YorkTest Laboratories is Europe’s leading provider of testing for IgG antibody reactions to foods and drinks. YorkTest have over 30 years of experience in this field. This will test you for 113 foods. Many people talk about suffering from food reactions, whether allergy, intolerance or hyper-sensitivity but what does this mean? There is much confusion, particularly in the media, which makes the subject seem even more complicated than it already is!
So what is the difference between an allergy and an intolerance?
There is a lot of confusion surrounding the terms intolerance and allergy, and what the differences are between them. Food intolerance is often mistakenly described as a food allergy, and they are in reality two very different things. Food allergy is different from food intolerance in that it is a rapid response by the body’s immune system to a particular food. In this type of reaction, the body’s immune system mistakes a food for an ‘invader’ often resulting in a rapid allergic reaction within minutes. This type of allergic reaction is commonly associated with nut and seafood allergies. Genuine food allergy is rare; about 2% of the adult population are affected. Food and drink intolerance is quite different to a food allergy, and it is not usually life threatening, although it can, and does, make the sufferer feel unwell.
It is much more common to be affected by intolerances than allergies, and this means that your diet, however healthy it may be, could potentially be causing you problems. It is difficult to identify the food or drink (or combinations of foods and drinks) that are causing the problem, as symptoms can appear up to 72 hours after they are consumed. Many doctors and dieticians recommend that you can identify which foods or drinks are causing you problems by cutting one thing out at a time. But this approach is extremely difficult unless you are reacting to just one food or drink which only a few people do, many people can have reactions to 5 or 6 different foods and drinks, and they will need the help of a registered Nutritional Therapist to help them eliminate the problem ingredients from their diet.
Many people who have intolerances (not allergies) can get over the problem eventually, as long as they avoid their particular combination of culprit foods and drinks for a period of time, usually 6 months to a year; if they are careful with their diet many people report being able to reintroduce foods and drinks back into their diet once their immune system has reset.