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intolerable food

If you, like me, have a food intolerance you will know how frustrating it can be when visiting a café or restaurant, when trying to find dishes that are safe to eat.
Unfortunately most people still lack understanding when it comes to the powerful and negative effect that certain foods can have on a person, however awareness is growing and the quantity and quality of substitute foods, recipe books and resources has never been greater.
Food intolerance is far more common in adults than food allergies but for some reason has not been taken as seriously. Symptoms of intolerance can be similar to that of an allergy, however the body’s responses are quite different.

Allergic reactions are usually immediate and involve immune system IgE antibodies, symptoms of allergic reaction can be acute such a wheezing, swelling, rashes and vomiting and will occur through eating even the smallest amount of the problem food.
Food intolerance responses can take between 1 and 48 hours to develop and are caused by a lack of specific enzymes and chemicals needed to break down and digest foods. Other causes may be the bodies reaction to naturally occurring food chemicals such as salicylates found in foods like apples, citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, and wine, or amines found in chocolate, cheese, bananas, avocado or tomato. The body may also react to artificial additives and preservatives.
Intolerant reactions can be mild and are usually related to the amount of the food consumed, symptoms include fatigue and aching joints, skin problems, weight issues, digestive disorders and respiratory conditions. Food intolerance has also been associated with asthma, chronic fatigue and irritable bowel syndrome.

Although it’s possible to have an intolerance to a wide variety of foods, the most common are those that contain gluten (wheat, oats, barley and rye), lactose (milk and dairy products), wheat, yeast and fructose( found in common foods such as apples, pears, onions and asparagus). By treating the underlying intolerance by avoiding trigger foods, related sensitivities may disappear.

If you suspect that the underlying cause of your health problem may be a food intolerance, your health care provider can refer you for testing. It’s important to know however, that even if tests come back negative, you may still have a low grade sensitivity to the suspected food and the best way to determine if it’s effecting your health, is to leave it out of your diet for three weeks and then slowly introduce the food and observe your symptoms over a 48 hour period. Naturopaths are also trained to assist in improving overall digestive health which can significantly help in the management of food intolerance.

As for the tricky task of socialising, well when in a restaurant or café situation never feel overly demanding or difficult when requesting to know what is in your food, the staff should know what’s in there dishes and in fact it may soon be mandatory. As for those tricky meals with the family or friends, try not to apologise for being inconvenient and stick to your guns, it’s your health you are looking after and you never know your host may learn a thing or two about there own health by observing your example.

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