Do you have a Food Sensitivity?


Food Allergy, Intolerance or Sensitivity?
If you suffer from migraines, diarrhoea, constipation, indigestion or joint pain, or are constantly tired and run-down, you may have a food allergy, intolerance or sensitivity.

What’s the difference?
The reactions caused by food allergies are immediate, even after encountering a small amount of the allergen; food allergies usually persist for many years, and may be life-threatening. In contrast, with food intolerances or sensitivities, a reaction to the suspect food may take several hours or even the next day to appear. In addition, larger quantities of the suspect food need to be eaten to cause a reaction than with an allergy, also symptoms may go away for periods and then re-emerge, and cravings for suspect foods are very common.
Although a sensitivity or intolerance to certain food(s) is not as serious as a food allergy. they have been suggested as a potential factor in conditions such as MS, ME, IBS, migraine, eczema, arthritis and alopecia, among others.


But what foods are responsible for what? 
Almost any food could cause an adverse reaction in someone, but there are a few usual suspects that are responsible for the vast majority of reactions. These foods include: dairy products, gluten, seafood, eggs, fish, milk, mustard, nuts, and soya. These and other foods have been identified as being factors linked with ‘Leaky Gut Syndrome’ in some, which may be linked to an increased risk of certain autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
For more information about leaky gut syndrome, visit:
www.leakygut.co.uk
www.mold-survivor.com

How can you find out if you have a food allergy or intolerance?
If you suspect you have a food allergy, it needs to be tested as soon as possible so see your doctor.
For information about allergy testing, or for home testing kits visit:
www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Allergies
www.foodintolerancetestbristol.co.uk  
www.yorktest.com



Working it out for yourself
Reactions to foods you are intolerant or sensitive to are not as immediate as allergic reactions, so working out which foods trigger your symptoms takes a bit more patience. However, by keeping a detailed food diary, discovering the culprit(s) should be quite straightforward.
All you have to do is record what you eat, and when you get symptoms, and then look for common factors.
Start keeping a detailed food diary and use it to record the foods you eat each day and when you eat them (don’t forget to include all snacks and drinks, and be aware that some foods contain a variety of potential triggers: a cheese sandwich, for example, contains dairy, yeast and gluten; a gin and tonic contains citrus, gluten, sugar, yeast and, in most types of tonic water, aspartame). Record any symptoms you experience, as well as the time the symptoms begin. Show your food diary to your doctor or nutritional therapist to help determine which foods may be triggering your symptoms.


Useful websites
For anyone with a food allergy, intolerance or sensitivity, the Foods Matter website is a comprehensive resource with articles, research and personal histories. See also the Action Against Allergy site for information, advice and links to local allergy doctors in the UK.

Finding a Nutritional Therapist
The British Association of Applied Nutritionists and Nutritional Therapists (BANT) is the professional body for nutritional tharapists. Visit their website to find a qualified practitioner in your area: www.bant.org.uk



A-Z of Conditions, Possible Food Triggers and Nutritional Terms

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in children.
Common symptoms include difficulty concentrating, hyperactivity and impulsive behaviour.
Possible food links: Controversial, but some people advise avoiding some types of food additives, such as artificial colourings, some preservatives and refined sugars; and it is generally believed that eating a balanced diet including oily fish (high in omega-3 fatty acids) is beneficial.
For more information on ADHD and diet, visit: My child has ADHD does diet help ?










Alcohol
High alcohol intake increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, some cancers and high blood pressure. It should also be completely avoided if you are following a sugar-free diet or a yeast-free diet; on the Best Bet Diet a glass of wine a day is permitted.

Alopecia
Symptoms: patches of hair loss in areas of skin that normally have hair.
Possible food triggers: As with other autoimmune diseases, a ‘leaky gut’ may also be implicated, so possible food links are: sugar, vinegar, processed food, yeast, caffeine, and any other foods you may be sensitive or allergic to.
For further information and support  visit: http://www.alopeciaonline.org.uk/

Antioxidants
Any physical process which uses oxygen produces free radicals: these are unstable substances which damage cells and tissues by grabbing elements from them in an attempt to stabilise themselves. Digestion, breathing and numerous metabolic processes in the body produce free radicals. The body protects itself from these by obtaining antioxidant vitamins and minerals, through the diet, to destroy them. An excess of free radicals in the body, without sufficient antioxidant protection, is linked to a range of health issues.
For more information and a list of high-antioxidant foods, go to: www.thenibble.com.

Arthritis / Osteoarthritis



Symptoms: painful inflammation and stiffness of joints.
Common triggers: eggs, wheat products, sugar, dairy, and red meat. Some people find that avoiding tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and other 'nightshade' foods reduces pain. Find out more about research into nightshades and arthritis here: noarthritis.com
For general information on diet / exercise and arthritis, visit: www.arthritiscare.org.uk.



Asthma
Symptoms: coughing, wheezing, tightness in the chest, shortness of breath.
Common triggers: diary products, meat, eggs, salt, processed foods.
For further information about asthma and diet, visit Asthma UK.




Puffa Pouch availble from

www.alwaysread thelabel.info





Best Bet Diet
This is a diet similar to the Palaeolithic or Caveman Diet, which eliminates the substances that may cause leaky gut syndrome. This diet may therefore benefit people with autoimmune diseases who suffer from leaky gut syndrome.
Following the Best Bet Diet involves avoiding dairy, gluten, legumes, eggs, yeast, red meat, and margarine. On the diet, fish, chicken and turkey are recommended sources of protein, while fruit, vegetables, olive oil, sunflower oil and a range of dietary supplements are also recommended.
For more information about the diet, the science, and the supplements, visit: www.direct-ms.org/bestbet, and for recipes look no further than the Eating In pages right here!

Cancer
For a wealth of information about food, nutrients and various types of cancer, visit: www.cancerresearchuk.org or www.cancernet.co.uk


Candida
Symptoms: an overgrowth of candida albicans in the gut may lead to candidiasis which may cause chronic fatigue, thrush, bloating, depression and IBS.
Common triggers: sugar, alcohol, coffee, antibiotics, among others. For further details about candida, the steps to being candida-free and recipes too, visit: thecandidadiet.com

Catarrh
Symptoms: blocked nose, mucus, facial or sinus pain, headache.
Common triggers: dust, pollen, animal fur, or food-wise: dairy products, grains, yeast and sugar.
For a more comprehensive list of mucous-forming foods to avoid, visit: www.healthfree.com

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
Also known as ME (Myalgic Encephalopathy)
Symptoms: fatigue, muscle and joint pain, difficulty concentrating.
Common food triggers: as with candidiasis, sugar, alcohol, coffee, antibiotics and /or foods thought to be linked to leaky gut syndrome: sugar, vinegar, processed food, dairy products, yeast, caffeine, gluten, and any other foods you may be sensitive or allergic to. At present, there doesn't seem to be a CFS diet as such, but following the recommendations for the candida diet or the Best Bet Diet (with its anti-leaky gut aim) may be a good place to start.

Coeliac Disease
Symptoms: various, including abdominal pain and bloating, diarrhoea, anaemia, tiredness. For further information, visit: www.foodreactions.org/gluten and www.coeliac.org.uk. For places to eat in the UK, go to www.gluten-free-onthego.com.
Common triggers: gluten (found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye) must be eliminated from the diet. Coeliac disease may also be linked to leaky gut syndrome, so other possible food links are: sugar, vinegar, processed food, dairy products, yeast, caffeine, and any other foods you may be sensitive or allergic to.
Read Italian coeliac Federica's story here.





Crohn’s Disease
Symptoms: gut pain, ulcers, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, anaemia.
Common triggers: Unknown at present, but as Crohn’s disease may also be linked to leaky gut syndrome, possible food links are: sugar, vinegar, processed food, dairy products, yeast, caffeine, and any other foods you may be sensitive or allergic to.
For further information and a diet plan, visit the WebMD site.

Diabetes Type 1
Symptoms: thirst, weight loss, weakness, blurred vision.
Dietary advice: Type 1 Diabetes is much rarer than Type 2, and is not directly related to diet. Consult your doctor or nutritional therapist for advice about diet and lifestyle.

Diabetes Type 2
Symptoms: thirst, dry mouth, blurred vision, yeast infections, slow healing of wounds, leg pain.
Dietary advice: Reduce intake of saturated fat and trans fats, alcohol, salt and sugar; opt for foods with a low glycaemic index (GI).
For more information about diabetes, dietary factors and treatment, visit: www.diabetes.org.uk and read our December feature 'Sweet Enough?'.

Eczema
Symptoms: itchy, dry, red, scaly rash, usually on the face, neck, hands, and in creases of the limbs.
Possible triggers: Eczema may be linked to leaky gut syndrome in some; if so, possible food links are: sugar, vinegar, processed food, dairy products, yeast, caffeine, and any other foods you may be sensitive or allergic to.
Some people find that increasing their intake of essential fatty acids (EFAs) provides relief. For more information about diet and eczema, visit: www.activefitnessworld.com

Gallstones
Symptoms: severe abdominal pain, feeling or being sick, sweating, restlessness, jaundice.
Common food links: a high cholesterol diet, refined carbohydrates such as white bread, cakes and low-fibre cereal.
For more information and advice, visit: www.gallbladderattack.com

Glycaemic Index (GI)
The measure of how fast or slowly carbohydrate in food increases blood sugar levels. In general, refined carbohydrates are high-GI foods (fast-releasing), whereas unrefined carbohydrates are low-GI (slow-releasing). Low-GI foods are best for most people as they reduce the tendency to overeat, and may cut the risk of disease; they can also help diabetics control their blood sugar levels. For more details of what foods are low GI, recipes and the latest news and research visit: www.gisymbol.com

Gout
Symptoms: acute pain, usually in the joint of the big toe, inflammation, and swelling.
Possible dietary links: red meat, and ‘organs’ (liver and kidney); alcohol, especially beer; legumes; some seafood.
For more information on gout and diet visit the Mayo Clinic's Healthy Gout Diet site.

HDL Cholesterol
High-density lipoprotein cholesterol, ‘good’ cholesterol, at high levels protects against heart disease. Click here for the Top 10 Good Cholesterol Foods.

Hypoglycemia (or low blood sugar)
Possible symptoms: confusion, sweating, shakiness and / or palpitations due to low blood sugar.
Visit: gicare.com for more information about the condition, dietary advice and sample menus.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Possible symptoms: constipation, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, bloating, flatulence, and indigestion.
The most common triggers are gluten (especially in wheat flour) and dairy products. Other possible culprits are eggs, citrus fruits, cheese, port, red wine, sherry, beef, liver, herring, sauerkraut, yeast extracts, fatty or spicy foods, tea, coffee, and alcohol.
Visit: www.ibsgroup.org  for more information on IBS and diet including information on a low FODMAP diet.

Leaky Gut Syndrome
There are a wide range of symptoms and conditions linked to leaky gut syndrome, visit www.leakygut.co.uk for comprehensive lists.
Foods to avoid include: sugar, vinegar, processed food, dairy products, yeast, caffeine, gluten, and any other foods you may be sensitive or allergic to.

LDL Cholesterol
Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, ‘bad’ cholesterol, at high levels is a risk factor for heart disease. Click here for the Top 10 'Good' Cholesterol Foods which may help lower LDL cholesterol naturally.

Migraine

Symptoms: Intense pain usually on one side of the head, sometimes with nausea or vomiting. May last several hours or even days.
The most common triggers are cheese, red wine, peanuts, chocolate, coffee, wheat and citrus fruits. Also worth avoiding refined sugars, food additives, saturated or hydrogenated fat, red meat. Basically avoid high fat and processed food; eat fresh and light.
Visit: www.migrainetrust.org for information and links related to causes, treatment and support for migraine sufferers of all ages. For practical dietary advice, go to migrainefit.com


ME (Myalgic Encephalopathy)
Also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or CFS.
Symptoms: fatigue, muscle and joint pain, difficulty concentrating.
Common food triggers: as with candidiasis, sugar, alcohol, coffee, antibiotics and /or foods which may be linked to leaky gut syndrome in some: sugar, vinegar, processed food, dairy products, yeast, caffeine, gluten, and any other foods you may be sensitive or allergic to.
For down-to-earth advice on diet and ME/CFS, and related articles, visit: www.actionforme.org.uk Following the recommendations for the candida diet or the Best Bet Diet (with its anti-leaky gut aim) may also be a good place to start.


MODY (Mature Onset Diabetes in the Young)
MODY is sometimes compared to Type 2 Diabetes but is not linked to obesity and does not always require insulin treatment. For further information, visit: diabetesexplained.com/mody and read our December feature 'Sweet Enough?'









Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Symptoms: problems with muscle control, such as weakness, tremor or paralysis, problems with vision and / or balance.
Dietary advice: A diet high in polyunsaturated fat and low in saturated fat is recommended, and gluten has also been implicated; follow the Best Bet Diet, (visit www.direct-ms.org for more details), or the Swank low-fat diet (http://swankmsdiet) . As with other autoimmune diseases, a ‘leaky gut’ may be implicated, so other possible food links are: sugar, vinegar, processed food, yeast, caffeine, and any other foods you may be sensitive or allergic to. Click here for more about Leaky Gut Syndrome, and to hear how a doctor reversed her MS symptoms through diet watch her talk here.
Other useful websites: www.msrc.co.uk , www.mssociety.org.uk


Nightshades
Foods in the nightshade family include potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, chillies, aubergines and courgettes. These may be responsible for joint pain in some people, who find relief from pain after eliminating them from their diet for anything between a week and six months. Avoiding nightshades is easier said than done as many common foods contain potato starch which should also be avoided.
Visit allergyreliefexpert.com to read more about nightshades, symtoms of intolerance and watch an interview with Dr Gloria Gilbere who controls her fibromyalgia by strictly avoiding all nightshades.


 Osteoarthritis / Arthritis



Symptoms: painful inflammation and stiffness of joints.
Common triggers: eggs, wheat products, sugar, dairy, and red meat. Some people find that avoiding tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and other 'nightshade' foods reduces pain. Find out more about research into nightshades and arthritis here: noarthritis.com
For general information on diet / exercise and arthritis, visit: www.arthritiscare.org.uk.

Polyunsaturated fats
Polyunsaturated fats, aka ‘good fats’ are now more commonly referred to as Omega 3 and Omega 6. Omega 3 is found in some nuts such as walnuts, and oily fish such as mackerel and salmon. Omega 6 is found in nuts such as peanuts, and seeds such as sunflower seeds. More info here.



Psoriasis
Symptoms: dry, red skin lesions on the elbows, knees, scalp and lower back, less commonly affecting nails, throat or areas of skin in folds or creases.
Common triggers: Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease and may also be a symptom of leaky gut syndrome; if so, possible food links are: sugar, vinegar, processed food, dairy products, yeast, caffeine, and any other foods you may be sensitive or allergic to.
Visit the Psoriasis Association website for psoriasis-related news, info and support. For more information about Leaky Gut Syndrome, click here.

Rheumatoid arthritis
Symptoms: muscle and joint aches and stiffness; red, swollen, tender joints; fatigue, slight fever, lack of appetite.
Possible triggers: dairy products, wheat, gluten, maize, tartrazine (a synthetic yellow food colouring). As with other autoimmune diseases, a ‘leaky gut’ may also be implicated, so other possible food links are: sugar, vinegar, processed food, yeast, caffeine, and any other foods you may be sensitive or allergic to.
For dietary advice related to RA, visit: www.arthritistoday.org. For more information about Leaky Gut Syndrome, click here.







Rosacea
Symptoms: flushing, small spots, visible blood vessels, bloodshot eyes, burning sensation on face or raised red patches.
Common triggers: spicy, pickled smoked and fermented food, alcohol, tea, coffee, chocolate, soya sauce, yoghurt, cheese, tomatoes, some fruits.
For more information about dietary links to rosacea, visit: www.healthy-skin-guide.com

Saturated fat
Saturated fat is found in red meat products such as burgers, sausages and pies, and dairy products such as milk, butter and cheese. Hydrogenated fat, often used in ready-meals and biscuits, is also high in saturated fat.
Saturated fat, hydrogenated fat and trans fats are often termed ‘bad’ fats as they raise the levels of harmful cholesterol. People with MS are advised to reduce their intake.

Trans fatty acids
Trans fats are hydrogenated vegetable oils found in many processed foods. They have been linked to raised cholesterol levels, a higher risk of heart attack and stroke, and fertility problems. So far, they have been banned in a number of places including Denmark, Switzerland and California. For more information on trans fats and how to avoid them, go to: www.nhs.uk

Yeast-free diet
Yeast is found in a wide variety of food and drink; the following should all be avoided if you are on a yeast-free diet: cheese, alcohol, vinegar, bread, mushrooms, quorn, marmite, soya sauce, fruit skins and any dried, fermented or pickled food.
For a more comprehensive list and advice on alternatives, visit: healthfoodexpress.com.



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