allergies and intolerances Archives - Page 3 of 3 - Lifelab Testing

How an Alcohol Intolerance Test Works

If you notice that you don’t feel well after drinking even a few sips of alcohol, then you might be alcohol intolerant. Alcohol intolerance tends to cause immediate uncomfortable reactions like flushing skin, stuffy nose, and nausea. Of course, an alcohol intolerance test will help figure out if you’re truly intolerant to alcohol or if it’s something else you ate. This guide will discuss the symptoms of alcohol intolerance and how you can complete an intolerance test to discover whether alcohol is the cause of these symptoms for you.

Most people who suffer from alcohol intolerance assume that maybe they got drunk too quickly, but in reality, it’s their bodies that don’t have the right enzymes that help break down the beverage. Alcohol intolerance is sometimes also called alcohol sensitivity.

Causes of alcohol intolerance

Alcohol intolerance is passed through genetics. This means that you can inherit this metabolic disorder {1}. This genetic condition prevents your body from properly breaking down alcohol, which leads to the symptoms of alcohol intolerance. It is possible for you to have this condition even if your parents don’t suffer from alcohol intolerance, as it can be genetically mutated and passed down.

Our bodies are full of enzymes and proteins which break down anything that we consume, be it foods or drinks. Alcohol intolerance is when your body lacks a specific enzyme that helps it metabolize alcohol. So, even if you drink small amounts of alcohol, you will still get the symptoms. When you consume anything with ethanol and have alcohol intolerance, the genetic mutation in your body makes ALDH2 inactive. Because of this, your body can’t convert Acetaldehyde to acetic acid, which in turn leads to Acetaldehyde starting to build up in your blood and tissues, causing intolerance symptoms.

Alcohol intolerance symptoms

Before you test for alcohol intolerance, you need to check your symptoms and see if they are close to the common alcohol intolerance symptoms. Which include:

  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Stomach pain.
  • Throbbing headache, fatigue, and other hangover-like symptoms.
  • Diarrhoea.
  • Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) or heart palpitations.
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure).
  • Stuffy nose.
  • Worsening asthma.

Risk factors of alcohol intolerance

If you find out that you have alcohol intolerance, then it’s likely that someone else in your family has it already or will have it. However, it can affect anyone really, but there are people at a higher risk of being alcohol intolerant like:

  • Being of Asian descent, especially Chinese, Japanese, or Korean.
  • Suffering from asthma or hay fever (allergic rhinitis).
  • Having an allergy to grains or other food.
  • Having Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Alcohol intolerance test

It is possible to test for alcohol intolerance. You can even get an alcohol Intolerance Test at home if you feel like you don’t have time to visit the doctor’s office. You can purchase an alcohol intolerance test kit online and have it delivered to your doorstep within three days. All you’ll have to do is carefully read the instructions on how to collect the sample. After collecting your sample and storing it safely, you can then send it back to the labs for testing. At the lab, the scientist will not only do an alcohol intolerance test, but they’ll also test for other common intolerances. You will then receive results in your mail within seven days of sending your sample back to the lab.

Blood test for alcohol intolerance

basic-intolerance-front
Our Basic Intolerance Test Kit

When doing a blood test for alcohol intolerance, the lab technicians check for IgG4 antibodies. By looking at IgG4 antibodies, it acts more like preventative screening as it blocks access of IgE to the allergen. IgG4 antibodies concentration is 10,000 times higher than those of IgE; hence binds faster and with greater frequency. Since only 1% of IgG4 is released in cases of allergies, it is easy to observe them when one has an intolerance.

IgG4 antibodies are released with the focus of influencing immune-inflammatory response without releasing histamines. So, in the lab, observing the IgG antibodies helps the scientist know which foods are causing you intolerance symptoms, and that’s how we come up with a list of culprits that your body is sensitive towards. If you feel like you’d like to try out this science for checking for alcohol intolerance, you can order your alcohol Intolerance Test online.

Difference between alcohol intolerance and allergy

Even though some people think these two are the same, the truth is far from that. Alcohol intolerance is a genetic condition, whereas alcohol allergy is an immune response to ethanol or other compounds used to make the liquor. Since alcohol intolerance is a genetic condition, it means this metabolic disorder affects the digestive system preventing your body from metabolizing alcohol like it’s supposed to.

But when it comes to an alcohol allergy, it only means that the immune system is fighting something in alcohol like grains, preservatives, chemicals, or sulfite. Most people who are allergic to alcohol don’t have an ethanol allergy but rather an allergy to the ingredients used to make alcohol.

The symptoms between the two vary slightly, and in rare cases, an alcohol allergy can be life-threatening, whereas intolerance isn’t {2}. An allergy can result in anaphylaxis which always requires the intervention of a medical emergency team, but an intolerance never becomes that extreme.

Alcohol intolerance treatment

Since alcohol intolerance is more of a genetic issue, there’s no cure for it. The best way to treat alcohol intolerance is by avoiding alcohol. If you don’t consume alcohol, you won’t experience the horrible symptoms of alcohol intolerance. Just because you have alcohol intolerance doesn’t prevent you from being an alcohol addict. In fact, you may experience severe consequences compared to the average person suffering from alcohol addiction. If someone you know or you are struggling with alcohol addiction and intolerance, it’s necessary to help them join a treatment program as it’s the first step towards recovery.

When you have alcohol intolerance, you should quit smoking or avoid inhaling second-hand smoke as it worsens the symptoms of alcohol intolerance. You will also need to completely cut out alcohol or keep it at the barest minimum, and if you still choose to keep drinking alcohol, don’t mix it with medication as it will worsen the symptoms. The most advisable advice you will get is to stop drinking alcohol since it can lead to other dire conditions putting your life at a higher risk.

However, you can use antihistamines or antacids to reduce the symptoms of alcohol intolerance. Even though using antihistamines will help, it’s not a good idea if you keep drinking alcohol afterwards. Since the medications help mask the symptoms, it can often lead to more drinking, which will worsen the problem. If you keep drinking alcohol when suffering from alcohol intolerance, you could end up suffering from:

  • Cancer of the mouth and throat (head and neck cancer)
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Late-onset Alzheimer’s disease

Is alcohol intolerance the same as being drunk?

Most people assume that alcohol intolerance means that you are intoxicated easily, even though this is false. Alcohol intolerance doesn’t mean that you become drunk faster after drinking little amounts of alcohol. Instead, it means that you will most likely not drink too much because symptoms will make the whole experience intolerable. Alcohol intolerance doesn’t increase your blood alcohol level.

Final thoughts on how alcohol intolerance test works

Living with alcohol intolerance can be difficult,  which is why the recommended response is to avoid alcohol at all costs. If you are experiencing symptoms after drinking alcohol, you can get your alcohol Intolerance Test kit today to be sure if you’re honestly intolerant or if it’s something else. If the results show that you’re intolerant, you know what to do. Even though most food intolerances are harmless apart from the negative symptoms, alcohol isn’t like that. The more you keep drinking after learning that you’re intolerant to alcohol, the higher your chances are of developing more dire illnesses.

References

  1. Agarwal, D. P., & Goedde, H. W. (2012). Alcohol metabolism, alcohol intolerance, and alcoholism: Biochemical and pharmacogenetic approaches. Springer Science & Business Media. Source: https://books.google.co.ke/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Fu-XBAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA6&dq=alcohol+intolerance&ots=xSA0WhQlP4&sig=RPcmjNn4rWY0JFkL2xdyIl9Jr9E&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=alcohol%20intolerance&f=false
  2. Gonzalez‐Quintela, A., Vidal, C., & Gude, F. (2004). Alcohol, IgE and allergy. Addiction Biology, 9(3‐4), 195-204. Source: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1369-1600.2004.tb00533.x

Identifying Food Intolerance Symptoms

Food intolerance happens when your digestive system is sensitive to certain foods and can’t tolerate them. Food intolerances affect around 15-20% of the population {1}. Most of the time, you will find that food intolerances are rampant in people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), where most people who have IBS tend to suffer from food intolerances.

Sometimes people believe a food intolerance or sensitivity is the same as an allergy even though the two are completely different. Food allergies stem from the immune system, while food intolerances affect the digestive system. According to research, it is also evident that more women suffer from food intolerance compared to men {2}. We will discuss the symptoms of food intolerance, including potential causes and how to get a diagnosis.

Food intolerance symptoms

The severity of food intolerance symptoms varies from one person to the other. When it comes to food intolerance, the amount of food that one consumes determines the severity of the symptoms. Symptoms of food intolerance take a while to emerge. It may take several hours to occur after eating the food and may last up to several days or hours. Some food intolerance symptoms may overlap with those of food allergy. The most known symptoms of food intolerance include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Bloating and gas
  • Diarrhoea
  • Stomach upset
  • Migraine and headache
  • Runny nose
  • Malaise, which is a feeling of being under the weather
  • Skin rashes and itching

How long do food intolerance symptoms last?

Most of the time, after you’ve eaten the offending food, it can take between a few hours for the symptoms to set in. but in other cases, the symptoms may take up to a few days to show. It gets hard to pinpoint the offending food since you’d have eaten various meals in such cases. It is important to note that food intolerance symptoms can be delayed for up to 48 hours.

When you consume a food that your digestive system is sensitive toward, the symptoms will take some time to pass. These symptoms will pass when the food you’re sensitive to is out of your system.

What causes food intolerance?

Experts aren’t sure why there are people who develop food intolerances. But the most common reason is that their bodies can’t make enough of a certain enzyme that helps break down food or a specific ingredient. For example, people with lactose intolerance lack a necessary enzyme called lactase to digest a specific food. Over the years, the number of people suffering from food intolerances has risen.

What experts are sure of is that some illnesses increase your chances of suffering from food intolerances like:

  • Celiac disease
  • Inflammatory bowel syndrome
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis

There are common food intolerances. These include:

  1. Lactose intolerance- Lactose is a sugar found in milk and dairy products. When your body lacks the enzyme lactase to break down lactose sugar, you become lactose intolerant. The enzyme lactase is supposed to break down lactose sugars into small molecules for easy absorption into the body. The symptoms of lactose intolerance are similar to any other food intolerance symptoms.
  2. Fructose intolerance- Fructose is a simple sugar present in vegetables, fruits, and sweeteners like honey, corn syrup, and agave. When fructose intolerance results from a lack of certain enzymes, that means it’s hereditary. Most of the time, fructose intolerance results from the body lacking a certain protein that allows it to absorb sugar from the intestines. When someone has fructose intolerance, the fructose in foods ferments in the gut, leading to fullness, gas, cramps, diarrhoea, and gas.
  3. Gluten intolerance and Celiac disease- Gluten is a name for proteins found in cereals like tye, wheat, and barley. Celiac disease is an autoimmune response to you consuming gluten. However, the symptoms of gluten intolerance, wheat intolerance/allergy, and celiac disease all have similar symptoms. The way these diseases affect the body varies, but it all leads to eliminating the culprits from the diet. For example, with celiac disease and gluten intolerance, one has to remove gluten from their diet, while with wheat allergy or intolerance, one has to eliminate wheat from their diet.
  4. Salicylate intolerance- Salicylates are compounds found in vegetables, fruits, spices, and herbs. Salicylates are also present in artificial flavouring and preservatives. Most of the time, people can tolerate salicylates in moderate amounts. However, some people have a reduced intolerance and can’t consume items like chewing gum, candies, or toothpaste that contain salicylates.
  5. Food poisoning- Sometimes, naturally occurring chemicals can cause a toxic effect resulting in intolerance symptoms. For example, when you eat beans that aren’t fully cooked, it can cause digestive issues since it contains aflatoxins when not fully cooked. On the other hand, the ingestion of certain types of spoiled fish can lead to scombroid fish poisoning since it contains high levels of histamines. High levels of histamines in foods mimic allergic reactions.

Food intolerance diagnosis

complete-intolerance-front
Our Complete Intolerance Test Kit

If you think you might have an intolerance to any foods in your diet due to the repetition of certain food intolerance symptoms, then you may need to talk to your doctor. Your doctor will help you eliminate any underlying diseases or conditions that could cause the repeat of these symptoms. Once you see a repeat of the symptoms afterwards, you can get yourself an Intolerance Test.

An intolerance test will help you know what foods you’re intolerant towards. After you realize that you may be intolerant to certain foods, you will need to eliminate them from your diet with the help of your doctor, and you both can work out a way to reintroduce them back into your diet and make your body tolerant to them again. Being intolerant to many foods in your diet can be difficult as it limits what you can and cannot eat. But a nutritionist will help you realize which supplements you should take to help you prevent any deficiencies.

Sometimes it gets difficult to diagnose food intolerance based on the symptoms because of how similar food intolerance symptoms are to IBS. Of course, a doctor can let you know the difference, and that’s why we recommend you visit a doctor first to rule out such a diagnosis before you start checking food intolerance.

The type of test we use in our labs to check for intolerances measures the levels of IgG antibodies in your blood. If the antibodies are high when introduced to certain allergens, then that means you’re intolerant to that food.

How to treat or manage food intolerance symptoms

The best way for people with intolerance to live free from food intolerance and symptoms is by avoiding the problematic foods by completely cutting them from their diet. Once you’ve known the foods that cause intolerance symptoms, eliminate them from your diet. You can keep a food diary to ensure you don’t consume them at all.

However, some people can tolerate small amounts of the culprit foods in their diet without causing any food intolerance symptoms. But if you suffer from food intolerance symptoms, you can get over-the-counter medicines like antacids or antidiarrheals to help. But if you have specific intolerances like lactose, you can buy lactase enzymes from the store. Lactase pills can be consumed with milk to help break the milk sugars down for easy absorption without any complications. Alternatively, you can drink lactose-free milk.

Final thoughts on food intolerance

Food intolerances tend to be lifelong. You can easily manage the symptoms by cutting back on the problematic foods or consuming them in trace amounts. Even though food intolerances are inconvenient, they aren’t life-threatening. You can also take supplements to aid digestion. Otherwise, if you have food intolerance symptoms and are unsure which food is the culprit, you can purchase your Intolerance Test today and have it delivered to your home within three days. Afterwards, you will get your results within a week of sending your sample back to the lab. You don’t need to live with these symptoms when it is easy to know which foods you need to eliminate from your diet.

References

  1. Lomer, M. C. E. (2015). The aetiology, diagnosis, mechanisms and clinical evidence for food intolerance. Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics, 41(3), 262-275. Source: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/apt.13041
  2. Young, E., Stoneham, M. D., Petruckevitch, A., Barton, J., & Rona, R. (1994). A population study of food intolerance. The Lancet, 343(8906), 1127-1130. Source: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0140673694902348

Which Foods Cause Itching?

There are many health problems that can result in itchy skin. One among them is a food allergy. Some foods cause skin itching when consumed, whether in large amounts or trace amounts. Food allergies result from exposure to specific proteins in foods that the immune system mistakes for harmful substances. In turn, the immune system triggers the production of antibodies to fight this “harmful” substance which results in allergy symptoms.

Food allergies to common allergenic foods can cause itching, including even triggering dermatitis. Some people have severe reactions to certain foods that even touching them triggers skin reactions. When your skin is affected due to allergies, it may result in redness, swelling, a rash, or itchiness. Skin reactions like itchiness can take a few hours to days to appear.

Milk

Many children are allergic to milk. It could be cow’s milk, goat milk, or even breast milk. Whey and casein are the most common proteins found in milk and are the culprits that cause this allergic reaction. Milk allergy is quite different from lactose intolerance. That’s because lactose intolerance doesn’t trigger the immune system like a milk allergy, but causes digestive problems instead. A milk allergy is caused by an allergy to the proteins in milk, whereas lactose intolerance is your body’s inability to process the sugar lactose.

The most common milk allergy symptoms include digestive problems, hives, and wheezing. Some symptoms may take longer to manifest in babies, like loose stool, colic, and abdominal cramps. Many children outgrow milk allergy later in life, but not all do. Milk being a common allergen, it affects about 0.5%-3% of children in developed countries by age 1.

Soy

Even though soy allergy is most common in children and infants, it can also affect adults. Soy allergies affect around 0.5% of the population. Soy is used in baby formula, and other processed foods like edamame, tofu, tempeh, and miso contain soy. Soy allergy is a result of the protein found in this legume.

Of the several allergy symptoms soy allergy can cause, atopic dermatitis is one. It has side effects like itching and inflammation of the skin. You can also experience small raised red bumps on the skin that can be very itchy. If your child has a soy allergy, they’ll probably outgrow them, but not all do.

Tree nuts

Tree nuts are any nuts that grow on a tree, including pecans, almonds, cashews, pistachios, hazelnut, Brazil nuts, and walnuts. It is common to suffer from tree nut allergy as it affects approximately 4.9% of the world’s population {1}. Tree nuts are one of the many food allergies that can easily result in life-threatening anaphylaxis. Other severe reactions to tree nuts include eczema, asthma, and hay fever.

Itchy skin is among the most common symptoms of an allergic reaction in tree nut allergies. The most common proteins in tree nuts that cause an allergic reaction include 2S albumins, legumin, oleosins, and legumin. One can be allergic to some types of tree nuts but not all, but most of the time, due to cross-contamination, it is better to avoid all the tree nuts to be safe.

Eggs

Since egg allergies are common in children, 70% of them are known to outgrow this allergy. An egg allergy is an immune system reaction to certain proteins present in egg whites and egg yolks. The most common egg allergy symptom is hives which cause red, itchy, and swollen skin. People with eczema also report an itchy skin condition after consuming eggs.

While some people may be allergic to chicken eggs only, others need to avoid all types of eggs. It is also necessary to note that certain vaccines may cause problems if you have egg allergies as they contain small amounts of egg proteins. It is necessary to consult your doctor about your egg allergy before getting any vaccines.

Fish and Shellfish

Unlike most allergies, fish allergy develops when one is in adulthood. Up to 40% of people with fish allergy report only suffering from it after they have grown up. An allergy to finned fish like tuna or salmon is quite different to that of shellfish. The main cause of fish allergy is parvalbumins. Some people may be allergic to certain kinds of fish, but not others, but Doctors advise keeping away from all types of fish due to the risk of cross-contamination.

Shellfish are fish with hard shells like lobsters, squids, shrimps, oysters, and crabs. The main cause of shellfish allergy is a protein known as tropomyosin {2}. In most cases, people with fish and shellfish allergies experience symptoms like hives, itchiness, and skin rashes. But in severe cases, others experience anaphylaxis which can be life-threatening.

Wheat

Wheat is among the most cultivated crops worldwide. It is a common ingredient in most baked goods, desserts, and unsuspecting food items like soy sauce and hotdogs. A wheat allergy varies from gluten allergy and celiac disease. In wheat allergy, the reactions one gets are due to the proteins found in wheat. People with asthma and eczema are more prone to developing a wheat allergy.

As an allergen, wheat allergy affects about 1% of children and adults. When you’re suffering from wheat allergy, it is necessary to read labels carefully since wheat is an ingredient in most unsuspecting processed items like soups, salad dressing, and processed meats. Wheat allergy can cause problems like itching, hives, digestive problems, and respiratory issues.

Peanuts

Peanut allergy is the most common and most dangerous food allergy. Specific proteins in peanuts can trigger peanut allergies in various people. According to research, having asthma increases your chances of having severe allergic reactions to peanuts if you have a peanut allergy. Sometimes people with peanut allergies can consume highly processed peanut oil, but not cold-pressed ones. Otherwise, it is wise to avoid all forms of peanuts so as not to get any symptoms.

Peanut allergy symptoms include skin rashes, wheezing, swelling under the skin, digestive issues and shortness of breath. However, in severe cases, peanut allergy can cause anaphylaxis, a life-threatening symptom. Besides getting peanut allergy symptoms from eating peanuts, the same reaction can happen from inhaling peanut dust, peanut oil or cross-contamination from other foods.

Sesame

Sesame seeds are the ninth most common cause of food allergy. The symptoms of sesame allergy can range from mild skin rashes to severe anaphylaxis. Sesame is used in oils, cosmetics, food, medicine, and pet food. Check food labels closely to spot sesame as an ingredient.

Tomatoes

If you’re sensitive to Balsam of Peru, it’s most likely that tomatoes will trigger contact dermatitis. Tomato allergies cause itching and hives. Sometimes they cause these symptoms because of oral allergy syndrome (OAS). If you get an itchy mouth and skin after eating tomatoes, you’re probably suffering from OAS, which is a cross-reactivity of allergens found in some plants and pollen. If you are allergic to tomatoes because of the Balsam of Peru, then you’ll also have the same reaction to spices like cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla.

Citrus fruits

Citrus allergies mostly affect the mouth, tongue and lips, causing them to itch. If you are allergic to citrus fruits, it’s due to cross-reacting allergens like in tomatoes leading to OAS. If you’re also allergic to Balsam of Peru, you should also avoid citrus fruits. It causes dermatitis flare-ups as it comes second after tomatoes which tend to cause the most flare-ups.

Foods with nickel

Even though we know nickel to be in jewellery, you can also find it in foods like beans, peas, lentils, soya beans, whole wheat bread, oats, and some canned foods. The most prevalent symptom of nickel allergy is a skin rash on the hands.

Spices

Even though it might come as an uninvited shock to many, spices can also cause itchiness. Spice allergies can result in skin rashes and itching. They can also cause itching in the mouth, primarily due to OAS.

Treatment for itchiness caused by foods

basic-allergy-test-front
Our Basic Allergy Test Kit

First off, you need to determine the real cause of your itchiness. If it’s because of a certain food, you can take an Allergy Test to prove your theory further. Before you take an allergy test, it is best to consult with your doctor to rule other culprits out.. There could be other underlying illnesses causing the same itchiness symptoms you’re getting. But once everything’s out on the table, take your test and prove which foods you need to eliminate from your diet.

Final thoughts on foods causing itchiness

Itchiness is a common symptom of food allergy. After consuming certain foods, you might need to take an Allergy Test if you get these symptoms. If your symptoms seem to overlap with those of food intolerance, you can also take an Allergy and Intolerance Test that checks for both. You won’t regret getting this knowledge. Sometimes food allergies can be severe, putting your life at risk. Knowing which foods you eliminate from your diet is best before it gets too complicated.

References

  1. Geiselhart, S., Hoffmann-Sommergruber, K., & Bublin, M. (2018). Tree nut allergens. Molecular immunology, 100, 71–81. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molimm.2018.03.011
  2. Pedrosa, M., Boyano-Martínez, T., García-Ara, C., & Quirce, S. (2015). Shellfish Allergy: a Comprehensive Review. Clinical reviews in allergy & immunology, 49(2), 203–216. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12016-014-8429-8

Casein Intolerance Guide

Dairy consumption is high worldwide, in that up to 36% of people drink two to three glasses of milk daily. Dairy is recommended as part of a healthy diet because of how nutritious and beneficial it can be. However, dairy can have negative side effects on you, especially if you’re casein intolerant. Casein is a protein present in milk and other dairy products that contain high amounts of protein. The most common type of intolerance we link to dairy milk is lactose intolerance which has similar symptoms to casein intolerance. Casein intolerance tends to result in gastrointestinal symptoms {1}.

Causes of casein intolerance

Most food intolerances result from the body reacting to the proteins present in those foods or the body lacking the enzymes to break down certain proteins. The main cause for casein intolerance symptoms is the body’s reaction to casein protein. You will find casein in dairy foods containing high proteins like cheese, kefir, ice cream, and yoghurt. But when it comes to dairy products like butter and ghee, people with casein intolerance can still tolerate these products.

But if you’re allergic to casein, you should stay away from aunty foods that contain even trace amounts of this protein. Casein intolerance is the body’s reaction to casein protein by releasing IgG antibodies. The symptoms of casein intolerance tend to get delayed for up to 72 hours sometimes, whereas allergy symptoms always show up almost immediately. People have casein intolerance because casein accounts for 80% of proteins in cow’s milk, in contrast with 40% in human milk. So, humans can’t tolerate high levels of casein.

What are the symptoms of casein intolerance?

Casein intolerance symptoms vary in severity from one person to the next. Because our bodies take a while to digest casein, the symptoms can delay for up to a few days, which makes it difficult to figure out what you’re intolerant to. But the most common symptoms of casein intolerance you’ll observe include:

  • Diarrhoea, gas, and constipation 
  • Stomach ache, bloating, and cramps
  • Hives, eczema, and rashes
  • Joint pain and fatigue
  • Behavioural changes

Casein intolerance vs lactose intolerance

These two relate to each other because they both stem from consuming dairy products. Lactose is a carbohydrate (milk sugar) found in milk, while casein is a protein found in milk. The two vary because of the way the intolerance symptoms show up. Even though the symptoms are similar, the body reactivity isn’t the same. Casein intolerance occurs because the body finds it difficult to break down the protein, thus causing an inflammatory response by reeling IgG antibodies.

But in the case of lactose intolerance, the symptoms occur because the body lacks the necessary enzyme (lactase) to break down lactose sugar {2}. So, even though these two conditions stem from dairy products and have similar symptoms, the body reacts differently to the casein and lactose, leading to lactose or casein intolerance.

Foods to avoid with casein intolerance

Casein intolerance symptoms aren’t life-threatening, but they can be super uncomfortable and make your life difficult. Once you’ve realized that you have casein intolerance, you should avoid foods like:

  • Whey
  • Protein powder
  • Powdered milk
  • Dairy cream
  • Custard
  • Dairy cheese
  • Artificial butter flavour
  • Artificial cheese flavour
  • Cow’s milk
  • Yoghurt
  • Protein powder
  • Kefir

Foods alternatives for casein intolerance

Most, but not all, dairy products contain casein. For example, the above list contains dairy products that are rich in casein. However, some dairy products like cream and butter contain very little amounts of casein, and people who aren’t severely tolerant to this protein can tolerate it. Even though one can consume these two in small amounts and not get casein intolerance symptoms, it is not advisable for those with severe symptoms to consume them.

Another dairy product that you can consume is ghee. Ghee is clarified butter and doesn’t contain casein, making it safe for those with casein intolerance to consume it. If you need dairy-free milk, you can always purchase nut milk like:

  • Almond milk
  • Soy milk
  • Hemp milk
  • Rice milk
  • Coconut milk
  • Oat milk

When you eliminate casein from your diet, you will also eliminate some of the foods with the highest calcium level, like milk, yoghurt, and cheese. So, it will be best if you find other calcium-rich foods to replace them. You can try:

  • Soy products
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Dried fruits
  • Homemade bone broth (with fresh bones and a splash of vinegar to leach minerals from the bone).

Even though it will be hard at first to consume dairy-free meals, you will get used to it after a couple of days, especially since those casein intolerance symptoms pass and you feel much better. You can always prepare your favourite meals like lasagna and cheese but without cheese or using vegan cheese. Vegan cheese doesn’t contain any dairy. You can also still have your favourite ice cream, but take the vegan version, which is in plenty in the market these days.

Casein intolerance test

complete-intolerance-front
Our Complete Intolerance Test Kit

If you get casein intolerance symptoms after consuming any dairy products frequently, you will need to take an Intolerance Test to determine the verdict. Since lactose and casein have similar symptoms, it will be nice to get a test so you can know exactly what you should look out for when reading food labels. An intolerance test is easy to purchase online, and all that’s required on your part is to collect the sample and send it back to the labs for the testing to occur. The test will check for casein and other common intolerances that you could come across in your food and environment.

Once you get your results and you have casein intolerance, you’ll need to eliminate dairy products from your diet for a couple of weeks, and if you want to try introducing them back to your diet in order to build tolerance, talk to your doctor so that they can help with this process. Otherwise, you can choose to keep away from casein, and the symptoms won’t reappear.

Casein intolerance treatment

Just like any other intolerance, you can build a tolerance for casein with your doctor, although the best way to keep the symptoms away for good is by avoiding anything with casein. If you consume casein accidentally, it is advisable to take over-the-counter antihistamines or antacids to help relieve the symptoms. Otherwise, you should be very careful when grocery shopping to ensure that you don’t purchase items containing this milk protein.

When eating out or at a friend’s place, you need to explain your intolerance to them to get casein-free food options. This may seem like too much work, but it will keep you from suffering casein intolerance symptoms which are problematic and can interfere with the quality of your life. You won’t want to go back after you’ve stayed for a while without any casein intolerance symptoms because of how great you’ll feel.

Final thoughts on casein intolerance

Since it’s difficult to narrow down your symptoms to casein intolerance, it is advisable to get yourself an Intolerance Test, which will help you determine whether you’re suffering from this intolerance. Once you confirm your results to be positive, you can start eliminating this milk protein from your diet to relieve your symptoms. After you’ve adopted a casein-free or dairy-free diet, you will feel so much better, and the quality of your life will improve. These days, it’s easy adopting a casein-free diet because you will find alternatives to all the dairy products you love, which won’t result in negative side effects.

References

  1. Pal, S., Woodford, K., Kukuljan, S., & Ho, S. (2015). Milk intolerance, beta-casein and lactose. Nutrients, 7(9), 7285-7297. Source: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/7/9/5339
  2. Swagerty Jr, D. L., Walling, A., & Klein, R. M. (2002). Lactose intolerance. American family physician, 65(9), 1845. Source: https://www.aafp.org/afp/2002/0501/p1845.html?ref=Guzels.TV

Five ways an allergy test will change your life

As Francis Bacon once said, “Knowledge is power.” and an allergy test can give you the power to change your life. Once you’re aware of the allergies you suffer from and the effects they’re having on your body and life, you can take the steps necessary towards a healthier lifestyle.

There are many ways allergy testing can change your life; below are five we’ve identified.

1. You can finally enjoy social events

Allergies can hurt your ability to enjoy your social time. Meals can be riddled with ingredients that upset your stomach, going for a coffee can leave you feeling anxious, and bar snacks can leave you struggling for breath. Allergy testing can help you avoid foods that cause these and many other symptoms, empowering you to get the most out of time with friends.

2. Improved workout performance

Allergies can encourage any number of symptoms that impair athletic performance. In some cases, the symptoms, combined with exercise, can be life-threatening. An allergy test can help you identify foods and substances that leave you puffing for breath, long before your muscles feel fatigued, or cutting your workout short to make an unexpected trip to the nearest bathroom. In turn, exercise can help manage the symptoms of an allergy.

man running on treadmill

3. Improved cognitive function

Brain fog leaves you unable to focus on even the simplest of tasks and certainly far short of being able to deliver your best work. Allergies can cause inflammation which affects sleep patterns leaving you in a state of sleepy wakefulness. This can have a real impact on your working and social life as essential tasks can take twice as long. Allergy testing can help identify potential causing factors that you can eliminate from your diet or life, helping clear your mind and allow you to focus entirely on the tasks at hand.

4. Improved mood

Studies have found that allergies can have mental effects as well as physical. Allergy induced fatigue can lead to depression and anxiety as sufferers struggle to get quality sleep. Depression has been shown to be twice as common amongst allergy sufferers than the general population. Identifying the culprit using allergy testing can help combat depression and lift your mood.

5. Improved sleep quality

There are a significant number of effectors on sleep and eliminating them one by one will lead to enhanced rest. Amongst the things that can have an impact on sleep is an allergy. Sleep is the time your brain uses to recuperate and restore damaged cells. To do this, your brain requires a steady flow of oxygen which can be in short supply when an allergic reaction inflames nasal passages. 

 To begin your life-changing journey, you can take one of our allergy tests today to eliminate your culprit.

5 Steps to Take in the Battle Against Food Allergies

It’s a big deal in everyone’s life: Going back to school. It can feel even bigger if you do not have an allergy plan ahead of you!

However, it can sometimes feel even worse if you are suffering from food allergies. You must be super organised, but you can find out below how to best prepare your child for dealing with food allergies

1) You need to have a plan

Make your allergy plan a priority. You can consult either your doctor or health professional who will be able to sign this off for you. Make sure your staff and faculty at your school are aware of your food allergies, and that they know about your plan.

2) Make sure you discuss eating areas and accommodation

You need to be accommodated for if you have a food allergy. The chefs at the school, or if you are taking a packed lunch, people need to be aware of your allergies. Some children are not always aware of the danger of food allergies and intolerances, but teachers should be focused and observant. If you have an allergy plan, make sure they stick to it.

3) Talk to people

Food allergy specialists are an excellent resource. They can help you with advice and ideas on where to sit at lunch (like above), but also how you should approach school trips and adventures. Ensure your school’s big hitters are aware of the allergy guidelines, as well as your allergy plan.

4) Spot and prevent allergy building

We hate to talk about this, but it does happen in schools! In fact, there have been recent stories of children and teachers being attacked for their well-known allergies. There are specific guidelines, which have been developed over in America on how to spot if your child is the target of food allergy bullying. 

5) Make sure you know that your child has an allergy and an allergy plan

You may be reading this wondering what on earth we are going on about. But, living with an undiagnosed or identified food allergy can actually be catastrophic. If not treated or managed correctly, food allergies can leave you feeling unwell and alter your life, or in a worst-case scenario, be potentially life-threatening.

For more information on allergy testing and identifying exactly which items, you or your child should be avoided, check out our blog page! It’s full of hints, tips and advice, all suited to helping you and your family cope with your allergies. Think of an allergy plan after you have discovered your own allergies!

Allergies vs Intolerances: Which one is causing your symptoms?

Our bodies are strange, even at the best of times, and we are still adjusting to it.  When you are looking to get to the bottom of strange symptoms and that general feeling of simply being unwell after you’ve eaten, you’re certainly not alone. Almost everyone suffers from headaches, but not everyone realises that they may be caused by food intolerances or allergies.

When you feel like you’re having strange reactions to food, or experiencing headaches then you may be dealing with food intolerance. 

Unique from a food allergy, a food intolerance doesn’t make you feel like you can’t breathe or give you a rash.  It just means that your body can’t really digest or work with the food, so you start to feel unwell after eating it. Help stop your headaches today with a food intolerance test.

Allergy vs Intolerance

A lot of food intolerances get misdiagnosed as a mild food allergy, or they get missed entirely because they are attributed to other common health issues. A lot of symptoms like headaches are generally caused by other health causes.

That’s why food intolerance testing is so important when you are looking at making sure that you are as healthy as possible.  To break it down into detail, let’s take a look at an allergy and a food intolerance side by side:

  • Allergy: An allergy takes place when your body sees a certain food as attacking the body.  The body then retaliates, resulting in a physical reaction as it fights.
  • Allergies can range from mild to severe.  Common symptoms include rashes, shortness of breath, flushing, hives, and, of course, the dreaded anaphylactic shock that is so common with allergies such as nuts or soy. 
  • Most severe allergies are present at birth but can develop at a later age as well.  Allergies can also vary in terms of their type when exposed to the allergen.  That is, what may be a simply annoying case of hives or itchy eyes and a runny nose one time, maybe shortness of breath and sneezing fit the next time. 
  • Allergies are not always the same severity and should be taken seriously in terms of avoidance.
  • Intolerance:
  • An intolerance is when your body is simply unable to process something that comes into it.  While it doesn’t attack the “intruder” in your body, it does react to it.
  • This reaction’s severity depends on how much of the food that you have.  The less you have, the smaller the reaction.  Common symptoms include fatigue (especially after eating), a bloated stomach, heartburn, headaches (even migraines) and diarrhoea. 
  • With proper intolerance testing, you can figure out what the trigger food is and avoid it as well as monitor how much causes a reaction so that you can continue eating it in small amounts if preferred.  Common intolerances include wheat intolerance, gluten intolerance and lactose intolerance.

While allergies tend to get all of the fame and glory, understanding the role a food intolerance can play in your life, as well as making sure that you are aware of it and can avoid it, is just as important. 

When you want to get rid of those strange mystery symptoms, as well as those constant headaches, then you can turn to a Lifelab Testing kit. You will then generally feel better and healthier. 

Whether you knew you needed it or not, grab that test and see for yourself just what the results are. If you are not sure which item is causing your variety of symptoms, you can get your hands on our Complete Body Test!

Recording your symptoms after an allergy test

If you have taken an allergy test then you are probably doing an elimination diet. This is when you remove certain foods from your diet which have been highlighted as a food allergy. Fortunately, Lifelab Testing is here to help you with any symptoms that you may be experiencing.

Individual nature of our symptoms

As we are each unique and individual, it is important that you remember how to cope with your individual foods. How a food makes you feel, is not actually how another person may feel (including a member of your family).

Rate your foods at the start

One of our key suggestions is that you need to record and track your symptoms. If you have purchased an allergy test and are doing our 30 days follow up, then you will see that we like to track your symptoms every 7 days.

Patience is key

Sometimes people find that their symptoms often get worse before they have got better. But you must not be surprised if this is the case, as you just need to monitor your symptoms further. An allergy test identifies which foods you probably need to remove from your diet, but please do monitor your symptoms.

Which test would be right for you?

Using our Find the right test tool, we can help point you in the right direction as to which test you need to purchase. Depending on your symptoms, it could be an intolerance or an allergy, but it is important you find out.

If your symptoms are occurring right away after every single moment that you eat food, then it is likely that you have a food allergy. For this, we would point you towards a Basic Allergy Test or a Complete Body Test, and it is so important that you are able to identify which foods are causing you the issue.

If your symptoms are similar to a bloated stomach and other stomach related issues, which sometimes occur up to 72 hours later, then it will be either a Basic Intolerance test or a Complete Intolerance test.

For more information on getting your hands on an intolerance or allergy test, then please log on to www.lifelabtesting.com and order your test now.

Allergy People making a difference

There are so many people looking to make a difference in their lifestyle and diet, but it does not stop there. Allergy testing people are making a difference and spreading the word, so we thought it was time to celebrate their awareness and ability. Look at how we have helped some of our customers to improve their lives, and how they have spread their own awareness.

Chris Jones – Lifelab Testimonial

“My experience was great, particularly as I messed the first one up so getting a second kit was easy.  I was intrigued by the results and have found that reflecting this in my diet has helped my health and well-being. But overall the whole process was easy and I would recommend, in fact, I already have. Thanks!” – Chris wanted to make a change in his life, and he was dedicated to improving his diet. He did this withLifelab Testing and allergy testing kits, and he loved the whole process, recommending it to any others who suffer from food allergies.

Chris Jones loved his Lifelab Testing testimonial

Danielle Lloyd – Spreading the word

We’re absolutely delighted to have helped model and TV star: the AMAZING Danielle Lloyd, kickstart her year in the best way possible by helping her discover her Intolerances with an easy to use at-home Intolerance Test ? Just take a look at what she had to say about her Lifelab Testing experience below! ??

“I’m starting the new year feeling great after finding out what was causing me bloating and pain after eating food, with Lifelab Testing‘s at-home intolerance and allergy testing kit. The results were so good that my son Harry did a test, too, and since changing his diet to gluten free, he hasn’t been in any pain. My results showed I had to cut out eggs, yoghurt and white beans, which I eat regularly as part of a healthy diet, so it’s been a total change but it’s for the better and means I’m not bloating after meals anymore! The test was so easy to do and really thorough as it checks over 159 intolerances, so I knew it’d be a good way of finding out what was causing the pain.”

Danielle Lloyd is spreading the benefits of understanding your allergies and intolerances

Lauren McQueen spreading the news

We are so proud to have helped people cope with their allergies, and with people coming to us and ask how we could help them with their allergies through allergy testing, they wanted to spread the word. Lauren McQueen was another one, check out her testimonial below and also, you can hop over to Instagram to find out more:

I have been struggling with bad breakouts on my skin alongside extreme bloating of my stomach. I contacted Lifelab Testing and purchased their Complete Intolerance Test without any hesitation. I took my blood sample and returned it to Lifelab for testing. Within days, my results were ready in the ‘my account’ section. After I studied my results, I was put in contact with Lifelab Testing’s Nutritional Therapist who helped me to understand my results more and how to structure my diet around this. With this knowledge, I am now aware of what I should eat less of and what to completely avoid.

Lauren shared her experience on her Instagram page, and utilising our nutritional therapists, she was able to improve her health and lifestyle. We are very keen to see people spread the word about allergies and healthy living.

Allergy Testing with Lauren

For more information on allergy testing and finding out about the way people share their experiences with allergy testing, check out www.lifelabtesting.com.

Summer tips for dealing with food allergies and intolerances

As the sun begins to rise earlier and sink later, the leaves flourish and get all green, the unmistakable signs are there that Summer is here. And as the nights close in, we are faced with all the new challenges that less sunlight and the chillier weather brings. That’s right: food allergies and intolerances.

One thing that doesn’t change with the seasons, however, is the problem of food allergies and intolerances, along with the symptoms and misery that they cause. Whilst food intolerance and allergy testing is the first and best step to get to the root causes of any food issues you may have, there are other things that can be done to lessen your food allergy and intolerance symptoms. So, with that in mind, we’ve put together a few Summer tips for coping with food allergy and intolerances.

Hydration

Drinking water is something that we’re often told to do, but not everyone drinks as much during the day as they should. The NHS recommend between six to eight cups of water a day, but many people fall well short of this target. And as much as people might think that fizzy drinks and coffee count towards the required daily fluid intake….unfortunately, they don’t. In fact, fizzy drinks and caffeine are definitely something that you should be looking out for as a cause of your bloated stomach or headache, as they are common food allergies and intolerances. Food allergy and intolerance testing is able to pinpoint the exact nature of the foods your body can’t cope with, but drinking lots of fluid will help flush the toxins out of your system, similar to the way a juice cleanse would, and can really minimise the symptoms you feel, especially when it comes to symptoms similar to constipation, diarrhoea and a bloated stomach.

Exercise

Another important measure that you can take to add to the benefits offered by food intolerance testing, is to really focus on taking a good amount of physical exercise on a regular basis. Whether it be running, walking, cycling or going to the gym, exercise is beneficial in so many ways. It will come as no surprise to anyone that exercise helps you to live healthier lives, but the overall improvement to your body and mind cannot be underestimated. The general physical lethargy and fatigue that can often result from a food allergy or food intolerance can be really helped with regular exercise. Even if it’s just a 10-minute walk around the block, it can help!

Eating Well

Taking that you’re minimising the consumption of the foods you are intolerant to as a given, then you should start eating a healthy, balanced diet. Eating lots of vegetables and including fruit in your diet will boost your immune system and overall levels of health. If your body is getting every nutrient it needs, your body will be able to manage and alleviate the symptoms that you may be experiencing. The foods which are causing you pain will be highlighted on your report, and this may show up through food allergy and intolerance testing which is much more effective.

Get Tested for food allergy and intolerance

Of course, if you aren’t fully in possession of the facts around exactly what foods you’re intolerant to, then food intolerance testing[ is something that you should consider. Not least because you could be unintentionally making your symptoms worse by eating the foods you are mistakenly thinking you’re ok with. At Lifelab Testing, we offer painless, scientific blood screening services, which tests you against 40 of the most common food and drink intolerances.


Discover your extra mile with Lifelab Testing! Learn more about your body and understand what foods could be holding you back, enabling you to live the life you deserve. We believe in helping you at Lifelab, so please do come to us if you are experiencing any symptoms.

Allergies are prominent throughout the UK, with 44% of people suffering from various symptoms to an assortment of allergens. They are everywhere, in our food, our house and even in the garden. It is vital that if you are experiencing any symptoms, then get tested today! It could be that your favourite food is causing you to feel fatigued and bloated, and holding you back from being the real you. Alternatively, when turning up at your friend’s barbecue, you might struggle due to the food you’re eating and the pollen outside. We all love eating outside, but find out today if it is the best thing for you.

Just remember, allergies are everywhere. Work hard to understand exactly what your body is going through, and what it can tolerate.