Ten Things the Sunday Times Didn’t Tell You About Food Intolerance Testing
I can imagine how tough it is to be a journalist. You have to sell papers and you have to report the news. And you have to do it at speed. It can be a challenge, I’m sure. I had an incident last week where a reporter was doing some undercover research which resulted in a report which did not have the time or space to reflect a balanced perspective. I was pretty impressed that her appointment with me was Friday at 3pm and the article was in the Sunday papers. Impartial news isn’t very interesting – I get that. But it isn’t fair on you not to have the information which was missed out.
I asked the young lady what her symptoms were (fatigue and bloating) and suggested that a comprehensive assessment would be better because the foods may or may not be causing these symptoms. She refused saying that she would start with food intolerances and see how she got on. Since I don’t like to push people, I accepted this and booked her appointment.
When I conducted the assessment I again suggested that a comprehensive assessment would be better because it looks at what might be the other factors affecting her but she again declined.
Here is what was missed out of the article, the first eight of which I explained to the client or her boss who had a lengthy conversation with me on the phone:
- There is a difference between a food intolerance (food sensitivity would be a more accurate phrase) and an allergy. An allergy can be life threatening and is a problem with the immune system. An intolerance is a problem with the digestive system. It is not life threatening but it can create symptoms which are very irritating such as the fatigue and bloating reported by the client. I have written a newsletter on this and will publish it as an article in due course.
- It would be pretty difficult to be malnourished as a result of cutting out foods to which you are intolerant. In all the years I have been doing this, not one person has had an entire food group they are intolerant to. It is so important, as I tell my clients, to make sure you are eating a wide variety of foods including healthy carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats, lots of fruit and vegetables and enough fibre to keep you regular. Balance and variety are essential. Symptoms can also occur not through an intolerance but through toxic load – having too much junk food can create symptoms commonly associated with food intolerances.
- Not all foods need to be eliminated altogether and I coached the client on which foods should be eliminated for one month. The others needed to be cut down. I give my clients a master list so they see exactly what foods they can eat, what they should cut out and what they need to avoid. This makes it much easier to follow.
- The Asyra can be set at different levels to capture more foods if it is deemed to be appropriate. I had mine set at a normal level as the individual seemed fairly unconcerned about her symptoms. If the person was very concerned, I would ask them to see their doctor too (see point 9).
- It is an annoying fact that the food intolerances aren’t always the cause of the symptoms the person is concerned with. I could lie about it. But that wouldn’t serve anyone. This is why I always recommend a comprehensive assessment to see what else might be going on. For example, if the colon isn’t functioning optimally, this would create fatigue and bloating. But it could be caused by many other factors which a food intolerance assessment on its own won’t be able to highlight.
- Not all food intolerances will yield a noticeable effect. They can be causing weakness or inflammation ‘below the radar’. It is an inconvenient truth. But that doesn’t mean it should be ignored.
- The body is highly complex. New discoveries are being made all the time but we do know that health can be affected by diet, emotions, stress, environment, side effect of drugs and, last but not least, genetics.
- If you suspect you have food intolerances and don’t want a consultation, you can simply eliminate the foods to which you notice a physical response. It is best to do this one food at a time. In this way it will be clear what the culprit is. If you eliminate a range of foods and reintroduce them all at once you won’t know which food caused the problem if the symptom recurs. For more details on the elimination program, do feel free to contact me.
- If you are concerned about your health, you should go and see a doctor. Food intolerance testing does not replace medical intervention and no professional will claim that it does. Seeing your doctor is particularly important if you notice any of the following symptoms:
a. If you have a fever that lasts for more than a few days
b. If you have recurrent dizziness or nausea
c. If your vision changes or you have frequent headaches
d. If you have an unexplained change in weight
e. If you are suffering from abnormal bleeding
f. If you have pain which lingers or worsens after a week
g. Or any other symptoms which concern you
- If you are currently taking medication and are suffering symptoms often associated with food intolerances, you may want to check the list of potential side effects as it can simply be a reaction to your medication. Sometimes asking your doctor to switch you to another medication can be enough to reduce the symptoms you are experiencing. The overall aim is is to help you tolerate a wide variety of foods which can only be done by working together comprehensively. The body is complex. Your health is important. Understanding what you can do to help your body heal itself gives you your best chance of optimal health and energy. If you have any concerns or questions, do give me a call on 0345 130 0854.