I recently received some very good advice from Alexis Poole, she is the Spoon Guru Company’s Nutritionist & Registered Associate Nutritionist. She knows a lot about our bodies and what might cause them to do odd things. We often experience aches and pains and after some paracetamol, generally, the feelings pass. However, have you ever thought that your troubles could actually be caused by a food intolerance? This post includes some great tips on how to spot food intolerance with migraines, tummy pains and tiredness and how any ingering health issues could potentially be solved with just a simple change to your diet.
“Our bodies are quite special and will alert us, and often give us signs, if something isn’t quite right. These signs (or symptoms) could be attributed to a food intolerance, which once diagnosed by your GP or Dietitian could be managed by dietary modifications. Below I have outlined some of the most common ailments associated with food intolerances. If you are suffering from any of these it is always worth a trip to the doctor so that you can be 100% sure. With the help of a GP or Dietitian, they can help you adjust your diet and lifestyle accordingly so you can be rid of aches and pains!”
Suffer from migraines? You could have a food intolerance.
Common food intolerances that may result in migraines include cow’s milk, yeast, egg, gluten, cashews, molluscs, cranberries, garlic and tyramine (smoked salmon, bananas). Often, these foods are eaten in combination and therefore it might be hard to identify exactly which foods are triggering your migraines. Using a dietary approach to prevent your migraines should be done carefully and under dietetic supervision to rule out other serious health conditions.
Abdominal pain? You could have a sensitivity to FODMAPs
Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols (FODMAPs) are a group of short chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols found naturally in foods. Foods high in FODMAPs such as onions, garlic, pulses, brassica vegetables (cabbages, broccoli), wheat, stone fruits, milk including lactose and sweeteners such as sorbitol and xylitol have been linked to symptoms of IBS including abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea and flatulence. The exact cause of IBS is unknown however research suggests that dietary management following a low FODMAP diet is an effective way to manage and reduce symptoms. If you suspect you have IBS then you should contact your GP to get a referral to a dietitian. The low FODMAP diet consists of two phases, elimination and reintroduction, which aims to identify the specific foods triggering your symptoms. The low FODMAP diet is very restrictive and should only be followed short term under dietetic supervision.
Feeling tired? You could have a sensitivity to gluten
Sources of gluten, such as whole grains, are a vital source of iron and B vitamins. The inability to digest and therefore tolerate gluten might result in deficiency of these. Iron deficiency will mean less oxygen is delivered to your tissues which will leave you feeling deprived of energy, irritable, weak or unable to focus. Whereas vitamin B deficiency will affect your body’s ability to release energy from food and might leave you feeling fatigued.
Additional symptoms of gluten sensitivity includes bloating, flatulence, diarrhoea, stomach pain, weight loss, eczema, headaches, bone and joint pain, chronic tiredness, and depression. If you are experiencing the symptoms mentioned above after eating gluten, it is not recommended going gluten free as a first option. You should continue to eat gluten and see your GP as soon as possible to undertake a test for coeliac disease. Coeliac disease affects 1 in 100 people in the UK and it is thought around 500,000 people have not yet been diagnosed. It’s essential to keep eating gluten in order for the tests to be accurate. Once coeliac disease is ruled out, your GP or dietitian will do further tests to identify whether you have a sensitivity to gluten. If this sensitivity to gluten is confirmed, ensure you’re getting enough iron and B vitamins from other non- gluten containing sources such as green leafy veg, beans and meat and fortified gluten free alternatives !
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