A good number of people already know that gluten is found in various starchy carbohydrate sources, such as wheat, barley, and rye.
Here in the Philippines, we take pride in our carbohydrate-rich cuisine. However, since gluten intolerance is still not a familiar concept to many of us, we typically do not associate gluten sensitivity when experiencing discomfort after certain meals. Allergy or intolerance, specific to gluten, is hardly even thought about.
Studies on the prevalence of gluten sensitivity or gluten allergy in the Philippines have yet to be published. Though we have to be aware of the possibility that anyone might be part of the statistic, especially if gluten as the cause of discomfort is not top-of-mind.
It is important also to differentiate between gluten intolerance and gluten allergy. Allergic reactions tend to be immediate and often severe, as opposed to intolerance, the symptoms of which are not immediately felt. These could gradually set in from days to weeks, the causes of which become undetectable. Both gluten intolerance and gluten allergy are abnormal reactions to gluten manifesting in your body in different ways. Gluten adverse reactions include skin conditions like eczema, digestive conditions like bloating, constipation, stomach pain, and diarrhea. And even other symptoms seemingly unrelated to digestion, like fatigue, migraines, and severe ones like seizures.
When adverse symptoms continue to bog you down, allergy testing and food intolerance testing would help shed some light on your concerns.
A trip to the allergist would help you determine if you are susceptible to reactions to particular allergens, such as gluten. Some other common food allergies are caused by milk, eggs, nuts, fish, or shellfish. Gluten and other food allergies can also be identified by undergoing a series of brief tests and interviews.
Here in the Metro, we have several hospitals and centers that conduct tests to know which food items you have to watch out for:
St. Luke’s Medical Center-Quezon City ranked as one of the top hospitals in the country, offers a variety of services from asthma, drug allergies, insect allergies, and of course food allergies, to determine which substance you have an allergy to, through its St. Luke’s Allergy and Immunology Department.
It is located at 279 E Rodriguez Sr. Ave, Quezon City. They also have a branch in Bonifacio Global City: St Luke’s-Global is located at Rizal Drive cor. 32nd St. and 5th Ave., Taguig.
Makati and BGC (Bonifacio Global City)
Another center you can visit in BGC is LifeScience Center for Wellness and Preventive Medicine. You can be informed through a simple blood sampling that is analyzed using their in-house Food Detective Kit, using Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) technology. This is a plate-based assay technique designed for detecting and quantifying substances, including antibodies, assisting in determining your food intolerances.
Healthway, the mall-based clinic also offers what they call “FIT”, which is short for Food Intolerance Test. This already includes a consultation with a nutritionist for a briefing on the service and to explain the findings after the test. You can find them in Greenbelt 5, as well as other malls in Alabang, Bonifacio Global City, and Quezon City.
Manila Doctors Hospital, through its Pediatric Allergology and Immunology Department also conducts tests to determine your food allergies and food intolerances. Among its Allergology Services are allergy screening and allergy management.
MDH is located at UN Ave., Ermita Manila City
With 30 branches nationwide, including Alabang, High Precision Diagnostics, offering Food Intolerance Testing, is also an option for you. The food intolerance test is simple. It is done through blood sampling, and can get the results of the test in two weeks.
Asian Hospital And Medical Center in Alabang also offers food intolerance and allergy testing. As with its tertiary hospital counterparts in the North, AHMC provides services for immunologic/allergic disorders, such as allergic rhinitis (hay fever), asthma, sinusitis, insect allergy, unusual vasculitis syndromes, and penicillin and other drug allergies.
AHMC is at 2205 Civic Drive, Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City
With the variety of healthcare providers around, tests in determining whether you have some food intolerances and allergies are now very accessible. If you may be suffering from any of the symptoms mentioned, or you have an inkling but are not completely sure, visiting your doctor and taking a food intolerance tests could be well worth it. It can help improve your health and might even save your life in the long run.
“Philippines.” Welcome to Ranking Web of Hospitals. Centro De Información Y Documentación (CINDOC), n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2016.
Raneses, Katherince Grace. “Getting Tested for Food Intolerance at LifeScience.”Mucking Around Manila. N.p., 14 Nov. 2014. Web. 10 Oct. 2016.
Aventajado, Michelle. “My Food Intolerance Test – Momma ‘N Manila.” Momma N Manila. N.p., 2016. Web. 10 Oct. 2016.