An estimated 45% of the population suffers from food intolerance, yet many of us ignore the signs.

While stomach and bowel problems are a symptom that you are eating the wrong foods, intolerances can show up in your skin, joints, your breathing and even your mood.

Dr Gill Hart, Clinical Biochemist at YorkTest Laboratories, says: “At YorkTest our research has shown that many symptoms of food intolerance are not often even considered.

“YorkTest work with registered Nutritional Therapists to help those with food intolerance identify problem foods and make dietary changes that can really benefit not only physical health but to also improve the feeling of wellbeing”.

Think you might have an intolerance? See if any of these symptoms sound familiar...

Digestive

These are the most well-known symptoms of food intolerance and include bloating, diarrhoea and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). As many as 14 million Brits reportedly suffer from IBS with varying levels of severity and doctors are not exactly sure what causes IBS as symptoms can vary in type and severity from person to person.

Many cases of bloating and IBS have been attributed to food intolerance, as Dr Hart explains.

Mood

Recent research from YorkTest Laboratories has found that 97% of their customers reported problems relating to mood as a significant symptom of their food intolerance, of which 73% felt that their mood had significantly improved after altering their diets to remove foods to which they reacted.

“Many people aren’t aware that 90% of serotonin, the brain’s ‘happy hormone’ is produced in the gut, and that the nervous tissue in our gut does much more than merely handling digestion – it is heavily involved in influencing our mental state,” says Dr Hart.

“It is for these reasons that the gut is often referred to as the second brain. In addition, research has shown that depression is frequently associated with gastrointestinal inflammation – a common symptom of food intolerance."

Skin

People are increasingly turning to cosmetic surgery or strong medication to combat problems like eczema or psoriasis, but the key to healthy skin could be a simple diet swap. “A food intolerance combined with our stressful modern lives can really play havoc with our skin,” says Harley Street GP Dr Wendy Denning.

“Reactions to foods and dermatitis are clearly linked with elimination diets proving helpful if rather 'hit or miss'. The use of food-specific testing helps provide a targeted approach to combatting troublesome skin problems.”

 

Migraines

With recent research showing a strong link between food intolerance and migraines, a simple food intolerance test could save a lot of people a lot of pain and stress!

“A link between food intolerance and migraine has long been suspected. Recent research has shown that when sufferers follow tailored diets to eliminate trigger foods their symptoms significantly improve, however, the treatment of migraine is not a ‘one size fits all’ situation, each person needs to establish their own specific combination of triggers,” the charity Migraine Action advises.

 

Joint pain

More than nine million people in the UK suffer from arthritis and related conditions. According to the Arthritis Research Campaign, many people claim that cutting out certain foods has helped with their symptoms.

Treatment for joint pain usually focuses on medication, however there are still no drugs that cure these conditions and some have severe side-affects. Finding a natural treatment such as an elimination diet with YorkTest can help sufferers live a normal life once again.

Respiratory

In one UK survey, over two-thirds of asthma sufferers thought that various foods exacerbated their asthma. But when such cases are assessed, standard allergy tests are usually negative, suggesting that it is not only factors such as pollen or house dust that are the triggers.

A survey commissioned by Allergy UK found that 64% of those surveyed who had respiratory problems such as asthma and rhinitis reported a moderate to high benefit when they cut foods from their own 'food intolerance fingerprint' out of their diets.

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