What is the difference between a food intolerance and a food allergy?
Food allergies and intolerances can both be very serious, but it is important to realise they are not the same thing.
If you have a food allergy, your immune system will react to a particular food or foods and you will have symptoms immediately. These can include itchiness, rash, dizziness and swelling. Sometimes the reaction can be so severe that the body goes into anaphylaxis, which is life-threatening.
A food intolerance does not elicit a reaction from the immune system. Food intolerance is the body’s inability to properly digest a particular food. The symptoms may not be immediate and are not usually life-threatening, but they can be very uncomfortable. Untreated, a food intolerance can lead to serious health issues in the long term.
Our Technique for Diagnosing Food Intolerances
New Life Nutrition uses the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital’s (RPAH) elimination diet to help patients identify and manage their food chemical sensitivities. This way of testing for food intolerance allows us to pinpoint exactly which foods are bothering you.
Our nutritionists and dietitians have worked closely with and are highly recommended by the FAILSAFE support group.
Many people find an elimination diet a daunting and difficult process, but with the right advice and support from an experienced dietitian or nutritionist, it needn’t feel impossible.
Do You Suffer From Food Intolerances?
A low-chemical diet can help reduce a huge range of symptoms. Many patients approach their nutritionist or dietitian with a long list of symptoms, others complain of feeling generally unwell even though they have not been diagnosed with any particular health condition. Often patients cannot remember the last time they actually did feel well.
Health issues that can arise because of food intolerances include:
- Irritable bowel and gastrointestinal upset, including constipation and diarrhea
- Low energy
- Depression, anxiety and low mood
- Brain fog
- Poor concentration
- Migraine and headaches
- Poor sleep
- Restless legs
- Behavioral issues