Category Archives: Food Intolerances

6 Nasty Cerebral Signs You Have a Food Intolerance (1)

6 Nasty Cerebral Signs You Have a Food Intolerance

Food intolerance is a lot more common than people think, and frequently leads to unpleasant symptoms that aren’t easily associated with what you’re eating. The most common signs you have a food intolerance occur in the digestive system, but there are several that can develop cerebrally.

For once, it really is all in your head…

Migraines and Headaches…

While there are a lot of factors that can cause migraines and headaches, food intolerance is one trigger that is frequently ignored. Many people may associate cheese and red wine with bringing on both headaches and migraines, but few realise that there are a number of other foods that can act as triggers if you have an intolerance.

Research into the relationship between food, migraines, and headaches, has shown that grains and dairy can give you a bad head. In addition to these broad groups, eggs, corn, sugar, wheat, yeast, and citrus have all been found to cause painful heads. The noxious concoction of additives, preservatives, and artificial sweeteners, not to mention flavouring, colouring, and stabilisers, found in processed food, is also a notorious trigger for both headaches and migraines.

If you’re suffering with a bad head, an appointment with us may help you pin down which foods are triggering the incidents. Once you know what they are, you can avoid them, preventing any more food-induced headaches!

Brain Fog…

Confusion, forgetfulness, and difficulty in thinking clearly?

You have brain fog.

Brain fog can lead to you feeling detached, as if you’re walking through a thick cloud of smog, and you can’t see or think clearly. A disconcerting and frustrating phenomena, brain frog is frequently caused by food intolerance (though it can also be caused by nutritional deficiencies, mineral toxicity, and a number of other things).

Common culprits where food is concerned are gluten, other grains, and dairy. But your trigger could be anything, and without testing, it could be difficult to work out.

Anxiety and Depression…

There is a key connection between the gastrointestinal system and the brain, called the gut-brain axis. 90% of your serotonin is produced in the gut, rather than the brain. This is the feel-good chemical that causes havoc when it’s in short supply. Too little serotonin causes anxiety, depression and a number of other mental health conditions.

Serotonin is associated with mood – it is critically important for keeping your moods level, but it also affects your sleep, appetite, and ability to learn. Serotonin is also linked to memory, which won’t help with the brain fog!

That’s a lot to fall out of whack, simply because you’re not producing enough serotonin. If your gut is in poor health, your brain is quickly going to complain. There is scientific research supporting the connection between gastrointestinal inflammation and depression.

Food intolerance frequently causes gastrointestinal inflammation; it’s not just your physical health at risk from food intolerance, it’s also your mental health.

Insomnia…

Insomnia is characterised by the inability to fall asleep at night, even when you’re exhausted, as well as restlessness once you are asleep. If you’re frequently waking up during the night, for no apparent reason, the persistent inflammation caused by food intolerances may well be the cause.

Fatigue…

Likewise, if you’re dragging yourself out of bed each morning, suffering an energy crash from the middle of the afternoon onwards, and in particular right after eating, a food intolerance may be the issue. A great many things can cause fatigue, but if the doctor has already eliminated the usual suspects (diabetes, anemia, hypothyroidism, sleep apnea etc.), it may be worth looking into your diet and determining if a particular food is triggering your fatigue.

Food intolerances are a hidden but persistent form of stress for your adrenal gland. This can lead to adrenal burnout, which in turn leads to fatigue. For more information on Adrenal Fatigue, check out my recent blog post: 4 Ways Adrenal Fatigue Is Sabotaging Your Energy…

Troublesome Skin…

Just as the health of your gut affects your mental health and brain function, so to can it affect your skin. It may seem incongruous to suppose a food intolerance could be the cause of persistent and troubling skin conditions, like eczema, acne, and psoriasis, but if you’re eating something that is regularly causing inflammation in your gut, the problem can manifest as an (apparently unconnected) skin complaint.

Other Symptoms Of Food Intolerance…

For more information on the other signs and symptoms of food intolerance, check out my posts on the digestive signs of food intolerance, as well as autoimmune issues that can be caused by food intolerance.

What To Do About Signs You Have A Food Intolerance…

The first step in identifying food intolerances is to keep a detailed food diary. Make a note of everything you eat each day, and add any digestive symptoms you experience throughout the day. If you have a food intolerance you will soon begin to see a pattern of certain symptoms after eating a particular food, or food group (like gluten or dairy).

If your food diary isn’t revealing any likely food intolerances then it’s time to start testing – our clinics offer bioresonance testing for 150 items that could be possible triggers for just £95 (including results). You can book online at our London clinic now…

8 Ways Food Intolerance Can Easily Trigger Autoimmune Disease (2)

8 Ways Food Intolerance Can Easily Trigger Autoimmune Disease

Autoimmune diseases have been rapidly rising in recent years, with almost 100 recognised autoimmune diseases, as well as another 40 disease processes which have a component that is autoimmune related. Worse still, if you have one autoimmune disease you’re at higher risk of developing another.

From Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (a type of underactive thyroid disease) to coeliac disease, there are many autoimmune diseases that can be caused by many triggers. One such trigger may be food intolerance and poor gut health. Here are eight ways food intolerance may trigger autoimmune disease…

Gluten…

“I tested negative for coeliac disease, and the doctor says don’t have a gluten intolerance” is a phrase I hear a lot. There is a widespread misunderstanding that coeliac disease is the only reason to avoid gluten. This outdated information keeps many people with a gluten intolerance (and often an autoimmune condition) suffering needlessly. Gluten causes damage to the gut and inflammation that can leave a person susceptible to autoimmune disease.

Gluten doesn’t have to be consumed in obvious forms, like bread and pasta, it can be found in many foods you wouldn’t expect, and can also be present in processed foods that don’t list it as an ingredient, due to cross-contamination.

Coeliac disease does cause a gluten intolerance, but it’s not the only cause, and autoimmune diseases can easily be triggered by the ongoing symptoms experienced by someone who is gluten intolerant.

Gluten-Free Grains…

Another problem with perceptions about gluten intolerance is that gluten substitutes, in the form of gluten-free grains, will solve the problem. The problem with gluten substitutes is that they’re very similar to gluten. If you have a gluten sensitivity, trying out gluten-free grains is a bit like playing Russian roulette with a baker…

Sugar…

Sugar is the bane of many efforts to maintain a healthy diet. As a result, the health food industry has produced a slew of substitutes, from Agave Nectar to Stevia. But sugar is still sugar. Whatever form it comes in, whether it’s couched in seemingly safe terms like ‘organic coconut nectar’, or bottled in an expensive jar of Manuka honey, sugar is sugar. Or, more correctly, the fructose element of sugar is still fructose. When it comes to autoimmune triggers, it doesn’t matter how organic it is, or how beloved it is by the health industry, if you have a fructose intolerance, any form of sugar could trigger an autoimmune disease.

Chocolate…

While we’re on the subject of sweet treats, it would be remiss not to mention chocolate. There is considerable research that demonstrates some people suffering from autoimmune diseases can be affected by chocolate. It’s not entirely clear if chocolate can trigger an autoimmune disease, but it can certainly trigger flare ups of an existing autoimmune condition.

Quinoa…

Another favourite in health shops, and a frequently-used substitute for gluten, quinoa is part of a group of high protein, pseudo-grains known as saponins. These seemingly-healthy alternatives to traditional grains damage the lining of the gut, triggering an autoimmune response.

You can reduce the damage quinoa does to the gut by soaking, then rinsing your quinoa, however this isn’t always enough for those with an autoimmune disease – especially something like Crohns.

Instant Coffee…

When you’re late for work or struggling to wake up in the morning, instant coffee is a godsend. It’s also a double edged blade. It’s unclear exactly why instant coffee triggers problems, but there’s something about it that causes an inflammatory immune response, which doesn’t generally occur with ground coffee beans. It’s likely related to the chemicals used to make instant coffee…well, instant. Regular coffee can have the same effect, but it’s far less common.

If you are going to drink coffee, take 30 minutes out of your day to go to a cafe and mindfully enjoy a wonderful cup of the good stuff!

Nightshades…

A seemingly innocuous and healthy group of plants known as nightshades can also trigger an inflammatory immune response due to the alkaloids found in their skin. This group includes potatoes, peppers, aubergine, and goji berries, as well as certain spices derived from red peppers, like chili powder, cayenne, paprika and curry powder.

Dairy…

Lactose intolerance has a well-known connection with digestive issues, but dairy in general can trigger autoimmune responses. This is due to the main protein, casein, found in milk and other forms of dairy. It’s possible to avoid the risks by eating products like clarified butter or ghee, which have had the dairy proteins removed, and fermented dairy such as kefir, and grass-fed whole yogurt.

Other Symptoms Of Food Intolerance…

Food intolerance can also lead to other signs, in particular problems with your digestive system. For more information check out my posts on the cerebral signs of food intolerance, as well as digestion issues caused by food intolerance.

What To Do About Food Intolerance Triggering Autoimmune Disease…

The first step in identifying food intolerances is to keep a detailed food diary. Make a note of everything you eat each day, and add any digestive symptoms you experience throughout the day. If you have a food intolerance you will soon begin to see a pattern of certain symptoms after eating a particular food, or food group (like gluten or dairy).

If your food diary isn’t revealing any likely food intolerances then it’s time to start testing – our clinics offer bioresonance testing for 150 items that could be possible triggers for just £95 (including results). You can book online at our London clinic now…

6 Signs Of Food Intolerance To Watch Out For (2)

6 Signs of Food Intolerance to Watch Out For

Food intolerance can cause a slew of unpleasant signs and symptoms. The most obvious ones occur in the digestive system. These are more easily identified (and more easily associated with the food you are eating) than some of the other signs, which at first blush don’t appear to be related to diet.

Although there are multiple causes for these digestive symptoms, if you have any of these regularly, or a combination of several, it’s worth checking to see if food intolerance is the cause…

Upset Stomach…

Perhaps the most obvious symptom of food intolerance is some kind of discomfort in your stomach, located in the area just below the centre of your rib-cage. If you have an intolerance to a particular food, you may experience stomach pain, nausea, or heartburn. This may begin immediately after eating, but can start up to a few hours later.

Bloating…

One symptom that is often dismissed as an unavoidable element of life is bloating. Women, in particular, tend to associate bloating with PMS and other reproduction-related causes like ovulating, or the good old catch all cause of ‘hormones’.

But bloating can easily be caused by a food intolerance. Pay close attention to when you feel bloated, what you ate in the hours and even days beforehand, and whether or not there’s another likely culprit (i.e. your period).

Cramps…

Cramping in your abdomen is also a common sign of food intolerance. This can be extremely unpleasant, but it’s also easily mislabelled as IBS (see below) or mistaken for period cramps. Be mindful of when you experience cramping and how frequently.  

Constipation…

An extremely uncomfortable sign is constipation. Despite the general assumption that constipation is caused by a lack of fibre, food intolerance may be responsible for backing you up. In truth, few people are genuinely deficient in fibre, although additional fibre often relieves constipation even when it has another cause. Be careful though, increasing fibre too fast will increase gas!

Gas…

Another common (and embarrassing!) sign of food intolerance is gas. Both fructose (most often found in carbonated drinks and fruit) and lactose (a form of sugar in dairy products) are common intolerances, that can easily cause gas. People often ignore these possible culprits due to the overriding belief that vegetables like lentils, beans, and onions are the only gassy food triggers.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)…

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is the label that gets slapped on your digestive issues when possible functional causes (e.g. coeliac disease, crohn’s disease, colitis etc.) have been ruled out. Causes of IBS will vary from one person to the next, but one common trigger for IBS? You guessed it – food intolerance!

Other Symptoms Of Food Intolerance…

Food intolerance can also lead to other signs, in particular problems with your autoimmune system. For more information check out my posts on the cerebral signs of food intolerance, as well as autoimmune diseases caused by food intolerance.

What To Do About Food Intolerance…

The first step in identifying food intolerances is to keep a detailed food diary. Make a note of everything you eat each day, and add any digestive symptoms you experience throughout the day. If you have a food intolerance you will soon begin to see a pattern of certain symptoms after eating a particular food, or food group (like gluten or dairy).

If your food diary isn’t revealing any likely food intolerances then it’s time to start testing – our clinics offer bioresonance testing for 150 items that could be possible triggers for just £95 (including results). You can book online at our London clinic now…

The new years resolution to improve your fitness that you’re probably already doing!

OK, hands up… who ate one mince pie too many, or drank too much prosecco over Christmas? I know I did!

In past years the 1st January would have seen me resolving to lose those post-Christmas pounds and improve my fitness by getting back into some kind of exercise. This year though, I have far too any excuses…

I’m self employed and run two businesses – I don’t have the time to exercise!

I have two young children.

I’m permanently knackered thanks to those two children providing me with endless broken nights of sleep.

etc etc….

But the real reason for me is that I have recently been diagnosed with adult hip dysplasia, and right now my surgeon says walking and swimming are my only fitness options. And I hate getting my face wet in the swimming pool!

So this year, as I could feel the mince pie guilt creeping in, I was overjoyed to stumble across an article in RED magazine which suggested it was possible to get fitter without wearing lycra or getting wet in the swimming pool, but simply by moving more.

Reading on, the article discussed METs – metabolic equivalent units. Forget hours in the gym, or steps on your FitBit, METs are the measurement of how much oxygen an activity uses, and therefore can be used to measure intensity per minute. And the best news is that apart from sleeping or sitting (sitting is being called the new smoking after all! ), every movement has a MET value and contributes to your fitness – including all those tasks you’re probably doing already on a daily basis such as hanging/folding laundry, cooking, clearing the table, washing up, popping up/down stairs, hoovering, walking, grocery shopping, and even fidgeting at your desk!!!

You can find a comprehensive list of activities, and their associated MET values here, but remember not to include anything with a value or 1 MET or less. Research shows that moving more than 600 METs per week not only increases your fitness, but also dramatically reduces your risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

But how does it work? Well let’s look at meal preparation – we all have to eat after all! Cooking a meal that requires moderate effort such as mashing potatoes, chopping ingredients and generally pottering around the kitchen to fetch ingredients and utensils, clocks in at 3.3 METs per minute. Since I have food intolerances that make eating “convenience” or “ready made” foods difficult, I make every meal from scratch and that can take me 30 minutes or longer, so I’m racking up 30 x 3.3 = 99 METs each time I cook. Add in laying the table, clearing the table, washing up, and those METs are starting to add up.

In fact, a quick tot-up of my average day showed I was doing over 1000 METs without even trying… and if I was to move more or even just walk faster, I could improve on that score and my fitness. So say “hello” to my new years resolution! Why not make it yours?

Happy new year!

Kate x

How to go gluten-free without going broke!

I was working with a client recently, and her face dropped when her test results showed she would need to go gluten-free.

“But it’s so expensive to go gluten-free!” she cried.

And indeed, it can work out expensive.

Visit any supermarket and you’ll find a section dedicated to gluten-free breads, pastas, cereals, biscuits, and cakes. Take a look at their price tags and you’ll likely need to take a lie down to recover from shock! Gluten-free bread is rarely less than £2 for a tiny loaf of miniature slices, while a 500g bag of gluten-free pasta also hovers around the £2 mark, and it’s hard to know which brands will turn to mush when you cook them. And don’t get me started on the lack of nutrients in most gluten-free products… it seems to be a case of remove the gluten, and replace it with a bunch of sugar and/or incredibly refined carbohydrates, add a handful of weird chemicals for flavour and texture, then stick on a huge price tag.

But is it really necessary to buy all your products from the gluten-free section of the supermarket?

I don’t think it is, and here are four of my favourite inexpensive purchases for going gluten-free without going broke:

1. Courgettes. Not the coolest of veggies, but grab a julienne peeler or a spiralizer and you can make your own nutrient dense noodles that will soak up a good bolognese sauce and add flavour to your meal. You can also use those gadgets to make noodles out of butternut squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes.

2. Rice. For many people avoiding gluten, this is can be a staple go-to as it is naturally gluten-free and generally inexpensive. Some clients with a gluten intolerance will cross-react with rice, but if you’re ok with rice then always go for brown rice for extra nutrient density.

3. Lettuce. Again, not a particularly cool veggie, but makes a great alternative to bread or tortilla wraps. Stuff a large crisp lettuce leaf with whatever you fancy (burrito style) or layer with ham and roll together (like a savoury swiss-roll!)

4. Oats. Gluten free oats and gluten-free oat cakes are widely available, and make a great breakfast alternative to the high sugar gluten-free breakfast cereals and gluten-free biscuits found in the gluten-free section of the supermarket. Sadly, gluten-free oats are not suitable for all, so always check your test results before tucking in!

If you’re not sure whether you should be avoiding gluten, you can book an appointment with us to find out your food intolerances in just 60 minutes!

Kate

 

5 Things That Could Be Causing Your Food Intolerances

Many of us experience food intolerances (non-allergic food hypersensitivity) that result in difficulty digesting a particular type of food. This isn’t the same as an allergy, which triggers the immune system and can have serious consequences. Food intolerances aren’t usually as severe, however they can cause some extremely unpleasant symptoms, such as migraines and headaches, irritable bowel, bloating, stomach ache, hives, and coughs, runny noses and a general feeling of being ‘under the weather’.

While food allergies can be triggered by even a tiny amount of food and have immediate and obvious consequences, intolerances usually take longer to manifest. Symptoms are often dismissed as being everyday irritants, or assumed to be caused by something else. If you have an intolerance, identify it, and put a stop to it, you will experience a greater feeling of overall wellness and feel so much more comfortable!

We can help you with identifying your food intolerances, but what we’re really passionate about is working out what is causing your food intolerances!

Unlike allergies, which are caused by the body’s immune system reacting to a particular substance as if it were harmful, intolerances can be caused by several different things. Getting to the bottom of what’s causing your intolerance is as important as identifying the type of food you’re struggling with.

Here are five things that may be causing your food intolerances:

#1 – Low or Absent Digestive Enzymes

In order to fully digest our food our bodies require certain digestive enzymes. When we are missing these digestive enzymes, or have an insufficient amount in our digestive system, our bodies struggle to digest our food properly.

For example, lactose intolerance is cause by too little lactase, which is the digestive enzyme our bodies use to break milk sugar (lactose) down into small molecules our bodies are able to further breakdown and absorb once they reach the intestines. If this doesn’t happen, problems arise once digestion reaches the gut, as lactose cannot be absorbed into the bloodstream without first being broken down in this manner. Instead, the lactose remains in the gut and causes stomach ache, bloating, diarrhoea, wind, and spasms.

The body requires one of several specific digestive enzymes in order to digest most foods. An absence or deficiency in any of these vital digestive enzymes causes a reaction similar to that found in lactose intolerant individuals, so much so that the British Allergy Foundation identifies enzyme deficiencies as a common cause of food intolerances.

#2 – Liver Disease

Studies have shown that individuals with liver disease are four to six times more likely to develop an intolerance to gluten, and Celiac disease (the autoimmune reaction to dietary gluten). On the flipside, individuals with Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity are two to six times more likely to develop liver disease.

This clearly links an intolerance to gluten with the development of liver disease, and vice versa. If you have gluten sensitivity (or full blown Celiac disease) it’s well worth getting your liver function checked to ensure your intolerance isn’t being caused by your liver.

#3 – Naturally Occurring Histamine

Sensitivity to histamine is quite common. Allergy medication contains antihistamines that work to combat histamines when they enter your system, preventing the reaction in the immune system that causes symptoms of an allergic reaction. But histamine is also found in the gut, where it regulates physiological function and acts as a neurotransmitter. Some foods contain histamine naturally (such as fish, which can accumulate histamine if it hasn’t been properly stored), causing something similar to an allergic reaction when that food is consumed. Anyone with a sensitivity to histamine could present symptoms ranging from abdominal cramps and sinus issues, to nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and (in extreme cases) anaphylaxis.

#4 – Leaky Gut

Leaky gut (intestinal permeability) is a common cause of food intolerances. When the lining of our digestive tracts becomes porous and inflamed, undigested foods, yeast, bacteria, and other toxins are able to get through the gut wall and into our bloodstream, which should be sterile. In response to this, our immune systems attack the toxins, causing inflammation throughout the body. Leaky gut is extremely common and causes heartburn, wind, bloating, pain, constipation, and diarrhoea. Due to the damage in the gut and the passage of undigested food into the blood stream, the body starts to react to the presence of particular foods – in particular gluten.

#5 – Parasites

Your food intolerances could also be caused by parasites infecting your intestines. Parasitic infection causes inflammation which increases the permeability of your small intestines, leading to the same problems that come with Leaky Gut (see above).

You can book an appointment with us today or call Kate on 07951 740423 to discuss your symptoms and find out how we can help you.