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Food Intolerance Testing for Bloating

Posted 6 years ago by Brendan

Food intolerances are often involved when digestive complaints like bloating tend to be ongoing. Food specific IgG antibody testing is a fast and reliable way of discerning which foods may be contributing to food intolerance symptoms, so those affected are better able to avoid any foods that might contribute to ill health.

detective kit

Food Intolerance  

Unlike a food allergy where certain foods can cause sudden reactions in about 5% of people, food intolerances are estimated to affect more than 40% of the population and can produce a variety of symptoms that are often slow to develop and not always easily recognised as being an adverse response to food. This post Food Intolerance and Bloating discusses food intolerance and food allergy more.

When the lining of the small intestine becomes damaged for whatever reason (stress, smoking, certain medications, infection, etc), the selective barrier that protects the body’s internal environment from unwanted invaders is affected. This can allow partially digested food particles to pass from the intestines into the bloodstream, which a healthy intestinal wall would normally stop. Read Leaky Gut and Bloating for more about the importance of the gastrointestinal wall and how increased gastrointestinal permeability can contribute to a wide range of health problems.

Antigens and Antibodies 

The passage of undigested food into the bloodstream, activates the immune system responsible for dealing with unwanted invaders. With ongoing activation, the immune system begins to recognise certain food proteins as antigenic or harmful. This stimulates the production of specialised IgG antibodies able to bind to specific food antigens like a lock and key, forming antigen-antibody (or immune) complexes. A number of processes are then involved in clearing immune complexes from the body, but when there is ongoing exposure to antigens (one continues to eat reactive food with every meal for example), the rate of immune complex formation may exceed the body’s ability to clear them. Immune complexes that then manage to find their way into the tissues and joints, can cause inflammation and other problems that leads to the manifestation of symptoms. 


IgG Food Intolerance Testing

Testing for food-specific IgG antibody reactions (using the scientifically validated enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method) is recognised as a fast and reliable way of determining if the immune system is mounting IgG mediated immunological responses to certain foods. Food Detective is the world's first IgG food intolerance self test kit that requires only 40 minutes and a few drops of blood from a finger prick, to test for reactions to 59 of the most common reactive foods. Food Print is an associated laboratory service where individuals are able to send a small finger prick blood sample through the post, to be tested for reactions from 40 to more than 200 foods. 

While these tests won't make it any easier to avoid your favourite foods if it turns out they are causing problems, most find the information this type of testing provides well worth the expense when it means they know exactly which foods (if any) they should avoid or limit for health reasons. Rather than having to spend months on typical elimination diets where a restrictive trial and error approach is taken to identifying problem foods. However, the only way to be really certain if you are sensitive to a particular food, is to avoid it for a period of at least three months and see if you feel better. If symptoms return upon reintroduction, you know that food isn't good for you.

So if you suspect your ongoing bloating, other gastrointestinal complaints, skin condition, fatigue, weight problem or even insomnia could be linked with eating certain foods, consider taking a look at how your immune system feels about different foods using food intolerance testing. These tests are not the same as those used to identify food allergies or coeliac disease, so its always a good idea to discuss your symptoms with your doctor or a qualified health professional who deals with food intolerances. If you are sensitive to a number of foods, discussing your results and designing a suitable low reactive diet with a professional is also wise. 

By avoiding problem foods for an extended period while supporting the gastrointestinal wall, many find they can enjoy a reasonable amount of reactive foods every now and then, without too many problems. Read Healing Leaky Gut for more about repairing increased intestinal permeability.

If you've tried a food intolerance test, tell us about it. What were you reacting to? How did you go avoiding problem foods?

About Brendan O'Loughlin

Brendan is a integrative naturopath, nutritionist and yoga teacher. He has completed training in Naturopathy, Nutrition, Herbal Medicine, Yoga, Iridology and Live Blood Analysis.

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