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How Do You Know If You're Intolerant?

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For those who have food intolerance issues in addition to gluten, how did you figure it out? I'm just wondering if there were any methods or testing that you would recommend for someone like myself who wants to know if there are other issues besides the gluten. Thanks!

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I knew for some time I was intolerant to dairy and egg. I would get sick whenever I had any and my reactions seemed to be getting worse. Even largely avoiding them for years (and not bothering about bits in restaurant meals or special occasion desserts) I still had elevated antibodies to both when I tested with Enterolab.

Enterolab's finding of a soy intolerance surprised me. But then I did a trial and felt better without it.

Now the lab found a yeast intolerance and I've yet to confirm this with actual experience, plus my score is pretty close to the cutoff point. So I'm not sure of that one.

It hasn't been confirmed, but I know if I eat anything very fatty I will probably feel ill. I don't know if this is an intolerance, but it is enough to avoid such things.

I keep a diet/symptom journal trying to figure things out. I've heard of people who have success with this approach, but I have problems seeing patterns. Or rather, I can find far too many possible causes of any problem and so I can't point to one thing. Or I think I've figured it out, then I test and, no, I'm wrong.

There is always an elimination diet. I've put off doing this because it seems so grim and my husband wonders what he would eat for the months it would take for me to laboriously challenge everything.

Here is a link that lists the most common intolerances and then the elimination diet. If you think you have something and don't want to test for it (I can't go into the other testing methods at any depth -- I've heard people satisfied with them and folks who say they had positive results which don't seem linked to symptoms), you could try eliminating the most common culprits and see if you then feel fine. If so, you could then simply challenge those particular foods, rather than starting from the beginning.


McDougall diet (low fat vegan) since 6/00

Gluten free since 1/6/07

Soy free and completely casein and egg free since 2/15/07

Yeast free, on and off, since 3/1/07 -- I can't notice any difference one way or the other

Enterolab results -- 2/15/07

Fecal Antigliladin IgA 140 (Normal Range <10 units)

Fecal Antitissue Transglutaminase IgA 50 (Normal Range <10 units)

Quantitative Microscopic Fecal Fat Score 517 (Normal Range <300 units)

Fecal anti-casein (cow's milk) IgA antibody 127 (Normal Range <10 units)

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0501

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 06xx

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 1,1 (subtype 5,6)

Fecal anti-ovalbumin (chicken egg) IgA antibody 11 (Normal range <10 units)

Fecal Anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae (dietary yeast) IgA 11 (Normal range <10 units)

Fecal Anti-Soy IgA 119 (Normal Range < 10 units)

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For example, my soy intolerance, my allergist suggested I go soy free for a while because a lot of people who have a hard time breaking down dairy (which we had known since I was little) also have a hard time with soy. I went soy lite and after having cereal, I didn't have the same symptoms. I thought it was the corn in my cereal, but once I stopped the soy milk, no more symptoms.

You could try something like that...if you suspect it's dairy for example, you could try your cereal or coffee with a milk replacement product and see what happens. The biggest thing is make sure you don't take out more than one thing at a time, unless you are going to do a full on elimination diet (kudos to you if you decide to go this route).

I hope you can figure out what you may be intolerant to.


Dairy/Casein Free- March 2007

Gluten Free- May 2007

Soy Free- August 2007

Sugar Free- January 2008

Starch Free- January 2008

Egg Free (again!)- February 2008

Sulfur Free- May 2008

Dx'd Lyme Disease and co-infections- December 2007

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