Food Allergies and Intolerances

Many people are confused by food allergies and intolerance but it’s important to understand they involve two completely different reactions to foods.

A food allergy is defined as “an allergic reaction that occurs when the immune system responds defensively to a specific food when it is eaten.”  The symptoms can be very similar to other allergic reactions including:

  • Skin reactions, such as swelling and itching and flushing
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Coughing, wheezing or a runny nose
  • Swelling of the lips
  • Sore, red and itchy eyes


A food intolerance however, is the inability to digest certain foods and does not involve the immune system.  A good example of this would be lactose intolerance; this is the inability to digest lactose, which is the natural sugar found in milk. Typical symptoms would include abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhea.

If you suffer from any of the following there is also a strong possibility that you may also have a food intolerance:


  • Eczema
  • Asthma
  • Hay fever
  • Rashes
  • Arthritis
  • Depression
  • Under active Thyroid
  • Weight gain
  • Mood swings
  • Low Energy
  • Frequent, rapid colds or blocked nose
  • Insomnia
  • Dyslexia or learning difficulties
  • Facial puffiness and/or dark circles around the eyes
  • Crying spells


It’s quite common for non-digestive related condition like those listed above, which there are a large number of,  to be affected by foods that we’ve developed an intolerance to.  Our approach is to organise several different types of tests for you, to determine any food allergies or intolerances, then a a nutrition programme can be recommended to remove any allergens, but we ensure that you still eat a healthy balanced diet.  It’s quite common to find that once these foods have been removed from the diet for a while, they can then be gradually reintroduced, and often tolerated again. When we remove and re-introduce foods to the diet, the symptoms are carefully monitored.  It is important that after reintroducing these foods,  you don’t eat them to excess, as this can cause the intolerance to return. What’s strange is that we often have cravings for foods that we’re intolerant to, which only makes the situation worse!

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