Food intolerances can be managed through nutritional therapy. The aim of such therapy is to support individuals suffering from certain intolerances by implementing nutritional habits that help manage the intolerance. The role of the nutritional therapist is to adequately propose foods that could help manage the condition and minimise or prevent the symptoms from occurring. This can be done through implementing certain behaviours and nutritional advice, which further helps to reduce unpleasant symptoms of the intolerance and helps the patient in functioning in daily life, as the main reason of such therapy is to increase overall life quality and decrease negative signs of the intolerances. Food intolerances can be managed through learning which foods cause the symptoms and what amounts of these foods cause symptoms. Upon possession of such knowledge, simple guidelines can be implemented. These guidelines are simply learning to read the food labels in order to find the potential culprits (that is the ingredients that cause symptoms), asking how are the meals prepared before consumption and what’s most important, avoid an excessive amount of foods that do cause the symptoms or completely eliminating them from the diet(1). These ingredients and foods can be then swapped with other products that are well tolerated by the digestive system of the patient and that itself could help eliminate the symptoms of food intolerance. To summarize the point is that foods causing negative symptoms should be avoided (or their intake should be limited) and simply swapped with their alternatives.
Food allergies should be managed more carefully as even small amounts of certain foods can trigger the symptoms of allergy(1). The most simple way to manage food allergies is to simply avoid the foods, that cause it, however, since food allergies are caused by the immune system, there obviously are other ways to manage them, such as oral immunotherapy(2). Such therapy can be used to manage some (but not all) types of allergies, for example, peanut allergy and it involves gradually increasing the amount of allergen in order to try to increase the threshold that causes an immune response. Other types of treatment can include antihistamine medications or adrenaline (epinephrine) injection in case of anaphylaxis(3). However, when it comes to nutritional therapy, it can be used to help manage food allergies by teaching the patient to read the labels, ask how the foods are prepared before consumption and simply avoiding foods that cause the symptoms to reveal themselves as allergic reactions should not be neglected.
- Cleveland Clinic, Food Problems: Is it an Allergy or Intolerance, accessed on 13/05/21, available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/10009-food-problems-is-it-an-allergy-or-intolerance
- Medical News Today, Food allergies: What you need to know, accessed on 13/05/21, available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/14384
- NHS, Food allergy treatment, accessed on 13/05/21, available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/food-allergy/treatment/