Diagnosing an intollerance – Do you have one?

Intolerances come in different shapes and sizes and recognising whether you have one might not be as straight forward as you think…

Diagnosing an intolerance is not step one.

Before finding out what your intolerance is, you need to know whether you have one. Personally, I believe it’s beneficial for everyone to find out whether they have an intolerance. Perhaps you get an upset stomach after eating a bowl of cereal or feel bloated after a pizza? 

If your body doesn’t feel right, something is wrong.

Whether that be due to poor diet or gut health. The majority of people grow up eating certain foods. These foods become normalised to us and we just assume that we are eating the right things, our bodies have felt the same our entire life. The problem is, we become so used to eating these foods and normalise feeling bloated and tired. Our bodies should feel amazing every day, you should feel energised after food, not sluggish.

What can it be?

Intolerances go hand in hand with IBS or (IBD) so make sure you’re not suffering from a stomach issue rather than an ingredient allergy. That’s right, you could be suffering from an intolerance to one food group, such as gluten or you could be suffering from digestion issues for a lot of different types of foods; IBS or IBD. There are as many intolerances as there are foods to be intolerant of. 

The most common types of intolerances are; Wheat, dairy, fats, citrus, starch, proteins in meat.

Learning to live with an intolerance is not the same as living with an intolerance.


What do I have to do?

Essentially you’ll be signing yourself up for an ‘elimination diet’. It’s nothing scary, it’s essentially just removing a few things. You have to know your body! Luckily you’re the best qualified for that! Studying your eating habits has been part of your life whether you know it or not, you subconsciously make a note of what happens to your body, so before you get started we need to think about some things.

To start removing a few things you’ll have to know your body. Luckily you’re the best qualified for that! Studying your eating habits has been part of your life whether you know it or not, you subconsciously make a note of what happens to your body, so before you get started we need to think about some things.

Studying your eating habits over a sequence of weeks will help identify a few food sources that could be causing you intestinal issues. Luckily, you subconsciously make a note of what happens to your body and probably can already list a handful of items you’re body isn’t too happy digesting. So before you get started we need to think about some things.

What doesn’t your body like?
These are the five questions you should ask yourself.

  • Have I ever felt ‘swollen and bloated’? – What caused it, had you eaten something that’s a noticeable cause?
  • Have I ever repeatedly cramps and diarrhoea after eating a certain food?
  • Do I feel tired/unwell after eating this food?
  • Are my bowel movements irregular?
  • Is what I’m eating unhealthy?
Answering these questions gives you a foundation to the ‘elimination diet’, did you answer yes to any of them?  If you did, then you could possibly be suffering with a food intolerance. Now you know that you do have an intolerance you can move on to the diet plan it’self.
Find the food you believe to be the cause of your issues and remove it from your diet for at least a week, preferably two. Does it change how you feel? If it does then it’s probably the root of your problems, speak to a GP. If not, try something else, until your list is clear!
Do not ignore it-  Your body is there to heal and protect you, if you’re not feeding it the right things how can it perform at it’s best?
The best thing about diagnosing an intolerance (or deficiency) is you open up a whole new world of food. It’s not about removing what you can’t digest, it’s about finding a way around it. There are so many alternative foods to eat when suffering with wheat and dairy allergies and IBS. Sweet potato wraps, gluten free,dairy free and super tasty cakes can be found in any large supermarket chain, just keep your eyes peeled! For some gluten free recipes! & for some dairy free ice creams!
Everyones intolerances are different, whether it be the type of food or the tolerance of it. Don’t let anyone explain your symptoms away or tell you what you’re feeling. Your body is unique to you so make choices for you.
If you feel you are suffering fom an intolerance and have tried all of the ways listed. Speak to a health care professional and get checked for IBS, IBD or any other nasties that might be upsetting your stomach. If you know you already suffer with these and want some great recipes and friendly support, I know a great blogger who promotes healthy, tasty and IBD friendly recipes! Jenna from ABALANCEDBELLY – an expert in gut related advice & recipes!
Have a great week!


  1. Angela Milnes
    27/09/2016 / 6:44 pm

    This is really useful. I am wondering if my child has an intolerance as she has been complaining about certain symptoms for a while. We will be looking into it with our GP. Great Advice and thanks for sharing.

    • 28/09/2016 / 9:19 am

      Always check with a GP but keep a keen eye on her for the foods she eats. I kept a diary for two weeks when I have stomach issues. It’s normally due to wheat. Hope you get it sorted! x

  2. 27/09/2016 / 6:33 pm

    It’s a good tip! There are certain foods that affect me somewhat so I make sure to keep my intake down. It’s important to note that intolerances and allergies are different though!

    • 28/09/2016 / 9:16 am

      Exactly! I did an article a few months back specific to IBS IBD and allergies but I neglected intolerance completely, so wanted to recap.

  3. 25/09/2016 / 2:58 pm

    A few years ago I was tested for food intolerances but nothing showed up thankfully as I love my food!

  4. Sarah (Mum x3x)
    25/09/2016 / 2:43 pm

    I think I have a gluten intolerance. I try not to eat gluten and I honestly feel so much better, less bloated and not so uncomfortable! It certainly changes how I feel! I am going to go to my GP and seek some advice, too! Great post. x x

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