Dr Debbie Smith, Plettenberg bay, Garden route, Bryanston

Food intolerance

Eating healthy foods, like fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, fish and poultry may not always be healthy for YOU. This is because the body can have intolerances to various foods, which can cause chronic symptoms. With a blood sample, it is possible to identify which foods your body responds.

What is food intolerance?
Food intolerance is a delayed immune reaction, forming IgG antibodies to food. The reaction can provide various types of chronic symptoms that might not believed was linked to the food you normally eat.

What causes food intolerance?
Food intolerance can occur if incomplete digested food is absorbed in the body. The immune system reacts to it then forms IgG antibody to the targeting food. This reaction can affect tissues and organs, causing various symptoms.

How to examine food intolerance?
Antibody responses can be measured in the blood by a simple finger prick. All that is needed for the analysis is a simple finger prick test, and within 21 days you will receive your personal report. This will guide you to what you are most sensitive too.

When treating food intolerances the gut needs to be also healed during this time. We follow the 4 R treatment principle of Functional Medicine in our practice.

How long is food intolerance?
Food intolerance is usually only temporary. Intolerance typically disappear when in 3-4 months once the food is acted on is removed. Often the food can be reintroduced into the diet without symptoms reappear. The most effective way to avoid food intolerance is by replacing and combining the food in the right way.

Food intolerance is a reaction to specific foods. The reaction may be measured by the IgG antibodies in the blood.


Keeping a food diary is very hard because symptoms might only appear a few hours even sometimes a day later. Symptoms could include abdominal pain, migraine, eczema, sinus and digestive problems. Other symptoms are not immediate and can be associated when a food is high in concentration. These include a sore throat, otitis media, overweight, fatigue, sore muscles, etc.

The symptoms may initially appear in mild form of so gradually worsens.

An elimination diet would be recommended and certain foods would be removed for a period of then reintroduce. An assessment would be done to reassess after a period of time.

One of the physical factors that may influence the development of intolerance toward certain foods are particle size and frequency. Another factor may be a strained gastrointestinal tract, for example, after an infection.

The extent of food intolerance is more common than previously thought. The causes of intolerance are not yet mapped, but the processing of our food seems to have a great importance. Especially the industrially processed foods, which are not identical to natural, so the body does not recognize them and react to them instead of using them.

Studies show that over half the population in the Western world have intolerance to food. That is to say that the immune system is loaded every time they eat the food, and the body reacts with varying symptoms.

At the right support and exclusion of the provocative food intolerance these can disappear after 2-3 months and the food can often be reintroduced into the diet.

Food sensitivity from a Chinese Medicine point of view

Eriksson NE, Moller C, Werner S, Magnusson J, Bengtsson U, Zolubas M.Self-reported food hypersensitivity in Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, and Russia. J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol. 2004; 14 (1): 70-9.
BRALY James, “Dr. Braley’s Food Allergy & Nutrition Revolution “, 1992. 

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