What Exactly Does Food Intolerance Mean?

by | Mar 12, 2021 | Allergies, Chronic Disease, Diet, Food Allergy, Health, Inflammation, Nutrition | 0 comments

Food intolerance is different than food allergy. Food intolerance is a non-specific, non-immune mediated reaction to specific foods.

According to one’s individual biochemistry and digestion, the digestive tract’s intestinal lining doesn’t recognize certain foods as nutritive, but rather as toxic or indigestible, responding with symptoms such as gas, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, and many others. This also may be due to an enzyme deficiency.

Food intolerance is easily confused by the lay public with food allergies, which are immunologic in nature.

Food allergy can be potentially life threatening, inducing such reactions as anaphylactic shock, whereas food intolerances usually produce more chronic, in the background, low lying states

of inflammation. Food intolerance has to do with the body’s ability to sufficiently metabolize, digest, and absorb the nutrients from certain foods.

Though food intolerance is not immune mediated, the resulting inflammation is an immune response, characterized clinically by redness (rubor), heat (calor), swelling (tumor), and pain (dolor).

According to naturopathic doctors, inflammation is actually a compensatory, protective response on the part of the organism to reestablish normal balance in structure and function, to ward off “the bad guys,” or to resolve the underlying mechanisms or causes of the disease/state/condition.

The inflammatory response, in other words, is part of the body’s attempt to heal itself, and so should not be suppressed but rather worked with and supported. Unless, of course, a much more serious condition is at hand, such as the anaphylactic shock or severe IgE- mediated food allergy.

The dietary food intolerance evaluation is not a food allergy test or a lab, which classically measure IgG and IgE antibody titers that serve as biomarkers of the level of one’s individual response to certain foods as antigenic compounds.

In fact, this food intolerance assessment is a naturopathic, diagnostic tool, or rather, a functional evaluation that is evaluating the body’s ability to break down and absorb certain foods.

The foods listed above, in your results report, will likely irritate your intestinal lining and lead to symptoms of inflammation downstream, due to higher levels of toxicity in the blood (“toxemia”). These symptoms will be unique to each individual.

The only way to truly know how the foods listed below affect your digestive system is to remove them from your diet for a time. Knowledge empowers, and health is a journey, not a destination.

This information empowers you with more knowledge about what makes your body move in the direction of health and what makes it go against the trajectory- it’s up to you to determine what you want to do with it.



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