Family Life, Other Stuff

Food Intolerance Test


For the past 4 years I have started noticing that my body has become sensitive to certain foods that I am eating, the main culprit being white cheese. I don’t remember if I have always been so sensitive but it has definitely been getting worse through my adult life. 

Now I love cheese just like the next person, probably a bit more, but enough was enough and I knew I had to do something to find out why it was making me so sick. 

After several Google searches and trying my luck on “Muscat where can I find” the only place that appeared to run food allergy tests in Muscat was their own Muscat Private Hospital. I usually attend Starcare hospital but I thought that i’d give MPH a bash and phoned to make an appointment.

Arriving for my appointment I am told to pay 33 rials (£55) upfront before I can even see the doctor, never mind that I have Bupa Gold that should cover me for everything. No guarantee’s that I’ll ever see that money again either. So I wait for 55 minutes dealing with rude, bored and incompetent admin staff who are insulting and obviously favour their own kind over the white girl at the desk inbetween texting sessions. I sneak a peak at appointment schedule, I should have been seen two patients ago and oh wait whats that? Yep, they just called in another Omani onfront of me. Surely my money/insurance is just as good as these people? Ahh I see, they all know each other – great.

So after 55 minutes I am called into the doctors office where she asks me “what do you want?”… sometimes things get lost in translation so I brushed it aside and kept talking. She kept asking me “where is the rash?” Ermmm I don’t have a rash and no one mentioned a rash? For being a doctor I was surprised at her attitude and lack of understanding so i broke it down for her in English as best I could using words such as shit, cramps, poop, vomit. Then she told me that my Insurance doesn’t cover this test, no problem I’ll pay it myself? Ohh the test is 300 rials (£506) Hmmm, Ok I’ll wait in the waiting room while you phone Bupa and check my insurance.

So i’m back in the waiting room, again, waiting to hear if the cost of my test is covered. I look round to see the doctor leaving to go home in the elevator with her handbag over her shoulder, the elevator doors close and I loose my cool. The mild mannered white girl isn’t as patient as she was an hour and 20 minutes ago and storms upto the admin desk. That got their attention and the mobile phone has been put down. With alot of umm’ing and ahh’ing no one is sure what to do now the doctor has left to go home so one of the nurses wings it and takes my blood without approval, I don’t care I want to go home. So they tell me two weeks and I’ll have the results once they come back from the lab in France. No problem.

I should have known it wouldn’t end that easily…. two days later a phone call from some nugget at the hospital telling me that due to a breakdown of communication between the hospital and the lab in France that they are no longer working together and now they have to use a lab in Dubai instead. Oh and they wont return my blood sample to Muscat either, so who has my blood sample?! So that day once again I was back at the hospital getting a second blood test to be sent to Dubai. My arm now looks like a junkie.

Anyhooooo………. about 10 days later my results are in and I go to pick them up. No doctor to explain them, just a 9 page document in an envelope.

So, I’m not exactly allergic to white cheese as I first thought. I actually have to completely avoid:

– Cow’s milk
– Wheat
– Coconut

Wow I didn’t expect that! These foods when tested showed a severe reaction to my blood and must not be consumed, I never thought it was that bad! I’ve been having bread and milk every day since I was a tiny tot.

Now the project is how to cut these things out of my diet. I will never manage completely and I don’t really want to be that boring but at least I know what to avoid from now on. I’m sad that I really can’t eat things like macaroni cheese, I would be allergic to every single ingredient in it!

It also showed partial allergies to:

– Malt
– Cashew Nuts

The 9 page report was very interesting at tested the patient with foods from pineapple to tomato and octopus to lobster. Very interesting indeed! 

So in summary, I am working on avoiding foods that trigger my allergies and please don’t take me to MPH again unless I am seriously dying. 

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  • Reply Kristal Schneider 28/07/2013 at 10:26 PM

    Oh my! I’m incredibly frustrated just reading this. Sometimes I don’t even know what to say about people like that. On the one hand, I’d like to call them a string of inappropriate names. On the other hand, I wonder how they are treated and what examples they have been shown in life that makes them such bitter, unprofessional, and hateful people. Must be exhausting to carry that kind of negativity with you. Anyway, now that I’m done ranting, I think your results are very interesting. I’ve been getting sick the last 10 years or so after eating certain things. For a while I brushed it off as stress from school, but now, without testing, I’ve come to the same conclusion as you. I seem to have fewer problems when I decrease wheat and cow’s milk. We’ve been using goats butter, almond milk (although I use soya in my tea and coffee because it tastes better for that), gluten free pasta, cereals, flour, and breads, lots more rice, dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate, goat cheese, cider instead of beer… The list goes on! Are things like this readily available there or will it be difficult for you?

    • Reply The Duncan Adventures 29/07/2013 at 8:11 PM

      Hey Kristal! How are you?
      Oh I know it’s so infuriating sometimes but like you say people must treat them pretty badly or set bad examples for them to be so negative in their demeanour. Even just putting down the iPhone to talk goes a long way lol.

      I believe that you can get the food allergy tests in the UK for a fraction of the price, you should maybe look into it for yourself? That is good that you have already started making the changes in your diet.
      There are a couple of gluten free pasta’s in the supermarket but not a wide selection and no breads. Rice, almond and soy milk are available but I’m scared to try them, I’m convinced they will be horrible. I did try a Soya hazelnut latte and it was really good so at least I know I can be safe in Costa and Starbucks still without making myself too ill 🙂

    • Reply Kristal Schneider 31/07/2013 at 1:55 AM

      My husband and I both really like almond milk. It doesn’t have that gritty feel like soy milk. You can get unsweetened if the regular type is a bit too sweet for your taste. I may look into testing for food allergies. I wonder how long it would take for them to fit me in. They’ll probably say they can get me in within two years and will look at me all excited as if that is awesome timing! LOL

  • Reply Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) 30/07/2013 at 12:45 PM

    A cardiac doctor killed (and it was completely avoidable and preventable death) my father. The doctor was from MPH, and despite all our insistence that she was ignoring his true symptoms and not listening to him, she insisted she knew what was causing his heart pains. A serious heart attack later, doctors at Royal Hospital discovered the deterioration of his heart had NOTHING to do with diet (as the rude doctor had insisted) and he actually was under weight despite being bloated with water. The woman (I can’t call her a doctor) tried to blame him for his condition. Turns out all along his death could have been prevented, his condition was easy to remedy before the heart got so weak from it all.

    To this day no apology OR financial renumeration was paid to my mother for their mistake, and the loss of her husband. We’d be happy with either along with that doctor being sacked.

    MPH: only use the fertility clinic as far as I know. They are actually decent if you don’t want to travel outside of Oman. Otherwise… avoid.

    • Reply The Duncan Adventures 02/08/2013 at 10:18 AM

      Oh my, I am so sorry to hear about your fathers passing and the neglegance that caused it. I can’t imagine how frustrated and upset you must feel especially as there has not even been an apology! And the doctor still works there to this day?

      Thank you, I think i will try to avoid MPH unless a real emergency!

  • Reply Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) 05/08/2013 at 11:53 AM

    Yes, she does. And I get sued if I write her name.

    But the fertility clinic is very good, and few other doctors there. I just don’t like hospitals who keep bad doctors. It makes sense to the government—afterall, hospital directors in government hospitals in Oman don’t get to interview the doctors they are sent, but it is simply inexcusable for private health institutions.

  • Reply 06/08/2013 at 12:30 PM

    I’ve missed your blogs and wondered what had happened to you. Hope you are feeling better with your new diet, but it’s a real shame you had to go through such a hassle to get the report done. All the best, Marina

  • Reply Nadia 14/09/2016 at 9:11 PM

    Hi Heather! I know this post is old but it’s the first thing that came up when I was googling allergy tests in Muscat. I’m based in Salalah and want to fly up to Muscat for allergy testing. I’m tired of having everything I put in my mouth affecting me. Have you heard of anyone who has done the test at MPH recently? Do you know of anyone else who performs this test?

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