Get the right help with Food Intolerance

A food intolerance or sensitivity is an adverse reaction to a specific food which has been eaten. Some food-related reactions may be caused by the enzyme deficiency or chemical sensitivity, whilst others are the result of an inappropriate response by the immune system.

Immune-related intolerances to specific foods have been linked to food-specific IgG antibodies through scientific studies, as the production of antibodies is one of the ways in which the immune system reacts to substances that adversely affect it.

What causes food intolerances?

It is a complex issue that has not been fully understood, but damage to the intestinal barrier wall is thought to play a role and allow undigested food proteins to enter the blood which provokes an elevated immune response.

The reasons for the development of food intolerances can vary from person to person but the following factors are thought to be involved:

  • Inadequate digestion.
  • Altered gut microbiota.
  • Parasites, yeast or bacterial intestinal infections.
  • Poor diet.
  • Effects of drugs and medications such as antibiotics.

What symptoms are associated with Food Intolerance?

A wide range of symptoms, and chronic conditions, manifest, such as:

  • Gastrointestinal: Bloating, abdominal cramping, excessive flatulence, constipation and/or diarrhea, Irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease.
  • Respiratory: Wheezing, asthma, sinusitis.
  • Musculoskeletal: Osteo and rheumatoid arthritis, joint pain, muscle aches, fibromyalgia.
  • Dermatological: Urticaria, psoriasis, itchy skin, atopic dermatitis, acne, rosacea.
  • Neurological: Migraine, headache, impaired concentration, mood and behavioral changes, autism, anxiety, fatigue, hyperactivity.

Unlike food allergy which is a rapid, often severe, and an occasionally life-threatening, immune response to consumption of a specific food, a food intolerance will develop over time and symptoms will appear as the immune system struggles to break down the immune complexes which accumulate in the body.
Although not life-threatening, food intolerance can have a significant effect on a patient’s quality of life, and it is often difficult to diagnose as symptoms can appear unrelated and the person does not always associate their symptoms with the food they are eating.


Measuring food-specific IgG antibodies from a blood sample is the most reliable way to identify foods that may be causing unexplained chronic symptoms.

Foodprint®, the Food Intolerance test from Cambridge Nutritional Sciences is the first step in identifying which foods may be causing an inappropriate immune response from a simple blood test.