Here at Hip & Healthy, we are self-confessed healthy foodies, and whilst the majority of our diets are made up of fresh and organic whole foods, when it comes to food intolerances, ‘healthy’ can sometimes take on a new meaning. As someone who has struggled with ongoing gut issues for the last few years, with the New Year in full swing, I decided it was time to take a new approach in managing my IBS type symptoms, with YorkTest’s IBS Diet Programme and Food Intolerance Test.

Offering a fast track or starting point for an elimination diet, YorkTest food intolerance tests are aimed at people like myself, who are seeking to optimize their diets and reduce their symptoms by eliminating any potential foods that may cause an adverse reaction.

When presented with the different testing options, I decided to try out the most extensive of tests which not only determines 158 potential food and/or drink intolerances, but provides you with advice on following an IBS diet programme, drawing from the principles of the low FODMAP diet.

Before undertaking the test, it is important to not have been eliminating any foods from you diet in order for the results to be as accurate as possible, so, whilst ensuring my diet was balanced and varied in the weeks leading up to my test, I performed the simple finger prick test and sent my vile of blood into the YorkTest lab for analysis.

Upon receiving my test results a few days later, I was somewhat surprised of the foods highlighted as those intolerant to me. Presented in the form of an easy-to-decipher graph highlighting the foods that cause a reaction, a borderline reaction and no reaction, my foods to avoid were as follows:

Reaction: sesame seed, cranberry, cows milk

Borderline reaction: cashew, gluten, lentils

I had always suspected that gluten and dairy could be culprits for me as they are for many, and whilst throughout my past diet I had attempted to only consume moderate amounts of both of these, after receiving my results I have become a whole lot more diligent in my avoidance of these foods and am happy to say I have experienced a reduction in the prevalence of my IBS attacks. As a self-confessed nut and seed lover, I was sad to see cashews and tahini (sesame) up there as some of my most intolerant foods, however, I was excited to switch it up a bit and have now replaced the aforesaid with pumpkin seeds and macadamias. These yummy alternatives definitely agree much more with my stomach and are just as tasty! I was interested to discover that lentils and cranberries, two foods that I’ve never particularly enjoyed were on my list, I couldn’t help but thinking it was my body’s way of telling me to avoid them!

Whilst my IBS symptoms are yet to completely disappear, knowing that I am making a conscious effort to avoid the foods that may trigger or maintain bouts of stomach pain provides me with a sense of ease and some answers to a few of my most common flare ups that in the past I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

If you think you may suffer from food intolerances due to ongoing gut symptoms, bloating, headaches, low mood, fatigue, weight gain and/or skin problems, YorkTest is a great first step in managing the unpleasant conditions associated with food sensitivities.

Find out more about YorkTest’s IBS Diet Programme here

Words by Zsa Zsa Vella

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