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Food allergies, intolerances

Start here

My book The Vitamin Cure for Allergies is available from us and on Kindle; it is a starting point for working on your allergies.

Symptoms

The core symptoms (most sufferers have several) include:

  • Headache, pressure in head, fuzzy headedness
  • Poor memory, trouble concentrating
  • Daytime drowsiness, fatigue, lack of energy
  • Dizziness/faintness
  • Racing pulse/palpitations
  • Abdominal bloating, wind, change in bowel habit

But food intolerances can cause almost any symptom, anywhere in the body.

Diagnosis

This comes first from listening carefully to the history, and observing the time-pattern of symptoms, then from dietary experiments (eliminating then reintroducing specific foods); you may have already done this, but it can be difficult to do correctly.

I have been involved with laboratory tests of food intolerances for 25 years, and I have to say, sadly, that there is no ideal test in this country at present. Those that are available can  sometimes be useful as part of the investigation, but should only ever be used alongside the history, dietary experiments etc.

Self-treatment

Many allergies, intolerances and sensitivities will clear up on the ABC of allergy:

Avoid: eliminating the food from your diet 100% can serve both as diagnosis (i.e. the symptoms improve) and as treatment. It’s easier for foods than pollens, for example, but you have to attend to hidden foods – things like wheat and milk products in prepared foods.

Basic Lifestyle: eat healthily, get exercise and fresh air, detox your lifestyle and reduce stresses, and often intolerances and other symptoms will calm down.

C: vitamin C is a safe, reasonably good anti-allergy treatment, and taking 1,000 to 2,000milligrams several times a day may suppress allergy/intolerance symptoms. If it gives you loose bowels you are taking too much.

Therapies

If these don’t work (and family circumstances, for instance, may prevent you eliminating foods effectively) we have a range of methods available, up to and including desensitisation.

  • We can plan your diet and advise you how best to avoid specific foods, the best substitutes and where to find them.
  • If it gets complicated we can refer you to an experienced dietitian who can go through it with you in great detail and keep supporting you by email or phone.
  • Some diets can restrict your intake of essential nutrients (calcium in milk-free diets is not the only one); we will advise you on alternative sources and supplements.
  • Desensitisation using LDA — Low-Dose Allergotherapy — can help most allergies/intolerances

Breathing control, relaxation and meditation all sometimes yield good results in allergies/intolerances; we can refer you to expert practitioners within the New Medicine Group.

Mechanisms

Several different mechanisms can cause us symptoms from foods:

  • Classical Allergy: symptoms/syndromes such as eczema, rhinitis and asthma can be triggered by foods and chemicals as well as by pollen, animal fur etc. These are dealt with in the next posting, on Hay fever etc
  • Enzyme deficiency: over 50% of the world’s adult population lacks, for instance, the enzyme that digests lactose, the main sugar in milk.
  • Digestive dysfunction: illnesses, ageing and nutritional deficiencies can cause us to run out of  factors in the gut that break down and absorb food. 

When these have been ruled out you may have a Food Intolerance.