Food Intolerances… What’s it all about?
Have you ever eaten something that’s made you feel bloated? Sluggish? Given you stomach ache? A headache? Or even made you swell up like a balloon?
If so, then you most likely have a food intolerance. Notice, we didn’t say allergy!
The term ‘food intolerance’ and ‘food allergy’ are often confused and are two very different things, so what’s the difference?
We all know that we can no longer buy peanuts on airlines and have all seen the labels on food packaging saying ‘may contain nuts!’, but a genuine food allergy is relatively rare.
Only about 2% of the adult population are affected. A food allergy is a swift response by the body’s immune system to a specific food. In this type of reaction, the body’s immune system mistakes a food for an ‘invader’ which often results in a rapid allergic reaction often within minutes, but generally within a maximum of two hours. This type of allergic reaction is commonly associated with reactions to peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs and seafood. You may even suffer from an allergy like this yourselves.
What about intolerances?
A food intolerance isn’t as severe a reaction as an allergy, but they can make the recipient feel very uncomfortable and often embarrassed too. There is also a massive amount of evidence to show that a food intolerance can stop you losing weight!
Food intolerance is quite different to food allergy and whilst the symptoms can impact the person’s quality of life, they are not life threatening (think bloating, gas, stomach cramps, sudden urge to go to the bathroom etc). Food intolerances are in fact much more common than food allergies and around 45% of the population react adversely to some of the foods they eat on a regular basis.
So how does it work?
When foods and drinks are digested the proteins within them are broken down into smaller fragments for easy absorption into the body. This is our digestive system at work. Larger fragments can sometimes pass through the gut without breaking down! This is called ‘leaky gut’ or ‘intestinal permeability’, and sometimes the body reacts by attacking them using antibodies called Immunoglobulin G’s (IgG).
Not everybody recognises the clinical importance of the ‘leaky gut syndrome’ and the medical community regards this as a bit of a grey area. There is however, a growing amount of literature and case studies that clearly demonstrated the positive reactions the body has to cutting out these irritant foods from our diets.
What Happens When You Cut Out Foods You’re Intolerant To?
A recent study* has shown that those who eliminated trigger foods based on food-specific IgG test results had reductions in weight, body mass index, waist and hip circumference and improvements in all indicators of quality of life that were measured. The quality of life indicators included physical and emotional wellbeing, mental health, social life, pain levels and vitality.
Many people suffer for years, having formed a coping mechanism to deal with the symptoms but being unable to enjoy a normal work and home life. Many people don’t realise that there are easy steps to take that could resolve their condition.
Read the case study below to see how a simple intolerance test can help.
Some of the symptoms can include:
Abdominal Pain, Acne, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Bloating, Constipation, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Diarrhoea, Dizziness, Eczema, Headaches or Migraine, Nausea, Stomach Cramps, Weight loss/Weight Gain and many more.
Case study – Geoff
Before undertaking the Lorisian 150plus test (an intolerance test using a blood sample), Geoff had been suffering from ongoing digestive issues which regularly forced him to cancel social arrangements due to the pain and discomfort he was enduring.
“Before I took the Lorisian 150plus test I suffered with diarrhoea, bloating and really uncomfortable stomach cramps. It would always be an issue going out with friends. I remember my Mum and Dad took me out to dinner for my birthday, I was having such a lovely night and then it started. The cramps, bloating and wind forced me to go home and cut my birthday short, I was devastated.”
Feeling as though he knew what was causing his issues, Geoff decided to confirm whether his suspicions were accurate. After speaking with his local Lorisian practitioner, Geoff decided to take the Lorisian 150plus test – the most comprehensive option – in order to gain a clear understanding of his reactions to a wide variety of food and drink ingredients.
“I thought I knew what caused the issues I was having, but I needed clarity. I needed to know how to fix this once and for all.”
When he received his results of his test, Geoff was surprised to discover a number of reactions he wasn’t expecting. Taking a closer look at his diet, Geoff realised that his trigger foods – yeast, eggs, cows’ milk and beef – were all things he ate on a regular basis.
“I was very surprised as I am into my weight training and I eat a lot of eggs and beef. But after I got the results it became clear that every time I ate either of them it was causing me real gut issues.”
Together with the support of his Lorisian practitioner, Geoff began to make changes to his diet, replacing his trigger foods with nutritious alternatives
“After a week or so I could see a marked difference in my symptoms. I did try beef about a week ago at a friend’s party and it gave me the same symptoms within an hour. I instantly regretted it.”
What you can do:
If you suspect you may have a food intolerance and/or if you recognise some of these symptoms, then it’s possible you could benefit from finding out more information.
ZEST24 are a Lorisian approved practitioner, which enables us to help our clients and indeed anybody who is symptomatic, to get the help they need and to get to the bottom of issues they have been putting up with for years.
Taking the test couldn’t be simpler, follow our step-by-step guide here!
We also offer testing kits on our bootcamps! If you want to improve your health & fitness and lose weight, then come and stay with us on one of our 3-7 day bootcamps.
At ZEST24 weight-loss bootcamps, we specialise in educating you on what to eat and when, which exercises are the most effective for fat loss and finally, how to make both of these things fit into your everyday lives. Our days are varied throughout the week and typically you’ll enjoy a host of different activities: morning spin, circuits, weights sessions, boxing, yoga, meditation, technique sessions, hiking, just to name a few. Please note that we have excellent indoor facilities so with the exception of hiking, most workout classes are indoors.
With our own private chef, you’ll be cooked delicious, healthy food each day, ensuring you start to burn fat and start seeing results. We also include cookery demos, goal setting, meditation & mindfulness workshops and massage to ensure you experience a luxury, holistic approach to weight-loss.
We also strive to ensure you keep up your progress at home with our complimentary aftercare & support alongside our recipe and workout ebooks. For dates and prices click here
Let us help you make a change for the better!
*Lewis J et al, 2012: Eliminating Immunologically-Reactive Foods from the Diet and its Effect on Body Composition and Quality of Life in Overweight Persons. Journal Obesity & Weight loss Therapy 2:1
†Food intolerance is a condition with a range of symptoms including gut symptoms, bloating, headaches, migraines, low mood, fatigue, weight gain and skin problems. These symptoms must always be checked out by a medical professional. If you have seen a medical professional but have not been given a diagnosis for your symptoms, then you may be suffering from food intolerance.