Intolerance to Certain FoodsFood allergies
and food intolerance
can make life really difficult. Everything from dining out and cooking family meals to assembling lunchboxes and safeguarding your children from becomes a big production.Read More »
The three main types of food intolerance include:
- Gluten intolerance. Also known as gluten sensitive enteropathy, nontropical sprue, celiac coeliac disease and coeliac sprue, this malady involves an extreme sensitivity to the protein gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye. The body mistakenly identifies gluten as a harmful substance, which leads to inflammation and damage to the small intestine. Symptoms include itchiness, a rash, abdominal pain and diarrhoea.
- Lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance can be defined as the inability to digest a sugar called lactose that is found in milk and dairy products. In a normal person, lactose is broken down to simple sugars called glucose and galactose by an enzyme called lactase. Individuals who suffer from lactose intolerance do not produce enough lactase, which means undigested lactose remains in the intestines causing gas, bloating, stomach cramps and even diarrhoea.
- Fructose sensitivity. Also known as fructose malabsorption and dietary fructose intolerance, fructose sensitivity is a digestive disorder that affects the small intestine in which the fructose carrier in the enterocytes is deficient. This causes the fructose concentration in the entire intestine to increase and leads to bloating, flatulence, stomach pain, constipation and diarrhoea.
If you suspect that you suffer from a type of food intolerance, the first step should be to consult your physician. Food intolerance is normally diagnosed by means of a combination of:
If the tests are inconclusive or your physician requires more data to make a proper diagnosis, they may perform a provocation/challenge test during which the suspected food will gradually be introduced to the patient, first through touch and then by ingestion. These tests are performed in a hospital or clinic. A less drastic approach is an exclusion/elimination diet, which involves gradual avoidance of certain foodstuffs as a diagnostic tool. Once your condition has been properly diagnosed your physician will normally prescribe immediate treatment to alleviate recurring symptoms, as well as a diet tailored to your specific needs.
- An investigation into the patient’s clinical history.
- A clinical examination by a medical health professional
- A test for the detection of IgE antibodies through skin prick testing or blood tests.
With this in mind, the team here at Evergreen has gone to great lengths to bring you a vast selection of health food alternatives that will allow you to control your symptoms. While food allergies and intolerances may not be pleasant, there are ways and means of controlling it and choosing the correct health foods is a step in the right direction.
If you browse through our health food section, you will find a number of interesting alternatives to conventional foodstuffs that will allow you to enjoy your favourite foods without having to deal with nasty side effects. Why not try Mrs Crimble's Gluten-Free Chocolate Macaroons instead of your favourite teatime cookie or use Organ Gluten Free Lasagne Sheets to make your family’s preferred pasta dish? With the right approach, food allergies don’t necessarily have to mean the end of your culinary adventures.