Food Intolerance Testing Could Help One Avoid Years of Discomfort

While it may not hold the potential dangers inherent in a genuine allergy, the condition with which this more serious condition is often confused is more accurately described as food intolerance. Like an allergy, however, this type of reaction to edibles can also be confirmed by a suitable programme of testing. The symptoms experienced, although not actually a threat to life, can certainly be most unpleasant and may pose an ongoing source of discomfort for those affected.

In practice, some of the symptoms that may tend to occur in this condition are quite similar to those of an allergic reaction to certain foodstuffs although tested to occur almost immediately following ingestion. Nevertheless, as a result, it is quite common for a sufferer to experience some confusion between the two.  In practice, however, a far greater percentage of these adverse reactions can be attributed to food intolerance, rather than to any actual allergy. That said, testing remains the only way to differentiate between these two conditions with any degree of certainty. This is especially true, given that the symptoms of an allergy can initially be quite mild, only becoming more intense in the wake of repeated exposures over time.

While both types of reactions are a response to the presence of a compound that is perceived as foreign, the bodily systems responsible for these responses differ. While a true allergic reaction is initiated by the immune system, where the food responsible is simply not well tolerated, it is in the digestive system that the body’s adverse response originates and most of the symptoms arise. The different proteins produced by these reactions provide a basis for testing that is designed to differentiate between food intolerance and a potentially far more serious allergic condition.

Rather than occurring as a result of an inappropriate immune response as in the case of an allergic reaction, these reactions can arise for any one of a number of reasons. In the case of those who encounter problems when ingesting lactose, for instance, this is the result of a missing enzyme required to digest this ingredient found in all-natural dairy products. In other cases, it may be one of the additives that have become a common component of processed foodstuffs. Another form of food intolerance which may be confirmed by suitable testing is coeliac disease. Although in this condition there is a degree of involvement by the immune system, its symptoms are primarily gastro-intestinal in nature and are known to be triggered by the presence of the protein gluten, which is present in wheat and in other commonly eaten cereals.

The bottom line, of course, is that anyone who may have a consistent tendency to display any kind of adverse reaction after consuming a particular foodstuff should approach his or her doctor to confirm its origin, as either an allergy or food intolerance, with a suitable programme of testing.

This is a procedure that is now available at many clinics in South Africa and one that relies, like so many other common diagnostic procedures, upon high-quality reagents and equipment manufactured by world leaders in their field, and distributed by the local industry leader – IEPSA.  

More Articles

Contact Us:

* Name & Surname:
* Cell / Tel no.:
* E-mail:
Your Message::
* Security Code: