In­tol­er­ance ex­plained


Haven Magazine - - Wellness - Words: Ge­or­gia Hard­ing

Be­fore I be­gin, I just want to clar­ify that I’m writ­ing of food in­tol­er­ance, not al­lergy. Food al­ler­gies are acute, eas­ily iden­ti­fied im­mune re­sponses and quite dif­fer­ent from in­tol­er­ance. In­tol­er­ance in­volves a re­ac­tion to chem­i­cals (ei­ther nat­u­ral oc­cur­ring or syn­thetic) and some­times cause de­layed re­ac­tions, oc­cur­ring even days af­ter ex­po­sure. The symp­toms may be chronic and on­go­ing and not eas­ily re­lated to a spe­cific food. Be­cause in­tol­er­ance is quite dif­fer­ent to al­lergy (ie, doesn’t in­volve an im­mune re­sponse), al­lergy test­ing is of lit­tle use in de­ter­min­ing what foods to avoid.

The types of symp­toms that com­monly oc­cur when in­tol­er­ance is an is­sue in­cludes (but not ex­clu­sively) headache, mi­graine, skin rashes, ab­dom­i­nal dis­com­fort, nau­sea, bloat­ing, wind, di­ar­rhoea and/or con­sti­pa­tion, aches and pains, fa­tigue, weight gain, heart­burn or in­di­ges­tion, si­nus and nasal con­ges­tion, anx­i­ety and mood dis­or­ders. In ba­bies and chil­dren, there may also be rest­less­ness, ir­ri­tabil­ity and be­havioural prob­lems may be ex­ac­er­bated. These symp­toms cause vary­ing de­grees of dis­com­fort and are very of­ten not re­lated to food as their source.

If you feel you may be suf­fer­ing from an in­tol­er­ance, you need to seek the ad­vice of a health prac­ti­tioner. I am not go­ing to, at this point, ex­plain the com­plex­i­ties of de­ter­min­ing if food al­lergy may be caus­ing your symp­toms. The most com­mon ap­proach to de­ter­mine if you are suf­fer­ing an in­tol­er­ance is via an elim­i­na­tion diet. Once you have de­ter­mined the of­fend­ing food or foods, then you will be ad­vised to avoid them.

How to re­solve food in­tol­er­ance 1.

Im­prove your di­ges­tive function. This is quin­tes­sen­tial to re­solv­ing food sen­si­tiv­i­ties and be­ing able to jump off the round­about that food in­tol­er­ance of­ten be­comes. This will in­volve seek­ing the help of a natur­opath or herbal­ist. Get­ting to know your di­ges­tive sys­tem, un­der­stand­ing com­mon ir­ri­tants and the things you can do to sup­port its function is im­por­tant. If you have any type of food in­tol­er­ance or even sus­pect that this may be the case, then the most crit­i­cal thing you need to do is sup­port your di­ges­tive sys­tem in every way pos­si­ble. It is not enough to simply avoid the ir­ri­tant food/s.


Clean up your diet. Eat­ing a S.L.O.W (sea­sonal, lo­cal, or­ganic, whole­food) diet is crit­i­cal. Yes, even nat­u­rally oc­cur­ring chem­i­cals can cause of food in­tol­er­ance. But if you re­duce your over­all chem­i­cal ex­po­sure, you may find you are able to tol­er­ate small quan­ti­ties of them.


Avoid GMOS. I have read that there has been a 400 per cent in­crease in al­ler­gies since GMOS were in­tro­duced. I have spo­ken to so many natur­o­pathic friends in clinical prac­tice over 20+ years and we can all clearly recog­nise a mas­sive in­crease in the devel­op­ment of food in­tol­er­ance (in both adults and kids). As la­belling laws are so crappy, the only way you can be sure you are not consuming GMOS is to avoid all pack­aged and pro­cessed foods. Es­pe­cially avoid veg­etable oils, in­clud­ing soy, corn and canola (though these are of­ten just la­beled as ‘veg­etable’ oils). Also avoid any corn de­riv­a­tive in­clud­ing high fruc­tose corn syrup (sugar). Please also con­sider what you eat, eats, that is, the meat you eat needs to be fully grass-fed (no grain sup­ple­ment feed) as this is most of­ten from GMO crops.


Lots of va­ri­ety. By ro­tat­ing foods, you will au­to­mat­i­cally re­duce your ex­po­sure to any one chem­i­cal and thus re­duce your symp­toms. Poor di­etary va­ri­ety I feel is a com­mon cause of the es­ca­lat­ing oc­cur­rence of food in­tol­er­ance. I find this is a catch-22 for many peo­ple, who elim­i­nate one food only to re­place it with a less ir­ri­tat­ing food, which they then eat too much of and sub­se­quently de­velop a new in­tol­er­ance. Va­ri­ety is SO im­por­tant, even nu­tri­tion­ally.


Herbal medicine. When pro­fes­sion­ally pre­scribed, herbal medicine is amaz­ing for sup­port­ing and re­bal­anc­ing the sys­tems of the body in­volved in the devel­op­ment of the in­tol­er­ance. This can vary from per­son to per­son, so herbs need to be skil­fully selected af­ter a full health as­sess­ment. I’m a huge fan of herbal medicine for restor­ing health in a safe, ef­fec­tive way.


Stress less. Many peo­ple when on hol­i­day or cel­e­brat­ing an oc­ca­sion, find they are able to tol­er­ate foods they wouldn’t or­di­nar­ily tol­er­ate in ev­ery­day life. Stress man­age­ment is crit­i­cal.

Don’t just ac­cept that you are, and will al­ways be food in­tol­er­ant. By nur­tur­ing and re­build­ing your di­ges­tive sys­tem, you can sig­nif­i­cantly im­prove your tol­er­ance thresh­old and en­joy a wide range of de­li­cious whole foods.

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