Millions wrongly think they have a food allergy

A surprising 1 in 5 people wrongly believe they have a food allergy or intolerance, according to new research

These days, complaints about food allergies are normal. They’re almost fashionable. But according to new research, a surprising one in five people have got it wrong, with most stating a non-existent intolerance to wheat.

Tests carried out by the University of Portsmouth proved that just two per cent of those who complained in fact have a genuine allergy or intolerance. The others may be experiencing symptoms linked to another undiagnosed condition.

Women came out on top as the most misguided, fuelled by their fascination with home testing kits, fad diets and celebrity regimes. As a result, they are in danger of avoiding ‘safe’ foods that provide vital nutrients.

Dr Carina Venter, the lead author at the University or Portsmouth, said: There is a clear discrepancy between the number of people who report they have a food allergy or intolerance and the numbers whose food allergy or intolerance can be confirmed by a medical diagnosis.

‘Self-diagnosis and other diagnostic tests not conducted by a qualified medical professional are not reliable.’

For those who do suffer with food allergies, such as nuts or wheat, they must receive advice about replacing the nutrients they are missing out on, again why it is important that they do not diagnose.

Symptoms for wheat allergy, which usually start within two hours of consumption, include hives, itching, gastrointestinal symptoms and wheezing.

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