Could Food Intolerance (or Food Sensitivities) Be Causing Your Symptoms?
Well they may seem minor to other people but if you are the one suffering and you're looking at this page it's clear you've got to the point where you are ready to take action. I encounter many people whose health is below par, who put up with permanent abdominal discomfort, bloating or sore joints. Nothing too serious but enough to make life less enjoyable. Common conditions such as:
- IBS - Irritable Bowel syndrome
- Stubborn Weight Gain
- Constantly Tired
- Joint Pain
- Muscular Pain
- Abdominal Noise such as growling and gurgling
- Bad Breath
- Foul Tasting Mouth
- Mood Swings
- Bowel Diseases
- Bad Temper
- Excessive and/or Very Smelly Flatulence
- Persistent Infections
- Unexplained Weight Loss (and your doctor has not been able to pinpoint the cause)
- Recurrent Thrush, Jock Itch, Athletes Foot
- Issues with Your Nails (particularly toe nails)
- Poor Digestion
- Constant Abdominal Discomfort or Pain
- Pain After Eating
- Recurrent Cystitis
- Skin Problems
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
- Candida Yeast Overgrowth
often erode the quality of your life. This state of being generally below par arises very gradually and people come to accept the way they feel as normal. But it could be that your "ailments" are caused by the foods you are eating, even potentially the healthy ones?
If you are experiencing any of the issues highlighted above or any other condition that has defied diagnosis by your doctor you could benefit from having a Food Sensitivity Test.
People often say to me, "Well, people never had food sensitivities in the past so how come they do now". Well first of all, whilst that's a widely held belief it's not strictly true. Many (if not most) people have a food that they know does not agree with them. Often the symptoms they experience are very obvious such as indigestion immediately after eating something, belching or bloating. Sometimes they will be able to taste a food repeating on them long after it has been eaten. It is then quite natural for them to eliminate this food from their diet.
Reactions to certain foods have always been amongst us. For example when I was growing up I knew several people who got hives when they ate strawberries. My brother was unable to eat prawns without becoming violently ill. And my mum avoided raw onion like the plague as it gave her immediate indigestion and radishes gave my grandfather "gyp" as he described it.
I have never seen a research project on food sensitivities. That's mainly because medical research is usually carried out with the aim of finding a drug to deal with a complaint and the ultimate aim is the generation of profits for pharmaceutical companies. There is simply no money to be made out of a condition that requires the elimination of a food or drink from someone's diet.
The way we eat (and drink) has changed dramatically, particularly during the last 30 years or so. Once upon a time people ate real food, cooked from scratch with no additives. Convenience foods were only introduced about forty years ago and initially most were pretty straight forward such as frozen fish fingers covered in bread crumbs. Then products like Smash, the instant mashed potato, came about.
Gradually convenience foods have got further away from being natural foods and most contain additives, preservatives, excess salt and sugar, hydrogenated fats, colouring and flavouring. Even foods that look as though they are fairly straightforward often have hidden ingredients. All the sliced meat in one high profile, "quality" food outlet (also famous for underwear) contains sugar, even the beef. And even something as simple and innocuous as a chopped fruit salad has been bathed in chemicals before it reaches you and bags of salad leaves are washed in chemicals 50 times stronger than you would get in a municipal swimming pool. Many of us are tricked into thinking we are eating a good diet with natural foods when that is not the case. Remember that there is always a price for convenience and its not just the monetary cost of the goods.
In countries where supermarkets are not the primary source of food and where people generally still buy food from independent shops and markets food sensitivities are relatively uncommon. In those countries people still eat seasonally but supermarkets have reigned supreme in the UK for so long that most people don't even know what that means. Now our food is flown in from all corners of the world and the seasons mean little in terms of what is available to eat. Before supermarkets, food was available according to season (including those that were imported). Foods such as strawberries were available for only a couple of weeks. Most vegetables were available for only several months. In summer people ate salad but in winter it was all root vegetables (which can be stored), stew and dumplings. In the past it was beneficial to eat stodgier foods in winter as prior to the advent of central heating people needed to be warmer. Now that we can buy everything at any time of year people are eating far too much of the same thing all year round.
And processing has robbed many foods of their benefits. Milk was once a whole food. A long time ago it was delivered to your door unpasteurised, unhomogenised and with its fat content in tact. Now we have to buy the lactobacillus it used to contain in the form of probiotic supplements. Personally I believe the pasteurisation, homogenisation and the removal of fat is primarily motivated by economics. In addition, I don't even think milk is particlarly good for human beings and is not a great source of digestible and absorbable calcium either but it is big business.
Whilst the mainstream medical establishment pooh pooh the very idea of food sensitivites I think when you consider the above, the picture starts to get a little clearer. Let me tell you my story and you can decide which makes most sense.
Looking Back It Was a Long Decline
With hindsight, I realise that my health had been below par for years but I just never noticed really, that was normal for me. During childhood I was blighted with more than my fair share of childhood illnesses together with some more serious conditions such as pleurisy and whooping cough. It just seemed to me that I was a bit unlucky.
Poor Health, Fat and Depressed
As time went by, slowly and almost imperceptibly my health got worse. It was nothing much at first but I always seemed to get everything that was going round and more besides. I first came under the medical spotlight when I visited the doctor with one of my regular not feeling well episodes and a lump in my breast. During the examination the doctor noticed that all my lymph glands were enlarged and suggested a trip to the hospital "just to get things checked out". I was asked a lot of questions and the doctors seemed somewhat alarmed at some of my symptoms including persistent night sweats, regular colds and flu, thrush etc. The specialist suggested removal of the lump for investigation and the procedure went ahead a week or so later. After my operation I discovered that they had also removed the lymph glands from under my arm. On my follow up appointment I was told that the lump was benign but that there was evidence my body was fighting something they were just not able to identify what and where. I was instructed to attend for regular blood tests so that they could keep an eye on me.
I subsequently got another lump which had to be removed and a huge abscess which chomped its way from my colon out into my buttock and had to be dealt with surgically. I was under the hospital for a long time, continuing to be vaguely unwell but never getting any closer to discovering what was wrong.
By the time I entered my second year at university, still having night sweats, I was several stones overweight, had excruciating joint and muscular pain which frequently made me limp or have to use a walking stick (and much time in bed), was depressed, had chronic and acute diarrhoea, kept getting abscesses on my teeth (which took an age to heal - one took four years) and emotionally I was all over the place. I ate a better than average diet packed with fruit and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
During the second half of my second year I was studying in Australia and my health was getting progressively worse. I went to the doctor, then a naturopath, a chinese doctor, a faith healer (although I must admit I didn't have much faith) but nothing helped. I ended up in hospital, seriously ill and fighting for my life. Although I recovered still nobody was able to work out what was wrong with me.
When I finished university, a friend had a food sensitivity test and pointed out that given how regularly I was feeling unwell it might be a good idea for me too. My curiosity aroused, I booked an appointment straight away. I didn't for a minute think that any of my health challenges had anything to do with what I was eating. I was soon to find out just how wrong I was.
A Food Sensitivity Test Transformed My Life
My test revealed a whole host of food sensitivities incuding wheat, barley, oats, rye, maize, mushrooms, chocolate, yeast and alcohol (yes - how unlucky is that!). I have to say that I felt pretty despondent and my immediate thought was "What is there left for me to eat?". However, looking on the bright side, I decided to make a list of all the things I liked that I could eat and went shopping.
I did my elimination diet 100%. Within three days the joint and muscular pain which had been such a debilitating feature of my life for so long was gone, completely. Another few days and the diarrhoea stopped. By the end of the month I had lost 22lbs whilst eating much more food and I have never looked back. I no longer have a weight problem, don't get depressed and never catch colds.
Of course not everyone has a great string of sensitivities and the results of the elimination may not be quite so dramatic. It's also not common to become so ill. The problem for me was that bread was my favourite food which was why I become so ill in Australia. Each day we got the tram home from the city and the stop we got off at was outside a bread shop. They sold the most wonderful bread which was just irresistable and used to get a loaf every day and have a couple of slices whilst making dinner. Sadly your favourite foods are often the number one culprit.
During the time I have been offering food sensitivity testing however I have seen many amazing results. Some of my sensitivities have never cleared and some remain but if you complete the elimination and avoid the foods for the prescribed time it is likely you will be able to reintroduce the banned foods in the future.
You Will Never Know Unless You Give It A Go
So if you have symptoms which have defied diagnosis by your GP, have niggling complaints you've come to accept as part of you, are struggling to lose weight, have IBS or any other digestive complaint then it is likely you will benefit enormously from having Food Sensitivity Test.
The most powerful aspect, for me, of discovering my food sensitivities was that it put me in charge. I sometimes encounter people who don't want to have a test, despite putting up with some dreadful conditions, because they are afraid that they will be prevented from consuming their favourite foods. For me however, the power comes from being able to choose.
When I began to experience feeling great all the time I began to miss the foods I gave up less (which was within days in my case). Many people have never experienced a heightened state of health and wellbeing. Once I had, the choice was simple - do I want to feel great with boundless energy, a robust immune system and a slim healthy body or do I want toast. Its not a difficult choice.
Now, I behave myself most of the time and stay slim and healthy without effort. If I go out for dinner and there's a pudding I love then I might decide to have it and face the consequences. I know exactly what effect the food will have on my body and how long it will take for the episode the end. I am in charge and no longer a victim of food sensitivities.
Scientific Support for Weight Loss
According to scientific research it is now clear adverse reactions to common foods (food sensitivity) prevent efficient fat burning. In a recent USA study, 98% of the participants followed an eating plan which avoided their food sensitivities. As a result, they lost weight and improved their body fat composition (muscle to fat ratio). They also experienced improvement in their skin, had more energy, reduced sugar cravings, more stable moods and sleep patterns together with a whole host of other health improvements.
During the screening process, you will be tested for sensitivity to 114 foods including all those people commonly react to, 35 E-numbers and in addition your vitamin and mineral status will be assessed. People who have been suffering from food intolerance often have deficiencies in minerals and vitamins as a result of malabsorption.
During your test you will be screened for sensitivity to the following foods:
114 Common Foods
As it would be impossible to test all the foods that everyone eats I also offer a customised service. If there are foods and drinks that you consume every day or regularly that are not included in the above list then you can bring with you small samples of foods and drinks to be tested. Up to five additional samples can be included in the standard test. You can also bring along supplements, shampoos and other body products, samples of cleaning products etc. Anything I can get in the machine I can test. If you want to be tested for more than five additional samples there will be a further charge.
There is a great deal of controversy around food sensitivity tests and GPs tend to not believe in them. My own GP was totally uninterested when I went to share the information about my remarkable recovery. I have to say I was astonished because if I were in that position I would want all the details so that I might be able to help others in the same situation.
The method I use at detox is Vega Analysis. It is non-invasive and the results are immediate. It is also very cost effective. The reason I chose Vega Analysis is that it was the method used to identify my own sensitivities. I could not recommend anything else.
People often ask how accurate the test is. In my experience is it's generally very accurate. The real test comes however when you remove the foods from your diet. Some foods you will be able to tell when you remove them that they were causing you problems. Some foods you will only be able to tell when you attempt to reintroduce them. So the real test comes during the elimination process.
I test for food sensitivity and intolerance. I do not test for allergies, gluten intolerance (coeliacs), or for peanuts (anaphylaxis) as these can only be dealt with in a hospital or clinic where the appropriate equipment and expertise is on hand. If you have an allergy however it is very likely that if the item is tested it will give a result.
The standard test will take an hour and a half. More time will be required if you opt for the Standard Test Plus option and if you wish to bring more than five samples. Please let me know in advance how many samples you would like to have tested.
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If you have any questions or would like to discuss your own case please feel free to contact me, Jane, on 0113 3910415 and I will do my best to assist you.