Family Friday: Diet and Food Intolerance Testing

Second Friday of the month:  Family  / Health / Nutrition

“What is food to one man may be fierce poison to another.” - Titus Lucretius Carus

That quote was from the presentation during the Hi-Precision Diagnostics luncheon which I attended recently. There, I discovered I'm intolerant to many types of food that I regularly consume, thanks to the Food Intolerance Test I took last month. Time for some major adjustments in my food choices.  It's not gonna be easy. So, what is this test all about?

What is Food Intolerance?

"Food intolerance is your body’s abnormal reaction to certain foods which can manifest itself in a number of ways."
Symptoms and reactions include:
  • Severe headache
  • Migraine
  • Nausea
  • Skin problems / Eczema
  • Weight problem
  • Respiratory conditions
  • Palpitations
  • Feeling sluggish
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Abdominal pains
  • Irritable bowel syndrome 
  • Bloating 

Different symptoms and reactions for different people. Some will have one, while others may experience a combination of many, like me. =(  My headaches and eczema worsened during the holiday season, and I realized I've consumed more than my usual intake of desserts and pastries -- all loaded with milk, flour, eggs. Food is the main culprit, and is often misdiagnosed.  You'll see in my results that eggs, wheat, and milk are in my "elevated food" group -- the red zone.

At the event, Hi-Precision Diagnostics VP for Sales and Marketing, Melissa Ongsue-Lee, shared her personal experience about how her food intolerance testing helped address some of her health concerns, which prompted her to make this special test available to the public through HPD.

Speakers at the event:  Melanie Ongsue-Lee (VP-HPD);
Dr. Julien Kirby (CNS Regional Sales Director); Ms. Abel Aban (Nutritionist)

Dr. Julien Kirby showed this illustration of what happens in our gut after food intake.
Eat  >  Partially digest food  >  Certain foods are seen as "foreign" by the body 
  >  Body reacts to "foreign foods"  >  Normal = No symptoms
  >  Body reacts to "foreign foods"  >  Body's defenses become overloaded  >  Symptoms occur
Presentation from Dr. Julian Kirby, Cambridge Nutritional Sciences

What is LEAKY GUT?
  An increased permeability of the intestinal lining, often caused by chronic inflammation that is often due to yeast and/or the inability to break down proteins from casein (dairy products) and gluten (wheat, barley, rye, oats and other grains) which then leak into the bloodstream and travel to, and impact various tissues, including the brain. (McCandless, 2002) - www.iidc.indiana.edu

The concept of food intolerance and "leaky gut" is not new to me. I first learned about this from my son's former preschool teacher who has children within the autism spectrum. She introduced me to so many forms of natural and biomedical interventions. Some studies show that such diet modifications and supplementation can help address gastrointestinal abnormalities that includes the "leaky gut", which affects the brain and behavior, causing common disorders like ADHD, autism, SPD, and the like.

My boy has some sensory and behavioral challenges as well so I did a lot of research on early intervention and diet modification. Options included shifting to a GFCF (gluten-free-casein-free) diet, intake of probiotics and digestive enzymes, all to heal the gut and hopefully improve his behavior. However, we couldn't do this 100% mainly because there aren't many GFCF food available.  Making them from scratch is also a challenge and very costly, with no guarantee that my kid will eat them.  I wasted a lot of ingredients, milk alternatives and food in the process.  We still continue to minimize intake of the "bad" stuff for him, like dairy products.

While I am aware of the effects of food intolerance in a child's behavior, I did not notice the more obvious physical manifestations. This is the main reason why I was excited to take the food intolerance test offered by HPD, and I'm so thankful to learn more about it.

Such a (sad) revelation! Look at my results and join me in feeling depressed over my "Red zone" foods, heehee! I ticked off some of the items that I like to eat but now have to avoid or eliminate altogether, boo-hoo! "Green" items are still a Go, so yay for those! =)

One of the most common item that tops the Elevated List (red) is cow's milk
  • It means the food intolerance is caused by the proteins found in milk -- animal milk has different protein components in their milk.
  • It does not mean I am lactose-intolerant -- which is "the inability to digest lactose (sugar found in milk) caused by deficiency of the enzyme lactase."
It is advised to consult a nutritionist about the results and the dietary changes.

After seeing the results of my FIT, I realized that I've already been experiencing so many minor symptoms my entire life.  It may have also contributed to my being underweight because I am not absorbing all the nutrients from the food I eat, some causing leaky gut. 

Food intolerance symptoms often appear hours or even days later. Don't mistake this for food allergy.

Food intolerance is NOT the same as food allergy.  See the differences below:
Food Intolerance
  • Reactions are usually delayed; symptoms may take several days to appear
  • Can be intolerant to several different food groups at the same time 
  • Can experience multiple symptoms and generally feel unwell 
  • Not life threatening like food allergy

Food Allergy

  • Reactions usually occur quickly - maximum of 2 hours after exposure to the 'reactive' food 
  • Immune system is activated by the immediate ingestion of the reactive food
  • Symptoms include: difficulty breathing, rashes, swelling, runny nose, or anaphylactic shock
  • Symptoms can potentially be fatal

There's still hope for me, as there are many options available as substitutes for the culprits in my diet. 
Take a look at this chart.

I did cut back on potatoes, corn, dairy, cow's milk, and breads.  I am now trying buffalo's milk (gatas ng kalabaw) milk and soy milk. It will take at least 1 month of avoiding and eliminating the "culprits" to observe changes or improvements.

“Hi- Precision Diagnostics’ mission is to give the best quality service and accurate results to every Filipino at an affordable price”, said Melanie. Among the range of special diagnostic tests, HPD offers the Food Intolerance Test (FIT) using the CNS FoodPrint Test that determines which food your body is reactive to or unable to digest. The service covers the following:
  • 222 individual foods tested
  • Requires blood samples through extraction 
  • Results as quickly as 10 days
  • Suitable for children over 2 years old
No preparations, no fasting required. The procedure is done in less than 15 minutes.
Dietary changes are made in consultation with doctors and dieticians.

“Knowing your food intolerance is the first step to help you get into the right nutrition and achieve health goals,” Ong-Sue said. The test does not come cheap at PhP15,000 per individual. This is something worth saving for as investing in our health is a priority.  HPD made FIT available in all branches as well as for home service. 

I need to make some major changes in how I do my groceries, more discipline to avoid my elevated foods, and be more conscious of reading the ingredients from the labels. 

I'll surely miss all the good food I need to avoid or eliminate.  Thanks to HPD and my FIT, I know that whatever changes I make in my diet will be best for my health and overall wellness.

For more information about Hi-Precision Diagnostics, the Food Intolerance Test, and other diagnostic tests, visit www.hi-precision.com.ph 
Call their hotlines:  (632) 741-7777 or (632) 863-9999.

Here with representatives from Global Medical Technologies, HPD, and CNS

Hi-Precision Diagnostics currently has 18 branches in Mega Manila and 5 branches in Metro Cebu.
HPD also offers home service and Mobile on Site services not just to individuals but also to hospitals, health maintenance organizations, corporations from various industries. 
Patients can easily check their results online or via Hi-Precision Diagnostics App, the first medical diagnostics mobile app in the country.

I'd love to know your thoughts on this post.  If you enjoyed this, feel free to share it!
Get instant updates:
My Mom-Friday on Facebook
Follow @mymomfriday on Twitter and Instagram
Also on Google Friend Connect, or Subscribe Via Email.
I try my best to reply and answer any questions you may have on each entry so check back if you've left one. Thank you and do visit again!
(Comments with links will automatically be flagged by Disqus.)