Intolerance to Certain FoodsFood allergies
and can sometimes make a sufferer’s life difficult. Dining out becomes a problem, as does the preparation of family meals. Lunchboxes are difficult to assemble and safeguarding young children from allergens in their immediate environment can prove very complex.
The three main types of food intolerance include:
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- Gluten intolerance. Also referred to as, nontropical sprue, coeliac disease and coeliac sprue, this food intolerance involves an acute sensitivity to gluten, a protein that is prevalent in rye-, barley-, oats- and wheat products. The body incorrectly identifies the protein as a toxin, which leads to swelling and damage to the gut. Symptoms associated with gluten intolerance include abdominal pain, diarrhoea, tiredness and a rash after consumption of wheat products.
- Lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest lactose, a sugar that is found in milk and other dairy products. Under normal conditions, lactose would be broken down by an lactase (an enzyme) to glucose and galactose (simple sugars). Lactose-intolerant individuals do not produce sufficient lactase, which results in undigested lactose remaining in the intestines. This causes the bloating, stomach cramps and diarrhoea associated with lactose intolerance.
- Fructose (Sugar) sensitivity. Fructose malabsorption and dietary fructose intolerance (as it is also called), is a digestive disorder that affects the small intestine. In basic terms the fructose carrier in the enterocytes of a fructose sensitive individual is deficient. This in turn causes the fructose concentration in the entire intestine to increase, which leads to gas, flatulence, abdominal pain, and constipation.
Individuals who suspect that they might have a type of food intolerance
should consult a healthcare practitioner. The normal diagnostic procedure involves a combination of:
- A structured clinical history investigation
- A clinical examination
- A skin prick test or blood test to determine the presence of IgE antibodies
In situations where test results are inconclusive a diagnostic team may perform a provocation/challenge test. This involves the gradual introduction of the suspect food, first through touch and then by consumption. These tests are performed in a controlled environment like a hospital/clinic. If a patient feels uncomfortable with this approach there is a less drastic alternative available. An exclusion/elimination diet is also sometimes used as a diagnostic tool and involves the gradual avoidance of certain food types. As soon as a patient’s condition has been sufficiently diagnosed a health professional will prescribe treatment to alleviate the immediate symptoms, as well as a diet tailored to the person’s specific requirements
With this in mind, we have taken care to source a varied selection of that allows individuals who suffer from food intolerances to control their symptoms. While food allergies
and intolerances may not be easy to live with, there are ways of simplifying it and by choosing the correct health foods
you will be taking a step in the right direction.
You will find a number of interesting alternatives to conventional foodstuffs in our health food section that allow those who suffer from food intolerances to indulge in their favourite foods without any of the unpleasant side effects. Why not replace your favourite teatime treat with Mrs Crimble's Gluten-Free Chocolate Macaroons or use Orgran Gluten Free Lasagne Sheets to make your favourite pasta surprise? Approaching food allergies
in the correct way will allow you to continue you culinary adventures while simultaneously caring for your wellbeing.