Food Intolerance vs Food Allergy
Food intolerance is also directly related to lifestyle and food choice we make. “Earlier days, we used to have more diverse diet along with a much active lifestyle. However, with the more intake of junk or one particular style of food with a couch potato lifestyle, the food intolerance is becoming more common. Even a child as young as five years old is recommended to go for the food intolerance test if he is facing a particular health problem for unknown reasons. Food intolerance means that the body is not accepting a particular kind of food leading to health issues, explained Dr. Marlon O. Pereira, MD Managing Director and Specialist Clinical Pathologist at JTS Medical Centre Dubai. ” Food intolerances can be inborn or acquired errors of metabolism of nutrients, and may lead to several symptoms such as enzyme deficiencies, diabetes mellitus, phenylketonuria, anxiety, asthma, attention deficit disorder, constipation, depression, diarrhea, abdominal bloating, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastritis, insomnia, headaches, migraines, fluid retention, arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, itchy skin, weight control problems, and hyperactivity.”
However, Dr. Pereira said food intolerance is different from food allergy. “Food allergy is usually resulting in an immediate and often very severe reaction. Symptoms can include anaphylaxis, skin reactions such as hives, vomiting, sneezing, swelling, runny nose and fatigue. Unlike a true allergy, food intolerance can occur up to 3 days after consumption of the offending food and maybe due to a pharmacological effect.”
He said that there are 220 well-known food irritants which are tested by a blood test. “Upon the identification of the specific food which is not tolerant of your body, it is important to reduce the consumption if cannot be eliminated for good. One can consult the nutrition and seek the advice how to balance the diet without using intolerant food.” He said it’s a long-term lifestyle food adjustment phenomena cannot be cured with few dozes of medication and few weeks of diets. “Unfortunately, at present times, we have adopted a certain lifestyle which is not active enough to digest all kinds of food we eat. Also, our platter is not diversified as it used to be a few years ago. The cosmopolitan lifestyle eventually ended up in taking the same kind of food for years, which eventually lead to imbalances in our body,” he added.
The test is usually not covered by the standard medical insurance and usually cost between AED 1450 to AED 1550