Dubai: Internationally-accredited dietitian Sandra Mikhail denounces commercial food intolerance tests as the leading wellness scam of our time. Despite the interchangeable use of terms like food intolerances and food allergies, Sandra emphasizes that they represent distinct conditions.
According to Sandra, these tests, fueling a social media frenzy within wellness communities, yield inaccurate results. Particularly, tests measuring IGG antibodies can mislead as these compounds are produced by the body in response to various elements, including food, viruses, pollen, and toxins. These antibodies persist whether or not symptoms are present, indicating exposure rather than intolerance.
Coming from a family of medical practitioners and gastroenterologists, the Switzerland-based dietitian identifies three main categories of food intolerances: enzymatic intolerances, food chemical intolerances or pharmacological sensitivities, and FODmaps.
Sandra highlights the complexity of diagnosing food intolerances, as they impact not only the gut but also the skin, respiratory, and neurological systems. Except for lactose and fructose, she asserts that no blood tests can specifically diagnose food intolerances, challenging their legitimacy and deeming them a scam. Additionally, she questions the validity of 'leaky gut' diagnoses due to the lack of standardized definitions and diagnostic tools in the medical field.
While food intolerances can cause significant digestive discomfort, Sandra underscores the need to differentiate them from food allergies, which can elicit life-threatening immune responses to specific food proteins. Common allergens like eggs, wheat, soy, and nuts may result in reactions ranging from rashes to severe cases of anaphylactic shock.
For further insights into proper diagnostic methods for gut health, tune in to Sandra Mikhail on the Tell Me Why podcast.