What is a Food Intolerance?

What is a food intolerance anyway? We talk about this so much, yet we still get questions about what it really means. Allow us to break it down for you.

There are many misconceptions out there on what a food intolerance is. There are so many different food tests that are available on the market, different methods of figuring out what foods are causing you problems, and different elimination diets. How do you know what you should do and what ACTUALLY works?

So we want to clear the air right now and explain exactly what a food intolerance is.


A food intolerance is a genetic enzyme deficiency that’s passed down from our ancestors from generation to generation. What that means is that food intolerances tend to run in families and they also tend to run within ethnic groups because we all evolved in different places on the planet. This means that we all have different capacities to digest certain foods, food groups, and food combinations that we were born with. Some people don’t have the enzymes to break down potatoes and similar starches. Other people can’t break down dairy very well. For some people fruit may be the culprit for many toxicity and digestive issues.

There are 3 things that we want you to know about the food intolerance:

 1. Everyone has a food intolerance. We had a mentor who was an akushar, which is a male midwife. He delivered babies in the beginning of his career and he ran the food intolerance on every single baby that he helped deliver and every single one had a food intolerance. This evaluation has been run for over a hundred years and every single person that has been checked has a food intolerance, so that means you have a food intolerance.

2. Food intolerances are different from food allergies and food sensitivities. We all know that there’s so many tests that are available on the market. There is the Everlywell test, various food allergy testing, ELISA, and many different functional ways of checking what foods may be causing you problems. These tests are completely different from what a food intolerance is. These tests are checking how your immune system is responding to what you’re eating. Essentially the way they run these tests is they take a sample of your blood and they expose it to different foods to see if there’s a reaction.

So the question is, why is your body reacting to those different foods? In our perspective that’s because you’re probably eating your food intolerance. Your food intolerance is an enzyme deficiency, which means that when you eat a food you’re intolerant to, your body doesn’t have the enzymes on board to actually digest and absorb it. This then causes inflammation in your gut which then creates immune sensitivity.

Most of the immune system is in the gut lining of all those little villi and microvilli in your digestive tract to protect you from the outside world.

What we see over and over and over again is that when individuals cut out their food intolerance, their digestion improves and their entire immune system improves and many food sensitivities and allergies they may be experiencing will diminish, if not go away.

3. The primary cause of inflammation and toxicity in the body is eating your food intolerance. When we improve our digestive system, we can actually digest the food that we’re consuming properly. We then get all those wonderful nutrients into the cells of the body and then can actually detoxify the waste out of the system.

We fundamentally improve the function of the body and improve our health when eliminating our food intolerance. So in this way, getting your food intolerances evaluated is one of the most important things that you can do for your health.

We hope you found this article helpful. To find out what your food intolerance is, click the link here

Dr. Alex Orton, ND

N A T U R O P A T H I C D O C T O R

F O U N D E R & O W N E R