Having completed my Clean Cleanse in November 2014 (which you can read about here) I began 2015 with the intention of learning a little more about food intolerance and discovering whether the food I was eating on a daily basis was contributing to my dull, dry skin, break outs, and bloating. To be clear, I had developed some mild (but very annoying!) acne having never had any skin issues before – even through my teens, and the bloating I was experiencing was not your typical after dinner food-baby bloat. I really wanted to fix these issues and felt like I could maybe do it through correcting my diet, once I knew what I needed to avoid. I was already eating what I thought to be a fairly ‘clean’ diet so it made me all the more curious about what could have been causing the consistent digestive discomfort I was experiencing. I wasn’t putting myself through all this detox and cleansing for the craic.
I knew I could endure another strict detox regime like the week I had previously completed, and be more careful about slowly adding foods back into my diet, hopefully getting some clear answers, but I also knew this would be a long and laborious way of finding out my exact food intolerances (if any)…
Food Intolerance: The Testing
I had heard of a variety of food intolerance tests conducted at various health food shops, but none of them seemed to have any hard science behind them, so I was unconvinced. My Doctor recommended I contact Allergy Counts in Dublin for testing. I learned about the York Test which tests your IgG antibody reaction to over 100 different foods including typical culprits like gluten, milk, eggs, nuts etc. I was excited to have the test done and see if it would give me some answers.
Whilst waiting on my test kit, I spent two weeks eating an all-inclusive diet of many of the things that I had been avoiding; wheat, gluten, milk, peanuts etc. I have to say that my symptoms were worse than ever in those two weeks! However, if one does not eat certain foods prior to the York Test then the test will not be able to determine if you have an intolerance to the food as it has not been in your system to cause a reaction. While York Test do not recommend you eat foods that you know cause a bad reaction for you, I personally wanted a comprehensive picture of my own food intolerances so I decided to include everything in my diet!
I received a testing kit in the post which I had to return with a finger-prick blood sample that would then be sent to a lab in England for analysis. (Sending an actual blood sample to a laboratory made this particular test seem far more legit than the other health-food-shop food intolerance tests I had read about!) I was told I should have my results back in ten days and would then speak with a dietician who would go over my results and advise what foods I needed to eliminate from my diet.
So… What were my results?
I was told that there were three foods I needed to avoid; dairy, eggs and yeast. These were to be cut out immediately and kept out for at least three months from the point at which I became symptom free.
In Part Two I will write about how I got on with the elimination diet. I can say that I learned something very surprising, and discovered what had been the missing piece of the puzzle for me.
The Clean Coconut x
P.S. As far as I am aware, food intolerance testing using levels of blood IgG is not scientifically proven to be a reliable marker for food intolerance. Opinion is divided on the efficacy of this testing. I’ll give you my opinion over the course of the posts which follow. You can read more about food intolerance and the York Test on their website here.