If you are worried you might have a food allergy, its really important that you see a GP who specializes in Allergy or Nutritional Medicine to get an assessment as food allergies can be life threatening.
While gut-related symptoms are extremely common, fortunately food allergies are not. In saying that, particularly for kids, food allergies are growing at an alarming rate with 1 in 10 school age kids now having food allergies and more adults than ever presenting with new adult-onset- allergies.
Therefore it’s important we consider the possibilities of food allergies contributing to today’s complex health presentations like chronic eczema or gut symptoms.
It’s important we understand how food allergy symptoms differ from food intolerances.
For food allergies, symptoms can appear immediately, within minutes of eating the food with itching and swelling of the lips or tongue, wheezing or difficulty breathing, itchy rashes, vomiting or even rarely sudden collapse. For some a delayed reaction like abdominal pain and diarrhoea can sometimes make it difficult to differentiate between food intolerances, where the onset tends to be more delayed and symptoms much more variable including headache, nausea, fatigue or bloating.
It’s not easy to navigate the maze of food allergies, food intolerances and chemical sensitivities on your own. Having a medical professional to guide and monitor you is my best advice to patients, especially kids, as it is not ideal for a healthy balanced diet to exclude food or food groups for prolonged periods of time.
One of the most severe and chronic conditions relating to food intolerance, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, can be restrictive and debilitating illnesses in their own right, and require serious planning and management to live with.
Moreover, for many, food sensitivities and allergies may be a sign of underlying “leaky gut” which has a significant consequence for health and wellbeing.
A unique approach for gut problems
According to Dr James Read, nutritional and integrative medicine doctor at collective.care, most GP’s default to drugs for guy problem, and the one dietary modification they tend to use (or which is recommended by a dietician) is a low FODMAP diet - which is really taking away foods which are fermentable and cause gas and bloating in the gut.
While this will help many people with IBS it doesn’t address the underlying cause which is why they have a gut issue and are fermenting their sugars in the first place.
Is there a gut bacteria imbalance in the first place? Or an overgrowth of bacteria, yeast or candida in the gut which can be treated? Also we know too much sugar will promote the wrong bacteria as well as feed the yeast. If we treat these imbalances then the condition is reversible.
For some people it’s a food intolerance and we can test that by trial of elimination diets as well as through blood tests to check which food may be causing the problem. These tests take away the guess work, otherwise its like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Likewise many people have poor digestive processes - much of which may be related to lifestyle and stress. We can support digestion by measuring digestive enzymes in the bowel and supporting digestion with enzymes or even dietary changes like adding apple cider vinegar or ginger - which can improve the quality of digestion and assist the disappearance of the food intolerances over time.
As it is is an evolving area requiring the most up to date medical knowledge, it’s more important than ever to see well-trained professionals who can help you re-boot your gut-microbiome and get you back to wellness.
To make an appointment with Dr James Read, Nutritional Medicine Specialist with special interest in gut-dysbiosis and food intolerances and allergies, please call 1300 344 325 or contact us here.
About Dr James Read:
Dr Read is holistic GP who combines the science of modern evidence-based Western medicine, lifestyle modification, clinical nutrition and psychological support to address a wide variety of clinical conditions often poorly managed by medicine alone. He combines the best of science with the spirit of patient centred health care.
Dr Read is an internationally renowned nutritional medicine practitioner and medical educator. He has numerous post graduate qualifications in nutrition including a Master of Public Health majoring in Nutrition and a Fellowship of the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine. He also has post graduate qualifications in General Practice, Rural Medicine and Anaesthesia.
His private practice recently has focussed on complex conditions such as obesity, chronic fatigue, cancer, hormone imbalances, irritable bowel syndrome, food and chemical intolerances, chronic pain
conditions such as fibromyalgia, and non-drug approaches to conditions such as ADHD, depression and anxiety.
Dr Read is a teaching faculty member and previous Vice President of the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine. He has taught nutritional environmental medicine at conferences in India, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand for organisations including the CSIRO, ACNEM, AIMA, MINDD and the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine.
To make an appointment with collective.care doctors, please call 1300 344 325 or contact us here.