of harmful bacteria have a field day fermenting all the foods that you consume, and this creates a lot of gas, bloating and pain in your gut as well as an excess of bacterial by-products.

In metabolic intolerances such as lactose intolerance, the body isn’t producing enough of a particular enzyme that it needs in order to digest milk products. These sugars that haven’t been adequately digested then reach your large intestine and cause a fermentation reaction, which gives rise toexcess gas, diarrhoea and painful bloating. The fermentation is what causes the urgency and pain associated with this type of reaction.

There are also idiopathic reactions that only occur in certain individuals. The most common causes of these reactions include:

  • MSG in food, particularly in Asian foods and processed foods.
  • Sulphites in red wine and dried fruit
  • Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners
  • Certain food colourings are also common irritants, particularly in children

These food intolerance reactions are usually delayed, occurring 24 to 48 hours after the offending food has been consumed, but sometimes digestive reactions like bloating and belching can happen fairly quickly. In contrast to this food allergy reactions usually occur immediately.

Let’s have a closer look at the difference between food intolerance and food allergy.

What is the difference between food intolerance and food allergy?

There are two fundamental differences. The first one is that a food allergy is an immediate and severe reaction to a food, and that reaction is often life-threatening. It can include:

  • Hives
  • Swelling of mouth, lips, tongue, eyes
  • Anaphylaxis

The second difference is that a food allergy is an immune system reaction, usually an IgE mediated one. When the body is exposed to the food allergen, it causes the degradation of particular immune cells called mast cells. They release products, primarily histamine, that then go on to cause swelling, hives, excessive mucus, and so on. These symptoms can culminate in anaphylaxis, which is life-threatening. 

An interesting fact about food allergies is that they are caused by a relatively small list of foods, and only a tiny amount of the food is needed to create a reaction. The most common culprits include:

  • Milk
  • Egg
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Fish/Shellfish

In contrast to this, food intolerances are caused by a wide array of foods. Usually, more than a tiny amount of the food can be tolerated before a reaction will occur.

In cases of food allergy there is also a strong link to a history of eczema, asthma or hay fever. There may also be a family history of food allergies. These links are not known to be present in food intolerance patients.

Food intolerance is NOT an immune system reaction. Instead, it is a reaction that occurs in the digestive system or organs of the body, and it is caused by the reasons listed in the previous section. Food intolerance reactions are slow and insidious, and often confused for other things. They manifest so differently in each person, and can often be labelled as things like IBS or eczema of unknown origin etc. 

Food intolerances also make up the bulk of food sensitivity reactions, with authentic food allergy only being present in an estimated 2 to 5% of all food reaction cases.

Now that the heavy stuff is out of the way let’s get into how your food intolerance test works, and then have a look at what you can do after you receive your test results.

How does a food intolerance test work?

There are a variety of ways to test for food intolerances, including blood tests, urine samples and skin testing. Here at the intolerance lab, we use the least invasive option, hair sample bio-resonance testing.Once you have ordered your test online, you will receive an email with detailed instructions on how to take your small hair sample.

Our lab uses only a few strands of your hair that is then put through a bio-resonance machine.The bio-resonance machine detects which foods have caused problems in your body through energetic frequencies and variations in these. This state of the art technology analyses your hair sample against 700+ items. It gives you a detailed report outlining any intolerances that are present in your body. The 700+ items include food and non-food toxins and chemicals that may be causing your symptoms.

Nicola took our simple bio-resonance hair test, and this is her testimonial:

This test is amazing! I was suffering from extreme acid reflux which drastically effected my daily life. 
I was taking 8 Rennies every 24 hours and Omeprazole tablets which I got from the doctors and I was still suffering.

After I did the intolerance test I followed the advice and took out my trigger foods and added the recommended supplements and within two days the acid reflux had completely disappeared.

I feel like a different person and would definitely recommend this test for anyone with digestive issues!

What happens when I get my test results?

This is the exciting and life-changing part. After your hair sampleis tested, you receive a detailed report with your food intolerances listed. This is usually received three days after your sample is tested. The list may be only a few foods, or it may have as many as 20 things listed. It’s what you do with this list that creates changes in your health and your life.

To begin with, we recommend that you completely cut out everything listed as an intolerance food on your report for a minimum of 6 weeks, and up to 3 months. What this does is removes inflammation, and therefore allows your digestive system to heal and repair over the 6 to 12 weeks.

After this time, you can reintroduce your intolerance foods to see how your body responds. The way to do this is by adding in only one intolerance food at a time and waiting a minimum of 3 days before introducing another. This ensures that if reactions occur, you know which foods are causing the symptoms.

After you have your food intolerance test results and remove the offending foods from your diet, you may be wondering what foods you can use instead, and what else you can do to support your digestion.

First, let’s delve into how you can support your digestive healing at home.

What else can I do to support my digestive health?

As we discussed earlier, food intolerances are often caused by poor gut health and conditions like leaky gut and bacterial overgrowth. The first and most important thing you need to do is remove the intolerance foods listed on your report. In many cases, this will stop your symptoms. Still, it may not be enough to heal the underlying damage to your gut and microbiome (bacterial balance in your gut).

Some simple things that you can do at home to help heal your digestive tract include:

  • Take 15ml pure Aloe Vera juice each morning – this is super healing and restorative to your gut lining.
  • Give your digestion a break by consuming only soft foods like soups, slow-cooked meals and mashed veggie for a couple of weeks. This takes the pressure off your stomach and intestines, allowing for further removal of inflammation and increased healing.
  • Do not drink water with your meals; this dilutes your stomach acid and can make it harder to digest and break down your food. Instead have water at least half an hour away from food.
  • Make sure that you chew your food thoroughly until it is almost liquefied. This helps your body to process your food efficiently, and therefore access nutrients and vitamins within the food.
  • Keep your food simple by cutting out all processed and packaged foods. Instead have fresh wholefoods – fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains, meats etc.
  • Cut out processed and refined sugar! This is important for the microbiome in your gut. Harmful bacteria thrive off refined sugar and carbohydrates, so removing them will also help to improve the balance of good bacteria in your gut. If you consume a whole food diet, this will be a lot easier than it seems, as there are no refined sugars in fruits and vegetables.
  • Take a digestive enzyme with each meal – you can get these from your local health food store. They are an essential component to your gut health, especially when you have had issues with poor digestion.
  • Take a probiotic called SB – once daily for two months. This is a friendly type of yeast that helps restore healthy bacterial balance in its initial stages. You can also find these at your local health food store.

If you want to go further than this, we encourage you to speak to your local Naturopath about a gut-healing plan.

Let’s have a look now at what you can use in place of some foods that commonly cause food intolerance.

What can I replace common food intolerance items with?

It can be daunting when you find out that you are intolerant to cow’s milk, wheat and eggs all in one go. Our modern-day diets are filled with these foods, and you can be left thinking ‘what am I supposed to eat’? Never fear, we are here to help!

Milk & dairy products–this one can be particularly daunting, especially if you are a cheese lover. However, there are a plethora of replacementoptions available to you.

Instead of dairy milk, you can use:

  • Oat milk
  • Rice milk
  • Soy milk
  • Almond milk
  • Macadamia milk
  • Coconut milk

These milks work well in baking, and also in hot drinks and breakfast cereal.

There are also options for non-dairy yoghurt including:

  • Coconut yoghurt
  • Almond yoghurt
  • Soy yoghurt

Instead of cheese, you can try using savoury yeast flakes in your cooking, or perhaps sourcing out a vegan cheese alternative.

Eggs–if you are a lover of scrambled eggs, you can try making scrambled tofu instead. Adding spices and other vegetables can make a delicious alternative.

For baking you can use the following foods in replace of eggs:

  • Chia seeds – 1 tbsp. Chia seeds to 3 tbsp. water – let it sit and gel up
  • Ground flaxseeds – 1 tbsp. Flaxseeds to 3 tbsp. water – let it sit and thicken
  • Egg replacer – available in health food stores and supermarkets
  • Mashed banana – this works well in cakes and baking as an egg alternative
  • In replace of egg whites, you can whip aquafaba, which is the liquid from a can of chickpeas. It whips up into white peaks, just like egg whites and can be used in the same way.

Wheat –there are several great replacements for wheat flour, and these include:

  • Rice flour
  • Buckwheat flour
  • Coconut flour
  • Quinoa flour
  • Gluten-free flour mixes

You can also buy pasta and crackers that are made from rice, buckwheat etc. that are free from wheat. Have a look at your local health food store for options.

Sample recipes that are egg, wheat & dairy-free

Here are a few recipes to show you how simple & tasty it can be to eat well with food intolerances.

Delicious berry & chia breakfast pudding

  • 1/2 cup berries of choice, they can be fresh or frozen
  • 3 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 3 tbsp.shredded coconut
  • 250ml non-dairy milk – you can use oat, almond, coconut, soy etc
  • Dash vanilla essence
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon

Combine the berries, vanilla, cinnamon, coconut and chia seeds in a mason jar. Gently mash together, and then stir in your choice of milk. Put a lid on the jar and leave this to soak in the fridge overnight.  In the morning give it a stir, add some fresh banana or berries & non-dairy yoghurt on top and enjoy!

Crispy kale Chips

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp. tamari
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

Pull the leaves off the kale, wash, break into small pieces and dry.

Mix the dressing together, and massage into the Kale leaves for about 5 minutes.

Lay in a single layer on some oven trays, and bake in a preheated oven (150’C) for 15 to 20 minutes, or until crispy.

These are a perfect healthy snack any time of the day.

Chocolate Tahini cookies

  • 1 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder 
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of rapadura sugar – adjust to your taste
  • 1 tsp egg replacer mixed with 2 tbsp. water

Mix the ingredients thoroughly and roll tablespoons into balls. Flatten slightly on the tray and bake for 11 minutes at 180’Celsius.

These are so delicious and filled with calcium and other minerals.

It is a lot fun to try new foods, and very rewarding to your taste buds.

Your next steps

If this article has resonated with you, we encourage you to get in touch and book your bio-resonance food intolerance test today! As you’ve seen it can be really powerful in removing your symptoms and giving you back quality of life, and there’s no better time than now to get your life back on track.

Use this link to book your test now…..

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