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* Health is more than a good diet, everything is inter-connected...
* NOTE: There is a tendency to confuse health benefits with medical treatments. Health benefits are NOT medical treatments, they merely describe constituents and their properties recognised by scientific evidence. - Often, to exchange a food item with 'bad' properties for one with 'good' properties can have a already health benefits. - Health benefits are aimed holistically at individuals, and definitely NOT as a treatment for a specific Disease.
Often food sensitivity reactions sound minor to other people, even to Doctors, but to the person affected it can cause serious health threats and lifestyle disruptions.
Some say, “I wish I would have an Allergy, at least I would know what not to eat.”.
Allergies are much easier to track down, and often the cure is simply avoidance, a relatively easy treatment to stick to.
Allergies trigger an immune response, which can be verified by blood tests - IgE levels.
A Food intolerance, however is known as non-IgE mediated food hypersensitivity, and it refers to reacting adversely to certain foods.
In my experience Food intolerance has increased greatly and has resulted in a troublesome and purely understood health problem.
The medical profession seems to class it as a functional problem which is usually not treated. ( NO drugs )
By far the greatest difficulty is to diagnose food sensitivities or the cause of it correctly.
Most common health problems could have a Food Intolerance as part of the overall problem, and in some cases, may be the primary cause of the problem.
If this alone is not enough, diagnosis has been made more complicated by the fact that reactions and symproms may be delayed for up to two days after a food, or food group has been consumed. -
Finally, the decision to investigate if your general health is compromised by food intolerance has to be made by you. Often that decision comes after many month, or even years, trying unsuccessfully to remedy your health problems whatever they may be.
Once your Doctor has cleared you, but you still got your problems, it may be time to look into Food intolerance.
You may have symptoms such as chronic sinusitis, chronic skin rushes, digestive problems, an irritated colon, breathing difficulties, chronic coughing, lack of energy, and the list goes on.
You may hope for some "magic herbal or natural supplement” to cure your problems, but that hardly ever is the case.
If however, you are truly sick of your perceived food intolerance, and like to find out for sure, you will be confronted with some serious health supporting strategies.
First, do you really have food intolerances, and if yes, what would you be sensitive to?
It certainly would be nice to be hooked up to a super duper diagnostic machine that tells you all you need to know, but no such luck.
To diagnose for sure, at the time of writing this, there seems to be only one way to find out, and that is by Food Elimination Strategy.
You will notice the term strategy, and yes, it is a strategy, as it involves a large group of well-known food offenders to be taken out of your daily new diet, combined with specifc ways to re-introduce certain food groups.
For most people, this can be a bit of a shock, as it may involve “not eating” some of your most loved foods.
Actually, one way of suspecting food intolerance is to question a patient about their “cravings”, or to put it more elegantly; “what food wouldn’t you like to be without”?
If you have a craving for certain foods, make sure you cut those out straight away, they may be the main culprits. However, more often than not, it is not that easy, so back to the “full elimination diet”.
What I call a full elimination is to combine 2 or more elimination diets.
Here are the main groups to eliminate:
Stay off all salicylate and amines (Tyamine) containing foods and drinks, and combine that with the low FODMAP diet, which in itself is a combination of food groups, which also includes the biggies, such as Gluten and Lactose.
In addition to that, you only do eat food that is allowed to you, which eliminates all processed foods, and therefore Preservatives and Additives.
The idea is to eliminate possible reactive foods, therefore your system will not react anymore, and as a consequence your symptoms will improve.
The health support treatment:
Eliminate food groups for about 6 weeks. - This elimination process can be likened to a detoxification diet, and it can be further enhanced.
While on the elimination diet, but depending on the patient, detoxification supplementations may be given, and subsequently be extended to include supplements to “heal” a “leaky gut”.
The leaky gut, ( a gastrointestinal barrier break down ), or possible problems within your digestive tract may be the cause of your food sensativities.
Therefore just eliminating the offending food is not enough; you need to heal your digestive system to bring it back to be able to once again eat all food groups.
In most cases, this treatment will work fine, even so, some people will be left with some specific food to totally cut out, and other food put on rotation; by example, hard cheese only once a week, etc.
A possible explanation why we have problems with food sensitivities in the first place - most people have too much of the same food, and too much processed food, which includes too many chemical additives.
Often people find out that the only thing they actually can’t eat, even after prolonged gut healing, is processed foods, eg. preservatives.
To sum up, once you take the decision to dive head over into a full elimination diet, you have a good change of getting better, however, it is a slow process, you need to be committed and patient.
You may start to feel better after 2 to 3 weeks, but before you re-introduce foods, you should be FREE of symptoms for a couple of weeks.
You often will notice, that by re-introducing certain food, you may now react faster to it, which is actually a good thing, as it will help you to streamline your diet till finally you have come up with “your personal diet”, proving once again the old adage of “ One men’s bread is the other ones poison”.
Age, by the way, is another deciding factor .. food intolerance is more prevalent in adults and will get worse getting older, which may be due to a compromised digestive function, stress, alcohol, too much coffee, and generally too much processed food, plus an obvious decline in digestive “juices”, and compromised gut bacteria. - Antacids are not helping in this scenario at all, and if they contain aluminium, and taken frequently you may end up with dementia.
Stress generally incites all digestive type of complaints, including food intolerance.
My advice; seek a practitioner who is experience to lead you through this kind of treatment, and make sure you keep a food and symptom diary, it can be a real eye opener.
Naturopaths, Nutritionists and Holistic Doctors are your best option for a lasting successful treatment.
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* Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.
Dieter Lüske - Editor
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