How to find out if you have food intolerances?

Do you feel like something strange is going on with your body and it’s just not the usual tiredness? Do you have recurring sinus infections, moods swings, troubles with sleep and losing or gaining too much weight and having stomach problems? All those symptoms together may mean that you have a problem with food intolerances.

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Food intolerances are different than food allergies – the allergy causes an immediate response in the immune system while the intolerance is detrimental, often delayed reaction of a body for the foods. The symptoms of an allergy can include rash, vomiting, trouble breathing or diarrhea. Symptoms of the intolerance are quite often delayed and may seem not connected to the food. The intolerance can be caused by the lack of the enzyme necessary to digest the food or an abnormality in a body that makes certain foods impossible to absorb.

You can ask your doctor to do an intolerance test although I’ve noticed that they are usually not too eager to write a reference for that kind of test but there are plenty of other options. You can order a test like a “Food Detective” and you can make the test yourself – you just have to collect the small sample of blood from the finger prick and then use the attached reagents to see the results in less than an hour. The other option is finding a private laboratory that will make that test for you. In this case the procedure looks the same – the person in a laboratory will take a sample from a finger prick and check your blood for the food antibodies.
There is although one downside – if you’re already on an elimination diet, the antibodies can not show up and your results will be corrupted, so in order to find out about the intolerances, you have to eat everything for at least three days or two weeks (depending on the test) before the test.

Kurious / Pixabay

The second way of finding food intolerances is the elimination diet although it requires a strong will and observational skills. You can stop eating the most allergenic foods for a few weeks and then gradually add new foods, just one at a time. After you will add new food you have to wait for three days as the reaction of your body can be delayed and then look for changes in a sleep pattern, mood, on your skin – generally, you have to check if anything has changed in your mind and body after
adding this food. It seems and it is a lot of work but it really is possible to find out the intolerances that way.
The paleo or FODMAP are two kinds of an elimination diet but there are plenty of others that you
can read about on the Internet.

Remember, though, that if you get rid of certain foods, then you get rid of some vitamins and
minerals so you will have to supplement it and the only safe way of following the elimination diet is
after a consultation with a doctor who will guide and advise you.

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