Thought on food intolerance tests?

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Hi. I've struggled with digestive issues for years, but they have got worse. Blood tests were mostly fine & an ultrasound was clear. 

I started a probiotic powder a few weeks ago, which has had a great effect on bowel movements - have been loose for years & always felt like everything went through me too quickly but for the first time in years I'm having normal BMs! However, I'm still struggling with stomach pain.

I'm sure it's related to food/drink intolerances, but have been loathe to eliminate everything from my diet & keep a food diary as it seems like a huge step to take. I'm starting to think that this is the only option though as I just can't work out which foods are triggering it. I am sure onions, garlic, cups of tea & alcohol are bad, so am now avoiding those as much as possible. I generally have a good diet with plenty of homegrown veg, etc.

I am very sceptical about food intolerance tests, but I felt so fed up of feeling ill that I'm embarrassed to say I paid a fortune for two tests (& two for my husband too as he's also having issues even worse than mine). One of these was the York food & drink test. I know that if you've not had the food recently or if you've had a lot of the food, it can influence results, but has anyone had any luck with York intolerance tests? Have they helped. I was horrified that mine came back with lots of major intolerances - yeast, gluten, wheat, cows milk, eggs (yolk & white). There were a couple of other smaller things like chilli flakes & sesame seeds, but it was the major ones that freaked me out. I still have to speak to their nutritionist, but it seems like if I cut all of that out of my diet I'll hardly have anything left to eat!

Any advice or experiences welcome! I'm sure I'll get loads of people saying it was a waste of money - and it probably was - I was desperate! 

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Sarah,

    I haven't had any allergy test done but am intolerant to wheat and milk and have for the past 20 ish years managed to exclude these and maintain a good diet. There are so many replacement products out there now that life is much easier than it used to be with food intolerances. I am also vegetarian. I occasionally eat eggs so can verify that even that part of a restrictive diet isn't as hard to manage. So many products that would include them often don't now. Also there are vegan recipes that show you how easy it is to exlude them.

    I know it must still feel a bit of a shock seeing the list of things that could be affecting you. Some may have a smaller affect than others eg: chilli affects me but to a much less affect than the wheat or milk and so I can manage it occasionally. 

    You could illuminate wheat or milk for a while to see if it helps. That's what I did and my symptoms became better but then I realised that wheat was still an issue. No symptoms when I had neither products but I craved wheat. I would get a reaction almost instantly when I succumbed to the craving so I stopped succumbing!

    Hope that helps


    • Posted

      Thanks Beverley - that's really helpful. I do love veg, but also eat pasta, bread, etc. I'll have to start browsing the 'free from' products! It's nice to hear that you can tolerate some of the baddies occasionally! I know that if I have a beer then I really regret it so that's one I'll stop succumbing to!

      I did read somewhere that if you eliminate the foods for long enough (I think it was 4 months) then the reactors in your body disappear & you can tolerate them again. Have you ever eliminated foods for that length of time and then found them okay or still had problems?

    • Posted

      Beware the Free-from aisle: the products there are extremely calorie dense and have a lot of sugar and additives in them. They are designed as substitutes for people with coeliac disease - they are not a healthy alternative. 

      I eliminated wheat for something more like 4 years - and no, I can't tolerate it except when on a high dose of corticosteroids.

  • Posted

    I think you are right to be sceptical  - and I'd stick to that attitude.

    I can't post s link here - but this is an extract from an article in the Guardian a couple of years ago:

    "The guide says most internet and shop-bought allergy tests have no scientific basis. They include the York test, a home-testing kit that looks for specific IgG antibodies against food stuffs in the blood. While these antibodies are part of the immune system’s response to infections, “the best medical evidence has shown elevated IgG levels do not suggest an allergy”, the guide says. “Results are frequently positive in individuals who do not have an allergy or a food intolerance.”"

    If you google a bit of it you will probably get a link to the entire article which was done in conjunction with Sense about Science.

    Like Beverly I identified an allergy to wheat - not the gluten but the structure of the starch in highly commercialised wheat used for a lot of bread and pasta. I can eat other forms of wheat such as spelt, purpur and kamut - ancient varieties with different structures. Rye is also fine - but all must be pure, no added wheat.

    Moderator comment: I've added the link to the article below.

    • Posted

      That's really helpful - thanks Eileen. Thanks for the link also. It will be interesting, if I have the willpower to cut out what they suggested (& replace with healthy alternatives), to see if it makes a difference. I do think the best course of action is probably to do that anyway - eliminate stuff & then slowly re-introduce it. It's just a lot of hassle & rather depressing! Really interesting to hear about your specific wheat allergy. I must start a food diary & begin cutting things out.

    • Posted

      The effects of my wheat allergy (a very itchy rash) took a few weeks to manifest - it was never obvious! I stopped eating carbs to lose weight and the rash went away but returned after every trip to Italy when of course I was eating pasta and pizza! 
  • Posted

    I'm certainly not going to say that you wasted your money! 

    I do know what it's like to want help so badly that you'll do anything you can to help yourself!  Been there, done that and will probably do it again!   So you see I like many of the others here totally understand! 

    You said that you haven't spoken to their Nutritonalist, if that's part of what you paid for then I think that you should do it ASAP, certainly can't do any harm as long as they are what they say they are!  Be careful of the new or hidden costs,  alot of companies are only there for your money!   It's Shopper Be Aware!

    Good luck, Susan 


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