But firstly, what are some symptoms to look out for in yourself or your children?
Common symptoms of intolerances and sensitivities can include:
- constant or recurring runny nose, and having to blow nose frequently
- clearing of throat by coughing frequently, especially after waking in the morning
- sinus infections or pressure
- frequent tummy upsets, with sudden or frequent diarrhoea
- bloating of lower abdomen and lots of gas/flatulence
- frequent infections such as throat infections, colds and flu
- foul or smelly breath
- frequent enlarged or infected tonsils and adenoid glands, or had them removed due to being enlarged
- skin rashes, eczema, or itchy skin
- having a horizontal crease across the lower part of the nose
- sunken and/or dark circles under the eyes, as shown in the meme photo.
Many people think that these intolerances are "allergies" and use this term to describe the reactions or symptoms they see. Allergies and intolerances are both immune system reactions to triggering substances, but they are very different! Intolerances such as to dairy or gluten (as in Coeliac Disease) are an IgG immune system response, whereas allergies are a more severe IgE response.
People also believe that if you avoid the food or substance that you are intolerant to in the same way as for allergies - ie, complete avoidance, you actually have a high risk of developing new intolerances to MORE substances. I've seen this in some clients and in published research.
Hence intolerances need to be treated quite differently to allergies! In addition, failure to identify various intolerances and act on them can result in ongoing symptoms and development of chronic health conditions.
Because of the delayed reaction of symptoms appearing with intolerances, it can be very difficult to identify what are your individual triggers! But there are some very good pathology tests using blood or hair samples which can identify 50-500 different food and environmental triggers which cause intolerance symptoms. Bear in mind that allergy tests will not identify intolerances or vice versa.
If you see the "allergy shiners" under your eyes or other intolerance symptoms or in your children or family, please look into getting an intolerance test to identify what is causing these issues, and then make some adjustments to dietary intake or lifestyle to reduce exposure, to improve health! I can help with testing and recommendations from the test results!
Do you have any known intolerances and what are they? Or do you suspect some intolerances but are not sure what is causing them?