Elimination best way to test for food intolerance

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Q: Do you conduct any breath tests for determining food intolerances? I suspect gluten, lactose and possibly some other foods don’t agree with me. I’d rather get tested for a quick answer than do an elimination diet. Christopher J., Southgate

A: Unfortunately, the only good way to test food intolerance is by an elimination diet (unless there are food allergies, then an allergist can assist in diagnosing them). Breath tests, such as the hydrogen breath test, can be done, but it does not pinpoint the exact intolerance (i.e., lactose vs. fructose).

Q: I have stopped eating sweets or junk food, am careful about carbohydrate intake and eat lots of veggies and protein and yet I still have seen no weight loss. I was hoping a few pounds would come off. Does the body become resistant to weight loss? Marina S., Dearborn

A: Weight loss is a combo of 70 percent diet and 30 percent exercise. The key is to eliminate processed carbs, or what I call “the whites” — white flour, sugars, rice, potatoes and pastas. Frequent small meals are crucial to increasing your metabolism and exercising at least 4 times a week is recommended. Patience and perseverance helps too. Also, it would not hurt to have your thyroid function tested.

Q: Is feeling full soon after you start eating, nausea and pain above the belly button something to be concerned about? Thanks for your advice. Diana K., Trenton

A: Post-prandial fullness always requires investigation. It can range from a simply a stress-related response to an ulcer, or it could be due to malignancy. You should see your doctor as you may need an upper endoscopy and other work-up for evaluation.

Rana Sabbagh, M.D., is board-certified in internal medicine, gastroenterology and nutrition. She is the founder of GastroCenter of Michigan and Experior Weight Loss Clinic, 23500 Park St., Suite 2B in Dearborn. Do you have a health question for Dr. Sabbagh? Submit it by email to: askthedoctor@cscmi.net.

All information provided in Ask The Doctor is intended for your general knowledge. Consult with your personal doctor or pharmacist for any specific health or nutrition issues. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of information you have read in any publication.