Home health kits on the rise as more of us look to improve our diets

'Food intolerances are often confused with allergies, but they are completely different'
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During lockdown, many of us are increasingly looking at ways to take control of our own health and wellbeing without having to venture out of our homes.

From home exercise to trying to eat better, many people are trying to keep fitter and move more while gyms are closed.

Recent research revealed that 8 in 10 people say they feel a responsibility to take better care of their own health, while a third want to improve their diets.

But whilst eating a healthy and balanced diet is the key to improving health, some ‘healthy’ foods can also cause an unpleasant reaction, or even an intolerance in some people.

Northern home health testing lab YorkTest says that demand has more than doubled for its at-home food intolerance tests, as consumers look more closely at their diets. 

“Food intolerances are often confused with allergies, but they are completely different,” says biochemist and YorkTest’s scientific director Dr Gill Hart.

“Intolerances occur when your body has trouble digesting certain foods. When this happens over time, large protein particles from food can enter the bloodstream.

“The immune system sometimes sees these particles as a threat and produces antibodies to ‘attack’ them.

“Your body’s immune system responds by creating inflammation. It’s this inflammation which can trigger symptoms which can sometimes occur 72 hours after eating something.

“This is why having a test can prove useful rather than eliminating foods one by one to find the culprit to your discomfort.”

The home testing kit requires a finger prick blood sample which is sent securely back to the laboratory. Testers receive their results within five days along with a follow-up call with a Nutritional Therapist to discuss the findings and to support making the dietary changes required.

Whilst the home tests analyse reactions to a wide range of food and drink ingredients, they always encourage people who are concerned about symptoms to first see their GP to rule out any underlying conditions.

Fatigue and low energy can be symptoms of a food intolerance, says Dr Hart, as can anxiety, itchy skin or eczema, joint pain, migraines, and IBS symptoms.

“Our food intolerance tests detect sensitivities to over 200 food and drink ingredients.

“Some of the most common intolerances are wheat, dairy, seafood, gluten and nuts but other unsuspecting foods such as lentils, fruits, vegetables, meats and wine grapes can be equally impactful.

“Warning signs include fatigue, migraines and skin problems, so it is worth taking note if any of these are happening to you.”

You can find out more here.

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