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Food allergies and intolerances- do you have one? watch

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    The number of people with food allergies and intolerances is rising all the time, with the number of hospital admissions from allergic reactions having increased by 500% since 1990. Intolerances are generally less severe but particularly where the 'trigger' foods are unknown they can have a huge impact on people's quality of life. As people become more health-conscious there are also an increasing number that choose to avoid types of food for other reasons.

    :chicken: Do you have a food allergy or intolerance, or do you avoid anything for another reason?
    :chicken: How do you find trying to avoid certain food ingredients? Is there more manufacturers could do to help this?
    :chicken: What advice would you give to someone struggling with this or trying to work out what they're intolerant to?

    From a personal perspective...
    I've never been able to eat spicy food depending on the type this can provoke a really severe reaction (although I'm not anaphylactic). As I went through secondary school it became increasingly obvious there was something else I was intolerant to too, which got a lot worse around the start of this year when for a while I struggled to keep almost anything down and lost a huge amount of weight. I think I mostly have it worked out now but as anyone with IBS will tell you, it never completely goes away!

    The main advice I would give is make things from scratch wherever possible as you can control and know exactly what goes in there. Even if you end up having a reaction to it, at least it narrows it down a bit! Also be aware that other factors can affect how your body responds to things, and it can vary day to day. Finally, be patient. You'll get there eventually but it's best not rushed- a couple of months not being able to eat everything you want to is definitely worth it if it means you're better in the long run, and you can add most things in again once you know what it is you can't eat!

    Once you've worked out what it is, think about what can work as replacements. I can't eat things with onion in, but peppers (the vegetable) can do a similar job. I can't eat garlic but garlic oil is okay. Fatty or fried foods cause a problem but something like a little bit of low fat cheese I can usually manage which adds flavour, whereas anything salty is best avoided. Depending on the day and what I need to do I'll play it safe or try something different, which sometimes pays off. Have an experiment, give things a try! You never know you might surprise yourself
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    Peanuts.
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    I'm avoiding lactose because I've realised it makes me feel quite sick. I don't do so well with wheat either, but I tend to eat it anyway. I just make sure I choose when to eat it wisely, so it doesn't bother me as much. I tried going wheat free a few years ago, but it was something of a nightmare. I still feel quite sickly and bloated a lot, and feel a lot better when I stick to very simple and fresh meals, but because of the CFS it's too difficult to make these for myself a lot. I will, at one point, explore this more though
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    (Original post by Illimitable)
    Peanuts.
    I'm assuming that's always been the case then? How do you find avoiding them?

    (Original post by chelseadagg3r)
    I'm avoiding lactose because I've realised it makes me feel quite sick. I don't do so well with wheat either, but I tend to eat it anyway. I just make sure I choose when to eat it wisely, so it doesn't bother me as much. I tried going wheat free a few years ago, but it was something of a nightmare. I still feel quite sickly and bloated a lot, and feel a lot better when I stick to very simple and fresh meals, but because of the CFS it's too difficult to make these for myself a lot. I will, at one point, explore this more though
    I actually seem to be alright with those as long as I don't have too much (famous last words :erm:) but yeah, there's definitely times I bother avoiding stuff more than others. Hope you manage to work out what else upsets you, it is a complete pain. Definitely agree with the CFS thing too- fortunately my parents are really supportive of me and it, without them I'd be completely screwed
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    Food 'intolerances' are the great Food Fashion of our times. Though food allergies (commonly nuts, but also certain fruits in the Rosa family, compounds related to latex and a few other allergens) are real, they are relatively rare. 'Food intolerance' covers a very wide range of real and imagined conditions, from a credible lactose intolerance and wheat in celiac disease (which is neither allergy nor intolerance but autoimmunity) to fanciful 'allergies' to non-organic foods and various bogeymen. These imagined 'intolerances' often lead to restrictive and draconian diets in a futile attempt to isolate and eliminate the culprit.
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    (Original post by Reality Check)
    Food 'intolerances' are the great Food Fashion of our times. Though food allergies (commonly nuts, but also certain fruits in the Rosa family, compounds related to latex and a few other allergens) are real, they are relatively rare. 'Food intolerance' covers a very wide range of real and imagined conditions, from a credible lactose intolerance and wheat in celiac disease (which is neither allergy nor intolerance but autoimmunity) to fanciful 'allergies' to non-organic foods and various bogeymen. These imagined 'intolerances' often lead to restrictive and draconian diets in a futile attempt to isolate and eliminate the culprit.
    To a certain extent I agree with you, but trust me when I'm lying there at three in the morning unable to sleep and in an insane amount of pain because there was a tiny bit of onion in my dinner, I definitely don't think it's made up. Most of the diets (FODMAP and stuff) are designed to be temporary to find the source of the problem and, much as they didn't really help me, it can work. There was a time there was barely a meal I could keep inside me in one way or another, whereas now I can go whole weeks occasionally without much of a reaction to anything. So yeah, whilst I agree that there does seem to be a lot of hype around them at the moment it's not the case for everyone.
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    (Original post by furryface12)
    I'm assuming that's always been the case then? How do you find avoiding them?


    I actually seem to be alright with those as long as I don't have too much (famous last words :erm:) but yeah, there's definitely times I bother avoiding stuff more than others. Hope you manage to work out what else upsets you, it is a complete pain. Definitely agree with the CFS thing too- fortunately my parents are really supportive of me and it, without them I'd be completely screwed
    Haha, yeah. So do I :laugh: I'm hoping that maybe in the summer, when I've got the time to relax and I'm not using up most of my energy on things like college, I'll be able to do it. That's really good, I'm glad to hear that they're so supportive
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    (Original post by furryface12)
    To a certain extent I agree with you, but trust me when I'm lying there at three in the morning unable to sleep and in an insane amount of pain because there was a tiny bit of onion in my dinner, I definitely don't think it's made up. Most of the diets (FODMAP and stuff) are designed to be temporary to find the source of the problem and, much as they didn't really help me, it can work. There was a time there was barely a meal I could keep inside me in one way or another, whereas now I can go whole weeks occasionally without much of a reaction to anything. So yeah, whilst I agree that there does seem to be a lot of hype around them at the moment it's not the case for everyone.
    I absolutely do not dismiss your symptoms and wholeheartedly believe that they are real, rather than imagined, and extremely distressing. I do, however, see in practice people who are absolutely certain that they have an 'allergy' to a certain food but there is no pathological or biochemical basis for it. It's a bit like M.E. - the symptoms are very real for the sufferer, but there is no 'cause' that can be treated or elucidated.
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    (Original post by furryface12)
    I'm assuming that's always been the case then? How do you find avoiding them?


    I actually seem to be alright with those as long as I don't have too much (famous last words :erm:) but yeah, there's definitely times I bother avoiding stuff more than others. Hope you manage to work out what else upsets you, it is a complete pain. Definitely agree with the CFS thing too- fortunately my parents are really supportive of me and it, without them I'd be completely screwed
    I just avoid anything that contains peanuts.
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    (Original post by chelseadagg3r)
    Haha, yeah. So do I :laugh: I'm hoping that maybe in the summer, when I've got the time to relax and I'm not using up most of my energy on things like college, I'll be able to do it. That's really good, I'm glad to hear that they're so supportive
    Yep :lol: hope you can! Thanks


    (Original post by Reality Check)
    I absolutely do not dismiss your symptoms and wholeheartedly believe that they are real, rather than imagined, and extremely distressing. I do, however, see in practice people who are absolutely certain that they have an 'allergy' to a certain food but there is no pathological or biochemical basis for it. It's a bit like M.E. - the symptoms are very real for the sufferer, but there is no 'cause' that can be treated or elucidated.
    Yeah realised you meant that after I said it! It does a bit like the 'i'm so OCD' thing from someone that likes to keep their pencils in a line, but yeah- that's for a different day.


    (Original post by Illimitable)
    I just avoid anything that contains peanuts.
    That's fair enough then. Sorry, I realise it was a bit of a stupid question!
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    (Original post by furryface12)
    Yep :lol: hope you can! Thanks



    Yeah realised you meant that after I said it! It does a bit like the 'i'm so OCD' thing from someone that likes to keep their pencils in a line, but yeah- that's for a different day.



    That's fair enough then. Sorry, I realise it was a bit of a stupid question!
    No it's ok.
 
 
 
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