Most people can eat a very wide range of foods without any problems, however some people react badly to certain everyday foods and eating them may cause uncomfortable symptoms or, in rare cases, a severe illness.
There are many different reasons for unpleasant reactions to food. These unpleasant reactions are food intolerances. These include food allergies, which are reactions that involve the body’s immune system. But most unpleasant reactions are not true allergies. Food intolerances or sensitivity may cause uncomfortable symptoms but only true allergies involve the immune system.
An allergic reaction to a food can be described as an inappropriate reaction by the body’s immune system to the ingestion of a food that in the majority of individuals cause no adverse effects. Allergic reactions to foods vary in severity and can be potentially fatal.
Further information on food allergy:-
Will produce acute distinctive symptoms, usually within seconds or minutes.
In extreme cases, can be life-threatening.
Isn’t dependent on the amount eaten. Even a tiny trace amount of the food can cause a reaction.
The culprit food is never craved.
Can be diagnosed by an expert using several tests and a medical history.
Is a delayed, negative reaction to a food, beverage or food additive. It can involve symptoms in one or more body organs and systems, but is not considered directly related to the immune system. Intolerance can result from the absence of specific chemicals or enzymes needed to digest a food substance, or from reactions to naturally occurring chemicals in food.
Further information on food intolerance and sensitivity:
Produces delayed chronic symptoms, which mainly involve the digestive system.
Is never directly life-threatening.
Is usually dependent on the amount eaten. A reasonable portion of the food is needed to cause a reaction.
The culprit food may be craved.
Is difficult to diagnose. Only a few reliable tests are available.
Living with Food Intolerance or Sensitivity
Being diagnosed with a food intolerance or sensitivity can be a shock to the system at first, especially as a number of times it’s the foods that you eat most often that you have to cut out, as they are the ones that you have become sensitive to.
You’ll find that reading food labels in detail in the supermarkets will be an eye opener for you itself but once you get used to which foods on the shelf contain which ingredients you will then be prepared in future. There are plenty of meals where the ingredient that you have become sensitive to can be replaced by a “friendly” ingredient, you just need to do a bit of research prior to making it.
All the supermarkets have a “Free from” section now but dont necessarily carry the same products, so review each supermarket carefully. Look at them all to see what they offer and you will probably be somewhat surprised by what you can find there to help you in your quest for a life full of normal eating.
If you want to adapt recipes but arent sure what ingredients you can use, try doing a search on one of the internet search engines such as Google. The number of recipes for sensitivity and intolerance sufferers is very substantial.
If you are in need of any further help or information Liz Allan is happy to help point you in the right direction.