Despite controversy around the use of IgG antibody-guided exclusion diets, they appear to be a clinically useful way to identify a potential cause of symptoms and personalize dietary therapy. 
To identify your specific food sensitivities order a non-invasive Food Intolerance Screen today.
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The Wilma Kirsten Clinic is experienced in identifying food intolerances using IgG marked food intolerance tests processed by a reputable UK laboratory. Our experienced and fully qualified nutritionist will provide expert analysis of the test results and by way of a consultation will give practical help and support to patients to help them manage their diet to alleviate the symptoms of their food intolerance.
I am pleased to tell you that both my skin and tummy are much better. The stress in my job and the occasional diet blips do cause the odd upset stomach but on the whole it’s good. I think coming to see you was the best thing I could have done to solve my problems and would recommend you to anyone! – Jenni
What are Food Intolerances?
Food intolerances are sometimes confused with food allergies but in reality there is a marked difference. Classic allergies cause the immune system to be activated and in extreme cases can cause anaphylaxis and may therefore be life threatening. By contrast, if someone has a food intolerance their immune system will not be activated and it is not life threatening. However, food intolerance can make the sufferer feel extremely unwell and cause an inflammatory reaction in the body. Inflammation by definition is pain, redness, swelling and raised temperature. Often seen in weight gain, eczema, hives and excess mucus in the nose and throat.
Food Intolerances may be the root cause if someone has difficulty losing excess weight despite eating healthily and exercising.
What causes Food Intolerances?
Food Intolerances or non-allergic food hypersensitivities can be caused by a number of factors as shown below:
- An enzyme deficiency – if the body is deficient in a particular enzyme required to successfully digest a specific foodstuff then this can mean the food cannot be successfully broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream resulting in symptoms associated with food intolerances such as irritable bowel syndrome.
- Chemical sensitivity –the body reacts to naturally occurring food chemicals such as caffeine or to man-made additives.
- An immune-like response – related to food specific antibodies called IgG antibodies. These IgG antibodies recognize and bind to specific food proteins to form immune complexes in the body. This leads to an abnormal physiological response and may cause symptoms commonly associated with food intolerances
Peter is a 14-year old adolescent who has adopted a vegetarian diet by choice. He chose this because he suffers from digestive upsets, which include daily diarrhoea, stomach cramps and discomfort. Unlike most teenagers he has always had a varied diet, which included at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetable per day. He has already substituted cows dairy for organic goat and soya products. He did not display any other signs of nutrient deficiencies such as acne, eczema or frequent illnesses.
Peter completed a food intolerance test, which highlighted the following foods as triggers:
Lentils, soya bean, peas, haricot beans, kidney beans, wheat, corn, rice, eggs, all dairy, trout, tuna, salmon, cod and all nuts except walnuts.
You will notice that he is intolerant to all vegetable protein except walnuts and seeds. It is therefore no surprise that his presenting symptoms did not abate when he changed his food intake to that which is generally accepted as a healthy alternative. Of all the grains he can only tolerate barley, oats, rye, quinoa, buckwheat and millet.
The above combinations make eating convenience foods almost impossible. Gluten free products contain corn, rice or soya flour, none of which is suitable for Peter. This makes a bowl of cornflakes or rice krispies with either soya/rice/almond/goat or cow’s milk for breakfast most unsuitable for this young lad.
After much discussion it was agreed that a vegetarian diet is not suitable for this young man at the moment and changes were suggested. Peter understands that an intolerance is not a classic allergy and that the current state of affairs is short term. We are combining his food intake with specific, therapeutic supplementation so that his gut can heal. This will enable him to re-introduce certain foods at some point in the future.
This interesting case study highlights the uniqueness of individuals and emphasises that what may be a healthy option for some, may very well exacerbate symptoms in others.
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- Mullin, G.E., Swift, K.M., Lipski, L., Turnbull, L.K. and Rampertab, S.D. (2010) Testing for food reactions: The good, the bad, and the ugly. Nutr. Clin. Pract. Vol. 25, pp. 192–198