Food allergy, food intolerance or healthy meal?

Food allergy, food intolerance or healthy meal?

Food allergies and intolerances are talked about a lot, but are you clear about what these terms really mean?  When someone has a food allergy when they eat even a tiny amount of that food their body produces antibodies and mounts an immune response.  This could manifest itself as a life threatening anaphylactic reaction needing immediate hospital treatment or as eczema, rashes, diarrhoea and tummy pain or other symptoms.  Food allergies can be accurately diagnosed via a blood test available on the NHS.

In contrast, a food intolerance does not trigger the production of specific antibodies and is not diagnosable via a blood test.  Some foods are prone to irritating the digestive system in some people.  Common examples include lactose (the sugar found in milk) or the proteins in cow’s milk and cheese, gluten (the protein found in wheat, rye and barley) or certain additives.  These foods disturb the balance of friendly bacteria in the gut leading to an overgrowth of unfriendly bacteria and lead to the damage of the cells lining the digestive system through which food is absorbed – this situation is often referred to as ‘leaky gut’.  This leads to inappropriate larger food particles and bacteria or toxins being absorbed from the digestive system into the blood stream where they promote an inflammatory response which may manifest itself in different ways in different people, e.g. joint pain, psoriasis, eczema, other skin problems, asthma, migraines or as digestive symptoms such as wind, bloating, diarrhoea or constipation.

With food intolerances sometimes a person can tolerate small amounts of the offending food, but large quantities cause problems.  For example, someone may be fine having toast for breakfast but going out for garlic bread followed by pizza (lots of wheat in one meal) may leave them feeling bloated and constipated.  Improving your gut health almost always improves overall health because your gut and your immune system are so closely linked.  If you suspect you or someone in your family is suffering with a food allergy or food intolerance feel free to call me to arrange a free ten minute telephone consultation to discuss whether nutritional therapy or herbal medicine maybe able to help you, or just to get some free advice on how to cut out foods you suspect are causing problems while still maintaining a healthy, balanced diet.

Contact me now on: 07949463288 or

Adult initial appointment £45

Child appointments £15