So What Exactly is Food Intolerance?

The complex way food affects our everyday lives is an emerging area and diagnosing the cause of symptoms which seem to be ‘unexplained’ is often difficult. People who experience some of the symptoms of  food intolerance are often led by the medical profession and the media to believe that their condition is ‘all in the mind’ and are treated for the physical manifestation of the condition rather than the cause. However there are now answers to your questions and ways to identify the cause of your symptoms leading to long term relief.

Although not life threatening like food allergy, food intolerance should never be underestimated as its impact on sufferers can be significant, severely impacting on their ability to live normal healthy lives.   Food intolerance is extremely widespread and it is estimated that 45% of the population could be affected.  Many people with food intolerance experience more than one symptom. Symptoms can often be vague and the root cause of the problem, food, is not always correctly diagnosed.  Sufferers often complain of seeming to be in a ‘fog’, feeling bloated and being tired all the time.

Essentially food intolerance is your body’s abnormal reaction to certain foods which can manifest itself in a number of ways. Some people will have one symptom such as a severe headache whilst others will be unfortunate to experience irritable bowel syndrome, migraine and skin or respiratory conditions. Realising that the food you eat is a catalyst for particular symptoms is not easy when, unlike the immediate reactive symptoms of food allergy, food intolerance symptoms often appear hours or even days later. In fact, following the elimination of problem foods, many sufferers have realised that they had been experiencing minor symptoms as a result of intolerance for their entire lives.

Food allergy is not the same as food intolerance. But the two are frequently confused.

A classical food allergy (such as peanut or shellfish allergy) is usually characterised by an immediate and often severe reaction of the immune system to exposure to a specific food.

The symptoms of food allergy include sneezing, rashes, skin irritation, swelling, runny nose, fatigue, diarrhoea and vomiting. Normally symptoms occur within a few minutes of eating or coming in to contact with the offending food, although they can be delayed by up to two hours.

Food allergy is quite rare with only about 2.5% of the population being diagnosed with the condition.  The most common instances of food allergy are to peanuts, tree nuts (almonds and brazils), eggs, milk, fish and shellfish.

When exposed to the source of food allergy the body makes specific antibodies (IgE) to ‘fight off’ the allergens found in these foods.  When the food is next eaten it triggers an immune system response which results in the release of histamine and other naturally occurring chemicals in the body. Allergic reactions to food can vary considerably in their severity and some can be fatal.

Food intolerance and food allergy in brief

Food Intolerance

  • Reactions are usually delayed and symptoms may take several days to appear
  • You can be intolerant to several different food groups at the same time
  • Sufferers can experience multiple symptoms, from migraine to bloating, diarrhoea, lethargy and a generally feeling unwell

Food Allergy

  • Reactions usually occur quickly, with a maximum of 2 hours after exposure to the ‘reactive’ food
  • The body’s IgE immune system is activated by the immediate ingestion of the reactive food
  • Symptoms include: difficulty breathing, rashes, swelling, runny nose and anaphylactic shock These can potentially be life threatening



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What is the Autonomic nervous system?

The autonomic system is the body’s main control center. It is in charge of dozens of vital functions, including the cardiovascular, respiratory, immune, digestive, and reproductive systems. In fact, without regulation by the ANS, none of the internal organs could function at all.

What does the ANS ANALYSIS measure?

The ANS ANALYSIS measures the condition of the two main parts of the autonomic nervous system. The activity level of the fight or flight nervous system and the rest and digest nervous system is illustrated in a bar graph. During periods of rest, the rest and digest nervous system is supposed to be active and get to the green zone. Unfortunately, the balance between the fight or flight and the rest and digest nervous system is frequently disturbed which leads to increased organic dysfunction.

The ANS ANALYSIS is perfect for:

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For people with….

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Digital scales enable you to measure and record your body weight to see how you are progressing towards your goal weight. If you want a more complete picture of your body’s condition than just weight, then a body composition monitor is invaluable. Used regularly, it calculates and records how your body is changing, ensuring you don’t lose body muscle when you’re trying to lose body fat.

How accurate are body compositon monitors?

Three factors need to be taken into account. One is the accuracy of the display, the second is accuracy of the measurement calculation (Body Fat Percentage), and lastly how the device is being used (time of day, physical state, etc.). Display accuracy is typically 0.1%. The accuracy of measurement varies from model to model between +/- 3.5 and 4.1% based on the Standard Error of Estimation (SEE). The SEE states that; 68% of the measurements for different users are accurate to within +/- 3.5 to 4.1% (model dependent), relative to the body fat percentage. Body Mass Index (BMI), only provides a rough guide value and it is disputed since it does not take into account a persons build or the composition of the body weight in terms of fatty and muscle tissue, which vary by individual. BMI uses a very simple formula to calculate the value; weight divided by the height squared (kg / m²).

I understand the body composition monitors use an electric current to measure body fat. Is this electric current dangerous?

OMRON Body Composition Monitors pass a very weak alternating current (50 kHz, 0.5 mA [milliamp]) through the body.  This is absolutely safe, however, for wearers of electronic medical devices and implants (pacemakers, electrocardiograms, etc.), this current may cause a malfunction. This group of people is strongly advised NOT to use these monitors.



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