How intolerant can you get!

As far back as I can remember, I suffered from constipation, bloating and constant stomach aches. For us of a ‘certain age’ I’m sure you will appreciate during that era, intolerances and food allergies weren’t really to the forefront of medicine. Years of laxatives took their toll, various examinations (yuk), scans and several enema’s and four children later, hubby persuaded me to visit a private nutritionist. Now I know this isn’t encouraged by the NHS and any findings may not be accepted, but the lovely Fiona was knowledgeable and informative and after taking some blood (ouch, I’m a big coward) explained that I was intolerant to dairy and eggs.

After absorbing this information, I set about changing my diet. Apart from losing half a stone, the results were, quite frankly, amazing. Stomach pains ceased, bloating stopped and my internal system felt kicked into shape. I honestly cannot explain how unbelievable these minor changes made to my life. I’m still able to have cake and biscuits, in moderation, although too much mayonnaise – which I love – will make itself known, only not in a good way.

Unfortunately, over the past few years I have been suffering from optical migraines, which I hadn’t suffered since puberty, I have a suspicion that gluten is affecting me. Bad stomachs and rushing to the loo seem to accompany certain foods, for example sausages and bread. I am not coeliac, as a blood test proved, but there is certainly something going on.

I am now having to look at ingredient labels more closely, and try to avoid too much gluten, although with lack of dairy as well, its proving quite difficult to get a fine balance. I wonder if reducing certain foods over a long period, can cause a greater intolerance. Its certainly a learning curve.

Trawling through the internet it seems the three main intolerances are lactose, a type of sugar mainly found in milk and dairy products, casein, a protein in milk, and gluten, a protein found in grains such as wheat, rye and barley. As our digestive system ages, it can become more difficult to break down certain foods. It is estimated around 45pct of the UK population suffer from food intolerances.

I’m not sure if this condition is hereditary or just runs in families, but several of my grandchildren also have difficulty digesting certain foods. It seems some people may outgrow intolerances, while others may develop them in later life. Hubby has now taken to having lactose free milk due to experiencing stomach cramps after drinking a milk coffee.

I find this life cycle thing rather confusing. Any helpful suggestions from you lovely people out there would be appreciated. 

For more info:

Fiona Mealing

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