Nutrition By Mercedes Aspland / February 10, 2014 This post has been inspired by something I was reading on Oatmeal With a Fork, literally just now and I added a comment as the writer Lauren had asked about food intolerance and allergy and I thought “Why not write a post on it?” So here we are. The first really important thing to mention is the difference between and food allergy and a food intolerance. Basically a food allergy can kill you and you have an immediate and severe reaction, I think we all know about nut allergies! A food intolerance is something less severe and can lead to symptoms like bloating, gas, nausea, eczema, asthma among other unpleasant symptoms. Food allergies are easy to spot and you will know immediately but food intolerances are much harder to spot as the reaction to foods can take 2 or 3 days to appear and so you could think it is one thing when in fact it is something completely different. The best thing about a food intolerance is you can recover from them, you can never get rid of an allergy. If you suspect you have a food intolerance then there are a few things you can do that will help and here is my useful list: 1. Repair your Gut – many people do things like take painkillers, prescription meds, drink alcohol and all sorts of other things that damage the gut. If you just leave it then you could develop a leaky gut which can increase your risk of a food intolerence. So the first place to start is to repair you gut buy following these steps: a. Glutamine – this is an amino acid that is naturally produced in the body and it is brilliant at repairing your gut. Take 5g (1tsp) or this dissolved in water every morning, at least an hour before you eat. b. Digestive Enzymes – this will help you to digest your food properly. You should take these for at least 30 days. c. Probiotic – a probiotic will help replace any missing bacteria in your stomach lining and aid digestion of food which not only helps to stop a leaky gut but also reduce your risk of a food intolerance. 2. Get Tested – I mentioned above that there can be a delay of symptoms and so it can be almost impossible to figure out what is causing your symptoms. The best thing to do is to have a full food intolerance test so you will know exactly what is causing the problem. Most test will tell you foods you react to and how severe that reaction is, so somethings with a small reaction may not actually cause you a problem. Work on the worst 3 offenders and see where you are then. 3. Eliminate the Culprits – Once you know what is causing the problem then you need to eliminate it from your diet. When I say this I mean completely eliminate it. You need to check the ingredients in everything and make sure nothing in it is made from the food you are avoiding. This will allow your body to fully heal and hopefully break the intolerance. 4. Slowly Reintroduce – I would recommend eliminating a food causing the problem for 3-6 months and then if your symptoms have completely gone you should try to reintroduce the food and assess the situation. Do it very gradually and keep a record of your symptoms, if they start to come back eliminate the food again. If they do not then keep adding it back in you may find that your body can now handle the food. I hope this article has helped but if you want to know anything or need any clarification then please add a comment as I am happy to help.