The Complete Guide to Food Allergy and Intolerance Paperback – 14 Jun 2008
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"should be compulsory reading for GPs and medical students" -- New Scientist
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Extract from Chapter 11, Food Intolerance :
Food intolerance is not one single thing - it is a whole collection of different medical problems caused by different foods. Some are well-recognized conditions, such as migraine or rheumatoid arthritis, where certain patients, often to the great surprise of their doctors, appear to recover completely when certain foods are avoided. Others are collections of commonplace symptoms that are not thought of - in orthodox medicine - as belonging together at all, such as bowel symptoms plus fatigue, headache and joint pain (as in Susan, described in Chapter 1). If these symptoms all clear up at once when common foods are cut out, the cause is described as food intolerance.
How much these different problems have in common, in terms of underlying causes, nobody can say at present. There are some intriguing features that crop up repeatedly - such as the craving for the problem food encountered in a number of food intolerance patients (see p210) - but these are not universal.
Ultimately, food intolerance is a convenient label for a miscellaneous collection of different patients who react to food, and who don't belong in any other food-sensitivity category.
You could think of the term `food intolerance' as a kind of refugee camp, where reactions to food that have no home end up. If nobody knows what the underlying mechanism is (ie how the food produces the symptoms) and most doctors are unwilling to accept that food might cause these symptoms, then it is food intolerance! We are being facetious of course, but the fact is that food intolerance is not taught in most medical schools (except in relation to cow's milk sensitivity in babies), and research studies on food intolerance, however carefully done and however convincing, are usually either dismissed or ignored.
Yes, they are published, and in reputable scientific journals too, but then they just sink without a trace. The findings are put into practice by very few doctors.
NO LONGER FOOD INTOLERANCE !
We are pleased to report that, since the first edition of this book appeared, 20 years ago, some of the refugees in the food-intolerance camp have found a home. These are the conditions that were described as food intolerance then, but can now be labelled as food allergy, because immune mechanisms (or at least undeniable signs of immune involvement) have been identified:
- food-responsive atopic eczema, where a slow type of immune reaction to food, involving T-cells, is now known to play a part (see Chapter 6)
- constipation due to cow's milk or other foods in children who were sensitive to cow's milk as babies but had supposedly `grown out of it' (see p2)
- food-responsive `tummy ache' (abdominal pain) without any other symptoms, in some children; signs of unsuspected enteropathy - immune damage to the gut lining - have now been found (see p341)
- some cases of food-responsive irritable bowel syndrome, which turn out to be localized IgE reactions (see Chapter 12)
- other cases of food-responsive irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which are in fact the early stages of coeliac disease (see Chapter 12)
- responses to food in Crohn's disease where an inflammatory reaction to food has now been directly observed with endoscopy (see p157).
The discovery that a number of people with IBS actually have fructose malabsorption as a major cause of their symptoms (see p192) removes another group of patients from the unexplained-and-doubtful food intolerance camp.
The following food reactions, which would also have been regarded as highly controversial 20 years ago, now have far more medical respectability:
- food-responsive colic - some cases are now known to be due to lactose intolerance, while others are accepted as being due to cow's milk sensitivity, even though the mechanism isn't understood yet (see Chapter 15)
- food-responsive rheumatoid arthritis (see Chapter 13), where the pivotal role of immune arousal in the gut is now becoming generally acknowledged. The idea that, for some patients, immune reactions to food might play a part in starting the inflammatory reaction in the gut, which then leads to symptoms in the joints, is no longer seen as heresy by mainstream rheumatologists.
- reactions to foods other than wheat in coeliac disease (see p153).
The fact that these food sensitivities are no longer dismissed out of hand doesn't, unfortunately, mean that looking for such reactions has become part of routine medical diagnosis - but that will, we hope, eventually come about.
One might also mention here the surprising new discoveries about coeliac disease, which turns out to have a whole pantheon of different symptom patterns, including some quite remarkable ones (see Chapter 7). There is little doubt that some of those who were diagnosed with wheat intolerance in the past actually had non-classical coeliac disease.
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Top Customer Reviews
I first bought this book in 1998, followed the recommendations & improved my health considerably. More problems have now raised their ugly heads so before having another go I thought I'd buy the new version. It is much improved, has been updated as medical knowledge has expanded & has a more conciliatory attitude to GPs. I have an appointment at the local hospital in April (what 18 weeks waiting limit!) so in the meantime I'm trying the book's regime for dealing with food intolerance, no success yet, I'll let you know how it goes.
Update: Well no luck this time, I went on to stage 2 but no change to the symptoms & I don't fancy stage 3! The NHS are not having much luck helping me either.
Money well spent!
It's packed with a lot of new information structured in such a manner that makes it easy to read and understand. It's the most complete book on this subject I know. I highly recomended it to all food allergy and/or intolerance sufferers.
The best and most comprehensive book I have read on this subject - and it works superbly for however you wish to use it!
If you are a sufferer, or suspect you may suffer from food allergies, and you are looking for a clear and comprehensive guide to self-treatment, this is the book for you.
If you are a practitioner, and are looking for a clear and detailed understanding of these issues, in order to best advise your clients (and my advice would be 'buy this book') this is the book for you
If you are a teacher, and looking for help for a clear way to present information on the subject, this is for you.
If you are fascinated by the politics of the food industry - this is for you - I can't begin to express how horrified I was to discover the extent of the use of food colourings, linked with potentially highly dangerous effects, which have been banned all over Europe and the USA, but which are allowed in the UK. There are some very suspect actions taken by the food industry in this country.
If you admire clearly presented scientific writing, this is for you.
A great read, a great reference text, a survivors kit for many
Beg, borrow, or preferably BUY this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book for those who suffer with food allergies. Exlains everythingPublished 21 days ago by Amazon Customer
This is the bible to food allergies and intolerances. It is detailed and very comprehensive.Published 5 months ago by Sak
I cant say if I like it or not because I have not read it. I want to read it but why is it so expensive?? Read morePublished 15 months ago by whitewitch
Brilliant book. This is 'the' book on food allergy and intolerance.Published 16 months ago by C. Rowley