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As we gather to feast with our friends and families during the holidays, keep in mind that not all foods sit well with everyone. More than 32 million Americans have food allergies. But did you know one in four people suffer from a more common dining dilemma called food intolerance? Most of them don’t have a clue because they test negative for food allergies. They think the problem is in their head, and they keep eating the same food and continue to get sick!

Intolerances differ significantly from allergies. Unlike allergies, intolerances may vary from situation to situation, while an allergy always produces the same reaction. Intolerances are caused by the body’s inability to process specific substances and may cause bloating, digestive problems such as gas and/or diarrhea, fatigue, headaches, and even the inability to lose weight or weight gain. 

Symptoms may be difficult to link to specific foods, environmental substances, or food additives because they may not occur until hours or days later. To complicate the situation, everyone has a different tolerance for specific foods, so even if a person has an intolerance, it may be so mild that a small amount of the food doesn’t cause a reaction until enough of the food is eaten or is consumed consistently over time.

Here’s the difference between food intolerance and food allergies:

 

Food Intoleranceinability to digest particular foods

  • You may be able to eat small amounts of the offending food without trouble or prevent a reaction.
  • Food Intolerance symptoms are generally less serious and often limited to digestive problems. Some symptoms include bloating, stomachache, hives, and headaches. 

Food Allergyimmune system reaction to particular foods

  • A true food allergy causes an immune system reaction that affects numerous organs in the body.
  • Can cause a range of symptoms. In some cases, an allergic reaction to a food can be severe or life-threatening. 

Take the Tolerance Test

A food sensitivity test uses a small blood sample to measure your IgG reactivity levels to different types of foods. A high reactivity to a certain food indicates a potential intolerance. Any Lab Test Now offers five different levels of food intolerance tests, including the Platinum Comprehensive Sensitivity and Intolerance Panel, which measures the body’s cellular reaction to 320 items, including foods and food additives. 

Food Intolerance Card

When the results come in, Any Lab Test Now includes a Food Intolerance ID Card that lists foods that should be avoided. People can take it to restaurants and hand it to servers or send it in advance to family gatherings to alert a host about the foods they need to avoid. Keep the holidays happy and healthy by pinpointing allergies, sensitivities, and intolerances now so you’ll know what to avoid later.

Any Lab Test Now wants you to be at ease when it comes to seeking out any type of lab work, including finding out what foods may be affecting your digestive health. Find your closest Any Lab Test Now store at www.anylabtestnow.com.

 

 

 

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Some of the holiday foods that can contain hidden triggers: 

  • Christmas Cookies – Everyone knows baked goods require dairy products and those are bad for anyone who is lactose intolerant. But did you know that nuts, honey, and other spices have salicylate, natural chemicals that, if you are intolerant, can cause asthma, abdominal pain, even hives?
  • Green Bean Casserole – The veggies in this popular side dish are called FODMAPs, a short-grain carbohydrate that can trigger digestive issues if you are intolerant.
  • Party Chips & Dip – Certain potato chip brands include sulfites, a preservative that can cause intolerant eaters to get a stuffy nose and even wheeze while breathing. Sour cream or cheese-based dips are not the best choices if you are lactose intolerant.
  • Beer & Wine – A bottle of beer or glass of wine is not a good choice if you are intolerant to histamine, a natural chemical found in fermented alcohol that can give you a headache and trigger fatigue and sinus issues.
  • Aged Cheese & Cured Meats – A meat and cheese platter might be low carb, but you could get stomach cramps or hives if your body cannot tolerate the histamine compound often found in aged cheddar or gouda and meats treated with salt and nitrate, like pepperoni and salami.