16/06/2015 10:44 BST | Updated 16/06/2016 06:59 BST

Food Intolerance Testing, It's Not Such a Bad Thing

I'm an avid believer in food intolerance testing. I've written about and spoken on several occasions about how it pretty much contributed to helping me take control of part of my health whilst doctors also did their thing using medicine and science to help heal me.

So much has been said recently about how food intolerance testing is causing massive hikes in people believing that they have a food allergy and thus eliminating foods out of their diet that they don't need to.

My question therefore, is why is there such an epidemic? I talk to people on a regular basis who come to me for help and information simply because they can not get the help and simple advise that they ask for via their regular medical health professionals.

The rise in people with IBS, simple ailments like bloating, weight gain/obesity, acne, eczema and so much more sees people being more open now and choosing to try other alternatives instead. I've also often asked and wondered if it's the food that we eat, the way it is grown using more and more pesticides, the increase in processed foods and quite frankly the food options available all year round.

These are just a few reasons that I believe need to be asked to truly understand this rise in what people are calling so called food intolerance.

Recent media reports made me extremely annoyed at the attitude towards food intolerance testing. Statements that they are simply money-making products that take advantage of consumers led me to want to have my say. I understand that people can confuse allergy and intolerance and that they are clearly two different things, Instead of a witch hunt aimed at businesses offering these kits I believe that better education and understanding needs to be provided to consumers to clearly understand the difference. Questions need to be answered as to why us as consumers are going outside of our free NHS to get the help we seek about why food is bothering us.

Quite frankly, if we do not have the food intolerance testing businesses, then what do we have instead? Many Nutritionists and alternative/complimentary businesses use these kits to aid in supporting the ailments of their clients and thus these testing kits are a support. My stance is that used in the right way, with the right support whether that be with a health professional or alternative health practitioner, these testing kits can be of great benefit to a consumer. I always advise anyone I speak to that has used a test that for everything they are told to eliminate out of their diet, they MUST add an alternative equivalent into their diet. The free-from food market is so large nowadays that we have vast alternatives and so we really shouldn't miss out. This is where the clear need for support is required not a witch hunt against food intolerance testing kits.

As an individual, I know the difference between a food intolerance and food allergy. Just over 10 years ago, I had a food intolerance test carried out. It was the difference between what I felt at the time could have been a life time of pain and upset or a step in the right direction to me taking some control in helping me heal and live the simple things in life.

Quite frankly, when you hear of medical professionals sending patients away telling them that food can not make them feel unwell, what do you expect people to do?

I'm eternally grateful to my doctors helping me get better as best they knew how to do. However if I hadn't taken some control of my life with respect to the foods that I can eat then I can only imagine where I would be right now.