Food Allergies, Intolerances, and How Genetic Testing Helps

Food allergies, intolerances to certain foods and much more can be identified by a genetic health test.

What Is The Difference Between Food Allergies and Food Intolerances?

An allergy is considered to be an inappropriate immune response to what would normally be a harmless food or environmental substance.

Food Allergies, Intolerances

Allergy responses can be mild, e.g. watery eyes in response to pollen, or extreme, which happens in anaphylaxis reactions. With anaphylaxis, the response can be so extreme that urgent medical attention is required, and epi-pens need to be used, as it can be life-threatening.

Allergy symptoms can be many and varied and can affect any organ in the body.

In many instances, symptoms are caused by the release of histamine from immune cells in response to a perceived allergen. This is why many people take antihistamines to counter the side effects of some allergies.


There are Two Main Antibody Responses to Allergies

  • IgE responses are quick responses and usually, symptoms occur immediately or within an hour or two.  Responses can include sneezing, pain, indigestion, reflux, body aches, and headaches
  • IgG immune responses are slower and can take up to 72 hours to show symptoms. This is why IgG allergy responses can be hard to pinpoint, and often the symptoms are not recognised as an allergy. Symptoms can be the same as for IgE reactions but occur much later. Headaches can be common, as can fatigue.

Food Intolerance and Food Sensitivity

These can occur because the digestive system isn’t processing food properly. It may be because of an enzyme deficiency or an imbalance in flora. It can be caused by toxins in the system and stress in the body.

food allergies

So, the issue is more about the health and efficiency of the digestive tract rather than the foods themselves.

Food intolerances can escalate and often can lead to Microbiome hypersensitivity, where the body reacts to more and more foods.

Bacteria and yeast imbalance can also cause large bowel and small intestine intolerances.

In Small Bacterial Overgrowth ( SIBO),  bacteria can feed off certain foods, causing symptoms such as pain, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation. Cutting out certain foods can temporarily resolve some of the symptoms, but eventually, the bacteria adjust and gut symptoms can return.

Testing for Food Allergies

Functional tests are available that can test for IgE and IgG reactions to foods and environmental chemicals.

The benefit of these types of tests is that you can find the often elusive slow-reacting IgG reactions as well as the fast-acting reactive foods.

Often, IgG reactions respond well to eliminating the food from the diet for a  few months and then reintroducing it in small amounts. These allergies often occur because of overeating of a certain food group, yet the body is often fine after a break and with less of that food in the diet.

The main disadvantage of IgG and IgE testing is that you must have been consuming the food to get an immune response. So, if you have been purposely avoiding food, it won’t show on this kind of test.

Another form of allergy testing looks at the white cell reaction to foods and doesn’t rely on you having to have eaten the suspected foods. It’s not considered an allergy test, and it doesn’t test for slow-reacting allergens such as IgG. It is more focused around IgE reactions to substances.

This can be an option for those of you who don’t want to eat certain suspect foods before doing an allergy test.

Gene Testing for Foods

AMY 1 gene profile tests your body’s ability to process starch from carbohydrates.  Knowing your AMY 1 gene variation can allow you to make better decisions around the amounts of carbohydrates and starch your body can process and the health implications associated with the different gene variants.

Food Choice genetic profile tests 5 crucial foods that impact your health in so many ways.

Do you think you are susceptible to Coeliacs disease?

Do you suspect you are lactose intolerant?

The Food Choice Genetic Profile Tests

  • Coeliacs disease risk
  •  Lactose Intolerance
  • Alcohol Intolerance
  • Caffeine Sensitivity
  • Salt sensitivity
  • Histamine Sensitivity
  • Food allergy Risk
Food Choice Genetic Profile Test

The test shows levels of susceptibility and gives personalised information on how to manage your genetic predisposition to the likelihood of the genes expressing.

Health and Wellbeing Profile tests many genes associated with chronic disease risk, but it also includes genes associated with diet and your tolerance to fats and protein.

Your genes tell you how much protein and fat is suitable for you for optimal weight and wellness.

Microbiome Testing

While testing the microbiome isn’t a food allergy test, we now know the state of the gut is responsible for how your body responds to food, environmental substances, and so much more. Knowing levels of digestive enzymes, markers of inflammation and species of bacteria, good and bad, yeasts, etc., helps you understand your response to food and how your immune system responds to the gut environment.


Most of the body’s immune system resides in the gut, so having a healthy GI tract influences our health and longevity in many ways.

The microbiota can influence whether an immune system is strong, weak, or over-reactive.

We are all uniquely different and so fortunate to live in an age where gene technology and functional medicine testing are available for us to improve our health and longevity. Genetic testing for food allergies, intolerances to food etc can be a life changer

What Is The Difference Between Starch and Carbohydrates

The difference between Starch and carbohydrates is essential to understand. Carbohydrates are foods made of sugars, but not all carbs contain starch.

Carbohydrates Can Be Simple Sugars or Complex Sugars.

Simple sugars are absorbed quickly into the bloodstream, but complex sugars are broken down much more slowly.

Examples of simple sugars include

  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice
  • Sucrose
  • Glucose
  • Raw sugar and brown sugar
  • Honey   
Amy1 gene

Examples of complex sugar foods include

  • Whole grains
  • Beans
  • Vegetables
  • Corn
  • Oats
  • Rice
  • Pasta

It is accepted that complex carbohydrate (sugar) foods are much better for health as they are less likely to spike blood sugars than simple sugar foods and provide a more sustained energy source. They also contain fibre, which is important for gut health.

What is Starch?

Starch is a carbohydrate that breaks down into glucose when digested.

High Starch foods include

  • Potatoes
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Wheat

Not all carbohydrates contain starch, but all starchy foods are carbohydrates.

Is There a Problem With Starch?

Many people have problems digesting starch, and it can result in weight gain, bloating, and general digestive issues. Many people also report stiffness and inflammation in their joints and muscles after consuming starchy foods.

Not everyone has problems with starch, but more and more people are suffering symptoms associated with starch.

The enzyme AMY1 is responsible for the breakdown and processing of starch in carbohydrates.

Many people have a decreased ability to do so due to changes in the AMY1 gene and, therefore, are at a greater risk for insulin resistance, diabetes, obesity, and digestive issues.

Some Foods Naturally Increase Your Digestion of Starch

Some foods can naturally increase your secretion of amylase. Incorporating these foods into your diet is important if you have issues processing starch—eg lemons and limes.

low starch diet

There are also ways you can cook and prepare starchy foods to lower their starch impact on your body.

For example, the resistant starch in potatoes is increased when they are cooked and then cooled before they are eaten.

Exercise also has a positive impact on amylase secretion.

What is Dietary Resistant Starch?

Resistant starches are starch foods that resist absorption. They, therefore, can be beneficial in providing important dietary fibre and making you feel satisfied. Because they aren’t absorbed in the small intestine, they are a valuable addition to a low-starch diet. An example of a resistant starch food is green bananas.

Testing For Issues With Digesting and Processing Starch?

The best way to know for sure whether you have problems with starchy carbohydrate foods is to test the AMY1 gene, which controls the enzyme amylase.

Because the impact of a Low copy number  ( or variation ) within the AMY1 gene can have so many health implications, I would recommend the Fitgenes AMY1 gene test.  This test through Fitgenes is the only commercially available test available worldwide for this gene.