“Let food be the medicine and medicine be the food” – Hippocrates 460 BC
As early as 2500 years ago, Hippocrates described a patient with abdominal pain, abdominal bloating, constipation, and colic which is likely the first documented case of food intolerance in medicine.
Today, it is thought that every other person will suffer at least once during their lifetime from some sort of food intolerances.
Thousands of medical studies have demonstrated the effect of nutrition on health and well-being.
Symptoms of food intolerances are quite diverse, and once other diseases are ruled out, they are often associated with:
- Bloating and constipation
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Joint discomfort
- Mood and behavioural changes
- Sleeping disorders
- Eczema and itchy skin
- Fatigue and general exhaustion
Frequently, food intolerances are associated with an inappropriate reaction of the immune system to particular foods.
While the underlying mechanisms are in many cases still unknown, a chronically irritated bowel can lead to an increased permeability of food components through the bowel mucosa into the bloodstream and can result in an increased response of the immune system towards these foods.
Please note that food intolerances are not to be confused with food allergies.
While both can be mediated by the immune system, and may have overlapping symptoms, symptoms of food allergies occur fast (within minutes or hours) after food intake while symptoms of food intolerance can occur even days after the causative food has been eaten. The NutriSMART test is an aid for the diagnosis of food intolerances but not food allergies, if you suspect that you are allergic to particular foods, please consult your medical doctor. With the NutriSMART test, reactivity of a particular class of antibodies (IgG4) to a variety of foods that are usually associated with chronic discomfort is measured (see above). If there is a high reactivity (level 3), your immune system reacts intensively to this food.
A high reactivity is not necessarily associated with any symptom such as the ones listed above. Hence, measurement of food specific IgG4 antibodies, combined with a careful analysis of symptoms and medical history, allow healthcare practitioners to indicate foods that are not tolerated by the patient. If your result shows a positive reaction to a certain food, exchanging it with another, similar food (rotation diet) or eliminating it for a limited period is often sufficient to restore body integrity and to eliminate symptoms. The detailed assessment of the results and individual recommendations are shown on the following pages.
The individual recommendations are designed to reduce or omit particular foods, in case of a intolerance. You can also find an individually developed nutrition plan, which allows you to exclude or reduce the consumption of IgG4-positive tested foods while maintaining a balanced diet. Caution: Elimination of foods for an extended period may lead to deficiencies of key vital nutrients – always consult with your healthcare practitioner before starting a diet!