Do you feel bloated and suffer severe nausea when you drink a glass of milk? Does your stomach feel like a rock when you?ve eaten a delicious croissant?
Food Intolerance occurs when the digestive system is unable to produce the right quantity of enzymes/chemicals to digest a particular type of food. The reactions can be delayed up to 48 hours or more; or, effects can be cumulative. Although not life threatening, the effects can have a major impact on one?s health.
Allergies occur when and food is not properly digested and / or partially digested food comes into direct contact with the immune system; triggering it into action.
These immune reactions may cause a wide variety of effects such as fatigue, eczema, weight gain, fluid retention, arthritis and conditions such as IBS, migraine headaches, Cohn?s Disease, rheumatoid arthritis, infantile colic, and childhood ear infections.
It is therefore a critical step to identify which foods are causing you intolerance.
Common kinds of food intolerance.
Lactose intolerance results from a deficiency of the enzyme lactase, which is needed to digest the sugar in milk. At least one out of 10 people worldwide shares this deficiency which results in bloating, abdominal pain and often, diarrhoea when consuming milk.
Gluten intolerance is caused by an abnormal immune response to the major protein in wheat barley, rye, and oats. This at times leads to Celiac Disease
Carbohydrate intolerance hinders overweight people from losing weight
Alcohol Intolerance is another common example wherein there is a deficiency of an enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenise, which is needed to break down alcohol. Drinking even small amounts can make susceptible people feel unwell.
Fructose Intolerance (HFI) is a rare genetic disorder of the fructose metabolism. This occurs due to the deficiency of the enzyme, aldolase B. This enzyme, when in order, completes the conversion of partially converted fructose (fructose-1-phosphate) into glucose.
Severe headaches, nausea, numbness, irritable bowel, heart palpitations and disturbed sleep are just some of the symptoms reported by people who are intolerant to the flavour enhancer monosodium glutamate or preservatives (sulphite) used in food. Not only found in Chinese food, MSG (E621) is in many processed foods; particularly in processed cheese and meats, soups and sauces.
Intolerance to Yeast is very common. There are a wide variety of symptoms from yeast sensitivity which include headaches, breathing problems, abdominal cramps, skin problems and mood swings.
Irritable bowel syndrome is another common kind of food intolerance.
|Food intolerance testing.|
You may sit down and take your pulse and then get someone to pass you the food or drink that you think may be causing you to have a reaction. Hold the item for a few minutes and take your pulse again. Should your pulse rate be higher than the first measure may indicate intolerance to that particular food.
Food log and Elimination Diet : During this test, patients keep a record for a few weeks of everything they eat and any symptoms that develop in response to specific foods. This can help narrow the list of foods that may be causing problems. The next step is a defined food elimination diet. This can be an avoidance diet of patient-defined triggers, a 'hypoallergenic' diet for four to six weeks, or a rotation diet, in which new foods are introduced sequentially. If a particular food or food groups are suspected to be the cause; it is confirmed by giving specifically those to the patient in order to look for an appearance of symptoms.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine it was found that energy flows down in the meridians. Dr Voll discovered that one can use the acupuncture points on the meridians to test for differences in electrical current. When food is introduced into the circuit that is agreeable there is no change in current; whereas, when food that is possibly disagreeable is introduced; the current changes.
This is similar to electro-dermal testing. Here, however, one?s muscle strength response is measured rather than a change in electrical current.
Blood Tests: Blood tests are often used as an initial test for celiac disease (celiac sprue), they may also be used to screen for lactose intolerance. The blood tests cannot be depended upon entirely as there is a risk of mixed symptoms. Hence they are usually followed up by endoscopy.
Endoscopy (Small Bowel Biopsy): When checking for celiac disease, gastroenterologists look for patterns of damage in the villi, the small hair like projections in the small intestine.
Breath Test: These tests are usually used to diagnose breath tests. Hydrogen is a by-product of lactose consumption in people suffering from lactose intolerance. Therefore the test involves taking a baseline sample of the patient's breath, then taking samples over several hours after the patient consumes lactose to see if the concentration rises sharply.
Treatment for food Intolerance
Treatment for food intolerance is based on avoiding or reducing your intake of problem foods and treating symptoms when they arise.
Elimination diet: The elimination diet is found the most accurate way of testing food sensitivities by practitioners of nutritional medicine. All likely food problems are eliminated from the diet for a period of time. Once the symptoms being treated alleviate, foods are added back to the diet one at a time and a note is made of which foods cause a recurrence in symptoms.
1. Eliminate all sources of wheat, as this is a common problem food as found in ?normal? bread, pizza, pasta, pastry, biscuits, cakes and wheat based breakfast cereals i.e. in anything containing flour.
2. Eliminate Milk, cheese and yoghurt from the diet. Dairy products are a common problem.
3. Eliminate foods that you consume frequently, say on four or more days of each week. The more of a food you eat the more of a problem it is likely to be.
4. Eliminate foods and drinks which you crave and things you think you can?t do without. We often feel the ?need? for foods we are sensitive to.
5. Eliminate foods and drinks which you suspect make you feel bad.
The elimination diet generally recommended is FAILSAFE meaning Free of Additives and Low in Salicylates2, Amines3 and Flavour Enhancers.
You may feel much better after a week or two on this regime. You may have a sudden improvement, weight loss, more energy, mental clarity and easing of symptoms you may have suffered from and better digestion.
You may have withdrawal or healing crises symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, fatigue, insomnia and nervousness. These symptoms should not last longer than a week and thereafter you may feel much better .i.e. Weight loss, more energy, mental clarity and easing of symptoms that you suffered from previously including, most importantly a better digestion.
Other factors should also be taken into consideration when treating suspected food intolerance. It is common knowledge that emotions can affect the bowel. If stress is a factor, recognize its possible influence. An understanding of the contributory effects of drinking too much tea, coffee, or alcohol may also help in the control of symptoms.
YOUR BODY SPEAKS YOUR MIND
Take a look at what your particular physical problem is. Are you are not digesting your food properly; or, do you have another effect such as constipation? Not digesting may be indicative that you are not allowing things, people situations and emotions the necessary time they require from you to be assimilated. With constipation you are not letting go properly. Perhaps you are not forgiving a person or situation and literally holding onto ?the crap?. Learn to let go of what no longer serves you. An exercise for letting go is to write down a list of all the things, people and emotions that no longer serve you and burn it ? let go of all those things. Remember: Food gives you sustenance. Are you equally feeding yourself with sufficient emotional/spiritual sustenance?
This is very important to your health and digestion. One of the physiological reactions of stress in the body is that energy is taken away from digestion and given to your cardiovascular system and hence prolonged stress can interfere with proper digestion. Do guided visualization, yoga, tai chi ? even boxing can help use up the adrenaline coursing around in a stressed body. Take-up a hobby; or get out into your garden. Make an appointment with yourself for ?me? time.
Should you feel better after a few weeks of the elimination diet (please remember natural healing takes time and usually includes feeling worse before you feel better) you may re-introduce one food at a time per day in a large portion, e.g. take a large glass of milk in the morning and then watch out for food sensitivity symptoms such as headache, itching, irritability, fatigue, depression and foggy thinking. Should you suffer from these; eliminate that food again. If you have no reaction you can take it again at lunch and dinner and if you still don?t have any sensitivity by the following you may introduce this food into your diet once again. In this way you may proceed through the foods you have eliminated. Make a note of safe foods as you go on.
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