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Is it Food Intolerance?

There is so much in the media about food intolerance. Is it myth or reality?

What is food intolerance? Food intolerance is when it seems that the very food we are eating is not agreeing with our system. It could be that syptoms of bloating, gas, wind and pain appear when eating certain food groups. It can be that the food is almost giving the symptoms of a hangover where you feel rough for a few day. Many people get aching joints or syptoms of a foggy head.

Certainly our diets have changed to an unrecognisable degree from around the 1960′s onwards – our ancient selves would not be familiar with a lot of what we eat now-a-days, from bagels, to crisps to ice-cream to smoothies! The most stunning difference in the diet from even when I was a child is the amount of wheat products we eat. Our first meal of the day is often a sugar loaded breakfast cereal (wheat) then a snack of a biscuit (wheat) and then lunch of a sandwich (wheat) and then a dinner of pasta (wheat). If we eat the same thing over and over without variation it is possible that we set up food intolerances. The trick is to keep the diet really varied – rye, kamut (!), brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat are just a few of the hundreds of different grains that are available.

Generally I find that rather than the food intolerance being something that has caused symptoms the food intolerance is the symptom of something else that is going on in the bowel. Bacterial, yeast or parasitic activity in the bowel can make it more likely that you will react to certain foods. These types of organisms can make the gut “leaky” where larger than nomal semi-digested food molecules escape through the gut wall and directly into the system. Thus it is not just about the foods you are eating (although if you are reacting it does seem sensible not to eat it!) but about what might be exacerbating the symptoms.

I find it fascinating how the bowel can be so linked up to how you are dealing with stress for example. Being more stressed can make you seem like you are reacting to foods as the relationship between the gut and cortisol (stress hormones) can lower your inherent gut immunity.

In summary for sure, identifying what might be causing is the key – but that might be a combination of the foods you are eating and making sure your digestive tract is working optimally to digest and absorp that food.

Contact us for a free 15 minute chat on the phone about how we might help your digestive issues.

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