The Management of Multiple Food Intolerances
A detailed investigation of this very difficult area by Professor John Hunter and Agri-Food Scientist Karen Huntley of the Gastroenterology Research Unit, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge.
Although unpleasant reactions to food are often referred to as ‘food allergy’, in many cases classical allergy mediated by IgE or IgG antibodies is not the true cause. Rather, the balance of normal healthy bacteria in the large intestine is disturbed. Undigested food residues passing down the gut are then broken down differently, leading to the production of chemicals which upset the gut, or, if absorbed, may cause symptoms (eg headache, skin rashes) affecting other parts of the body.
Symptoms beyond the gut are often neurological with general malaise, headache, tiredness and inability to concentrate. Mood swings, sleep disturbances, and food cravings or aversions are common, and sufferers may become intensely sensitive to smells such as petrol, perfumes and paints. Aching joints, skin rashes and an irritable bladder are not unusual.
We have found that the Addenbrooke’s exclusion diet is a very valuable standard diet, which gives excellent results in most cases. Practical details of this diet and how to use it are given in the book Solve your Food Intolerance.
It may also help to rotate foods according to their food families. However, in practice, a four-day rotation, especially by food family, is often not feasible in cases where multiple food intolerances are present and there are too few safe foods to provide an adequate diet. In such cases, a shorter rotation should be used without reference to food family.
Use a mixture of species and strains to improve the chance of at least one being effective. Some preparations contain inulin, which may be a disadvantage.
A probiotic regime should be started gradually, beginning with small quantities daily, or perhaps every other day for severely affected patients. The dosage can be increased in small and steady increments.
Sensitive patients may experience a temporary exacerbation of symptoms when starting or when increasing the probiotic quantities ingested – probably from the death of bacteria in the bowel. Such symptoms should not be confused with intolerance as these reactions usually settle with the second dose, which can thereafter be taken without difficulty. It is most unusual for probiotics permanently to colonise the bowel, and so their effects quickly wear off when they are stopped.
They breathe rapidly and shallowly, using the upper chest to draw air into the lungs, rather than the diaphragm. Symptoms include yawning or sighing deeply, breathlessness, palpitations, dizziness and fatigue as well as digestive problems including stomach and chest pain, belching and gas. Such breathing styles are often the result of anxiety caused by long-term stress, although they may also follow nasal obstruction, asthma or painful abdominal surgery. Physiotherapy to retrain breathing and psychotherapy to reduce and manage the patient’s response to stressful stimuli are the cornerstones of treatment.
Useful Internet Sites
• Physiotherapy for Hyperventilation
First published in 2009
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