Bloating, indigestion and other signs that you may have a food intolerance
Some things in life are inevitable. You’ll have to pay taxes, deal with setbacks and probably watch at least one terrible Adam Sandler film in your lifetime, but one thing that you should never put up with is discomfort after eating.
Food intolerance is a very common problem, however, many people do not realise that they are suffering from it. We spoke to Martin Healy from Fitzwilliam Food Test Clinic to find out more about this often-mistreated ailment.
What is food intolerance?
“Food intolerance, very simply put, is foods that are not being digested properly,” explains Healy.
We all know that our gut health is extremely important. If you destroy your gut bacteria (microbiome) by the overuse of steroids, antibiotics or eating hard-to-digest foods, you can ignite inflammation in your body. This inflammation can cause a variety of different reactions or symptoms.
What are the symptoms?
Food intolerance symptoms are different for everyone. They can range from discomfort after eating to more long term conditions.
“There is a scale,” explains Healy. “Some people have a mild food intolerance which just causes a little bit of fullness or indigestion. For other people, it can progress to inflammatory conditions, eg more serious reflux, irritable bowel syndrome and other chronic health issues.”
Is food intolerance something you are born with?
In a nutshell, yes. However, we tend to become more susceptible to our intolerances during times of stress or hardship.
“When our body is compromised, stressed or we’re a bit low in ourselves, food sensitivity comes to the fore,” he explains.
However, Healy is keen to note that just because intolerances are part of our genetics, that doesn’t mean that we can’t learn to manage them.
“It’s all about trying to find our triggers so that we can manage our good health on an ongoing basis.”
Why should I treat inflammation?
While many people turn to over the counter treatments to deal with digestive problems, in many cases this is only tackling the symptoms, not the cause.
“You can take antacids or acid blockers and all these different things but you’re not dealing with the root cause of the problem,’’ explains Healy. “You’re only treating the symptom. I’m trying to treat the root cause.’’
It’s often hard for individuals to pinpoint the exact foods that they are intolerant to.
“Most people don’t realise that specific foods are causing these problems because it’s not obvious. Food intolerance often doesn’t affect us immediately. Sometimes there’s a delayed reaction. Because of this, it is often missed.’’
Thankfully there is an easy way to find out what foods act as triggers.
How can I find out if I have a food intolerance?
The quickest way to find out if you have a food intolerance is to take a food-specific igG antibody test. This will measure if you are producing a significantly elevated antibody response against specific foods.
The test is not diagnostic of any medical condition. However, it is generally accepted that it may help to identify the foods which could be withdrawn from the diet to guide the elimination diet process. For details of these tests, check out the Fitzwilliam Food Test Clinic website.
What happens next?
Once you have highlighted the foods that you are intolerant to, you can start decreasing your intake (or eliminate them from your diet altogether). According to Healy, most people feel significantly better within just two weeks of changing their diet.
Food intolerance can be easily managed with the right diet and a little bit of time. Taking a food-specific igG test is a quick and simple way to find out your trigger foods in order to prevent chronic tissue damage in the long term.
Fitzwilliam Food Test Clinic has more than 30 years of clinical experience in treating digestive issues which are caused by incorrect diet. They use laboratory blood testing to assist people who wish to investigate changing their diet to resolve their digestive upset. These tests are high sensitivity, antibody tests and have been specifically designed to help guide you through your food elimination process.
For more information, check out the Fitzwilliam Food Test Clinic website or call 01-4733790.