With lockdown in full force and Covid infections continuing to climb, 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.
Recent insights support this - 8 in 10 people say they feel a ‘responsibility to take better care of their own health’ while 1/3 want to ‘improve their diets’.
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, which makes finding the right healthy foods a challenge for some of us.
In correlation with consumers seeking to improve their health this year, 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.
As Intolerances to food or drinks can affect up to 45% of consumers, Dr Gill Hart, a leading biochemist and YorkTest’s scientific director has outlined the common signs to look out for when experiencing one:
- Tiredness or fatigue
While the most common cause of tiredness is lack of sleep, food and drink can also have a big impact on your energy levels. Fatigue and low energy are symptoms of a food intolerance too.
The relationship between the gut and mental health is often bi-directional. This means that if you’re feeling depressed the health of your digestive system is likely to suffer, and if you’re having gastro troubles the chance of experiencing depression and anxiety increases.
- Itchy skin or eczema
If you are experiencing prolonged bouts of itchy skin without an obvious cause, it could be caused by your diet. People who tend to develop eczema are categorised as being ‘atopic’, which means they have an overactive immune system, causing their skin to easily become inflamed. If there is something you are eating which is causing inflammation in the body, there is a possibility that this can impact your skin, meaning maintaining an eczema-friendly diet could be key in managing flare-ups.
- IBS symptoms
Abdominal pains, excess wind, bloating and constipation are all symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This can be triggered by certain foods which irritate the digestive system and can also be a symptom of food intolerance.
- Joint pain
If you experience general joint pain it might be worth considering what part your diet has to play because a food intolerance could be contributing to these problems. Foods that can cause inflammation can be wide ranging, including those with high sugar and saturated/trans-fat content right through to healthy foods which can also have the potential to trigger an immune response.
Migraines are throbbing, intense headaches which can also be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light, noise or smell. Studies have shown that migraines can improve with the removal of ‘trigger’ foods.
Recent insights also show that remote healthcare trend is set to continue during 2021 - people will feel more empowered than ever before to use technology or services (including Home Health Tests) to monitor their own health from the comfort of home.
YorkTest Premium Food Intolerance tests also include a 30-minute Nutritional Therapist consultation so customers can get expert advice on interpreting their results and optimising their health in lockdown.
Dr Gill Hart said: “Due to the uncertainties 2020 brought, many people turned to food for comfort and to help increasing their mental and physical health.
“Our lab and Nutritional Therapists are preparing for orders of our food intolerance home health tests to rise even more significantly this year than last as we become more aware of how we can look after our own health without leaving home.
“Our food intolerance tests detect sensitivities to over 200 food & 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.
“In fact, wellness trends for 2021 include nutrition more in line with what your body needs so keeping a note of what you’re eating or getting a test done to find out what is disagreeing with you, will be so beneficial.
“Food intolerances are often confused with allergies, but they are completely different. 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. At YorkTest we analyse reactions to a wide range of food and drink ingredients. However, we always encourage people who are concerned about symptoms to first see their GP to rule out any underlying conditions.”
YorkTest is the market leader in Home Health Testing, best known for their food intolerance tests which are backed by 38 years of scientific research. The home testing kit is easy to use and simply requires a finger prick blood sample which is sent securely back to the YorkTest laboratory. Testers will 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.
To find out more about the YorkTest visit www.yorktest.com
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