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Foodprint® - FAQs: Food Intolerance

Should I have a food intolerance test?
If you have any of the symptoms that are listed in the next question and you have visited your GP to ensure that there are no underlying causes for your symptoms, then it would be advisable to have a food intolerance test.

What are the symptoms of food intolerance?
Food intolerance can produce a variety of symptoms and can affect almost any organ. Often patients report multiple symptoms such as gut pain with headaches and skin rash, but some of the common symptoms include:- Anxiety, attention deficit disorder, constipation, diarrhoea, headaches, insomnia, migraines, water retention, arthritis, fibromyalgia, asthma, abdominal bloating, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, gastritis, inflammatory bowel disease, itchy skin, weight control problems, hyperactivity disorder and irritable bowel syndrome.

What is the difference between food allergy and food intolerance?
A classical food allergy such as peanut or shellfish allergy is usually characterised by an immediate and often severe reaction to exposure to the offending food and is associated with the production of IgE antibodies.  Food intolerance tends to be a delayed reaction which can last for days.  It is not usually life-threatening but can cause unpleasant symptoms.  Food specific IgG antibodies are associated with food intolerances.

Is it possible to be affected by foods that are not detected by FoodPrint?
Some foods may cause a classical allergic reaction involving the production of a type of antibody called IgE. These will not be detected by any IgG food test. There are also many foods that can cause a reaction in the body without involving the immune system but produce symptoms similar to IgG reactions. For example, amines in chocolate, cheese and red wine may cause migraines; some food additives such as tartrazine can cause hives, rashes and asthma; monosodium glutamate in Chinese dishes produces sweating and dizziness; and ‘Nightshade’ alkaloids in potatoes, tomatoes and peppers can affect the joints. These are very difficult to test, but you should avoid them if you suspect they are affecting you.

Are the tests covered by BUPA or any other insurance company?
BUPA does not currently cover the cost of these tests.