Food Tolerance Testing

Food intolerance is commonly known as hypersensitivity; this means that your body has an increased sensitivity level towards that food items than what it normally has to. Generally, people who have intolerance usually experience varying degrees of allergic reactions on different occasions. These effects can be mild or severe, or may occur in waves. One way to determine your own level of intolerance to a variety of food items is to undergo a simple trial-and-error diet trial. Food tolerance testing usually helps in determining which food items are tolerable by you.

Food allergies are indeed much more hazardous than you probably realize; some individuals could literally lose their lives each year due to experiencing severe allergy over certain food items. As a result, food intolerance testing is basically needed in order to effectively avoid consuming specific food items which are actually allergic to, and carry out proper nutrition planning. However, food intolerance testing may not be as simple as it sounds. Food intolerance may be defined as an intolerance to a particular type of food that results from consumption of that food item in excessive amounts without the body’s immune system being able to cope up with the adverse effects of that particular food item.

There are several factors which determine your tolerance level to a variety of foods. These include your genetic background and your individual genetic traits. In addition, your diet and lifestyle are also factors in determining your tolerance level. People with a family history of food allergies usually tend to have lower tolerance levels than those without such a background. Also, individuals who engage in extreme outdoor activities are often highly intolerant to certain types of foods and often find it difficult to tolerate moderate amounts of food that they are used to eating on a daily basis.

A simple test is conducted by measuring your fasting blood sugar level. The testing procedure will enable the doctor to identify which foods you can tolerate, and which foods you are sensitive to. Your doctor will also carry out a skin tests to identify any adverse reaction you may have to specific foods. If you consume a large quantity of a particular food over a period of time, your body will normally have an allergic reaction. This could result in vomiting, swelling of the face or mouth, dizziness or other symptoms.

You will be advised by your doctor about a three-day period during which you can consume foods that you can tolerate. Food tolerance testing can be performed both before and after a period of diet change. If you are on a low-salt diet, you will be advised to consume a further amount of the test food after reducing the salt content in your diet. You may find the salt content in your diet too high for you to tolerate after this period. So if you were tolerant to a certain amount of salt previously, your intake may be restricted after the changeover.

Food intolerance and food allergies do not usually develop into a full blown food allergy or attack. Your body’s immune system usually reacts to harmless substances such as vitamins or yoghurt. It then produces antibodies to attack the ‘allergen’. The antibodies can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, headaches, skin rash or hives, stomach cramps, dizziness or even asthma attacks. So if you are experiencing migraines after starting a restricted diet, you should try to ascertain whether the foods you are eating are responsible for these symptoms.

Most patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) report no food intolerance or allergies but some will experience mild to moderate symptoms. When these symptoms become more uncomfortable or bothersome, your doctor may suggest a short-term fasting or a change to a lower fiber diet, such as soluble fiber breads or cereals. In a recent study carried out at the University of Nottingham, a sample of 7 volunteers with IBS, constipation, diarrhea and bloating had been fed on a regular balanced diet and on day 6 they were randomly given either a low-fat or high-fiber diet. There was no difference between the two diets in terms of any symptoms being experienced by the subjects.

Sufferers of irritable bowel syndrome may be sensitive to milk and dairy products. If this is the case, you should avoid them. Many of the world’s population is used to eating dairy foods and when a person is diagnosed with IBS, he or she is advised to eliminate milk and other dairy foods from their diet. In recent years, more evidence has been obtained linking bad eating habits and constipation with the onset of IBS. By eliminating or reducing the amount of milk and dairy products from your diet, you could help yourself to get rid of IBS.

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