Wheat and milk are the biggest culprits. *Photo supplied
Wheat and milk are the biggest culprits. *Photo supplied

We are all biochemically unique so why do we all assume that we can all tolerate the same foods?

Do you suffer from any of the following? Headache, migraine, fatigue, depression, anxiety, hyperactivity, recurrent mouth ulcers, aching muscles, vomiting, nausea, stomach ulcers, diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, wind, bloating, joint aches, water retention, runny nose, asthma, eczema. 

These symptoms may not be constant and can vary in severity from person to person, dependent on how over reactive your immune system is. 

Most people believe the notion that only allergens that touch the skin produce skin reactions such as eczema and that inhaled allergens like pollen and dust cause symptoms in the nose and airways. We are also led to think that food allergens would obviously produce symptoms in the lips, mouth, stomach and gut. After all, this would seem the most logical way.

However, so many cases of unidentifiable allergens that are causing all these symptoms in sufferers leave doctors confused as to what is actually causing the problem. This makes us wonder if a food intolerance could actually be the underlying cause of a seemingly unrelated condition such as asthma or eczema.

Doctors do agree that food intolerance exists but there is great controversy over the prevalence of the problem and the sort of symptoms it can cause. For example, estimations of how many people are suffering range from 0.3per cent to 90 per cent.

Most doctors in the UK who deal with cases put the figure somewhere between 10 per cent to 25 per cent.

Unfortunately, food intolerance is sometimes unproven because skin prick tests and other allergy testing methods can come back as negative. However, this doesn’t mean that adverse reactions in the immune system are not occurring. The truth is that food intolerance reactions are much slower compared to a food allergy and the symptoms begin very mild and gradually worsen over a long period of time.

The two main culprits in food intolerance are surprisingly the most eaten foods in the western world. milk and wheat. These appear in almost every meal and snack we consume every single day. Very few processed foods do not contain milk or wheat.

The only way to discover if a food is causing any of the symptoms listed is by isolating these foods through a process of elimination. The elimination diet is a method of identifying foods that you can’t consume without adverse effects. An elimination diet typically involves entirely removing the suspected foods from your diet for anything between two weeks to two months and is reliant on trial and error. It’s worth it in the long run as food is supposed to make you feel energetic and great, not hurt us. 

For more informaiton visit cayliffe@courthouse.bm