In a report published in Australia’s Newcastle Herald in September 2019, Australian gastroenterologist Professor Nicholas Talley has secured 5.5 million Australian Dollars in grants to investigate how many chronic diseases all begin in the gut.

His research focuses on diseases such as

  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Gut disease
  • IBS
  • Constipation
  • Reflux
  • Skin issues
  • Psoriasis

In a more detailed article in the October 2019 issue of IHCAN Magazine ,Prof Talley said that research is supporting our theory that food allergies and infection drive holes in the gut wall, turning on inflammation which then manifest into disease. He said that “If we are right, we can turn down the immune system a little bit, turn off the inflammation and cure many diseases”.

Persistent, low-grade inflammation is what Talley is focused upon. It produces a steady, low-level of inflammation throughout the body. It is this low-grade inflammation that is associated with multiple chronic inflammatory diseases. It is detected by the high sensitivity Hs-CRP test which can measure the small rise in immune system markers found in blood (see website).

Linking food allergy and a “leaky gut” as the possible root cause of these chronic diseases is radical. It has never been voiced by a research scientist of this calibre before.

So, is it allergy or food intolerance? There is considerable confusion between allergy and intolerance.

The term Food Allergy is used to describe those cases in which the adverse reaction to food occurs almost immediately, usually within one hour. The reaction is obvious and often quite violent, for example developing a swollen lip or tongue after eating peanuts or becoming violently sick after eating shellfish. True food allergies are quite rare and affect only a small percentage of the population.

The term Food Intolerance, on the other hand, affects a great number of people. The symptoms of food intolerance rarely occur immediately after the food is eaten. In fact, the reaction is usually delayed by many hours or even several days. For example, the cheese eaten on Monday could be the cause of Wednesday’s asthma attack or sinusitis. It is these delayed reactions which make the detection of the culprit foods a very difficult task without the help of expert laboratory testing.

What exactly is Food Intolerance? The condition begins when the digestive system is no longer able to process foods as they pass down through the digestive tract. The result is the build-up of many poisonous intestinal toxins.

This toxic intestinal mix irritates the gut wall and eventually starts to seep into the bloodstream (leaky gut). This is what triggers the inflammation response from the immune system.

It will take Professor Talley and his team all of five years or more to establish definite proof. In the meantime, for doctors who wish to explore this simple dietary approach to improving gut health for their patients, or, for people who themselves wish to investigate if dietary changes could help their condition, new laboratory tests are available to help guide the dietary changes.

At Fitzwilliam Food Test Clinic we have a number of blood tests available.

Testing for Coeliac Disease / Gluten Sensitivity

If your immune system is being triggered by gluten, it will damage your gut wall. This is crucial. Prof Talley’s hypothesis is that “leaky gut” is the root cause of these inflammatory conditions. Leakage of gut toxins into the general circulation triggers the immune system into unleashing a catastrophic inflammatory response.

Candida Albicans Tests

This common yeast lives predominantly in the gut. If this yeast grows out of control it starts to produce gut toxins which trigger bloating and other toxic gut symptoms. These candida toxins make worse the leaky gut issue exacerbating the inflammation. It is commonly referred to as thrush infection and is associated with recurring urinary tract infections, certain skin issues and general inflammation. The real issue with thrush and all inflammatory conditions is – what is feeding it?

Food Sensitivity Tests

This for people suffering with all manner of gut issues, these food tests can be used to guide the Food Elimination Diet.

Low-grade hs-CRP Inflammation Test

A relatively inexpensive way to measure this low grade inflammation.

These tests require but a fingerprick blood sample (about 6 drops of blood) to do the analysis. They are available through appointments at our Dublin clinic or from our online shop  Collecting your fingerprick blood sample is very simple (like fingerprick diabetic test). You simply post your blood sample to us for analysis. These tests are all CE marked in compliance with EU regulation of medical devices.