Symptoms include – muscle pains (thighs, legs, shoulders) , headaches, joint pains, hip pain, shoulder pain, upper and lower back pain, leg cramps, swollen red painful joints ; drowsiness; somnolence (daytime sleepiness) ; flatus (bowel wind) ; nausea, vomiting, bad heartburn; skin rashes; bleeding gums and blood in stools, stinging/painful urination.
Theses pains can be quite disabling causing difficulty with walking, sitting, doing housework, doing sports etc. They limit a person’s life and activities.
Most sensible people want to reduce their pain and distress; to have a better quality of life. As with many illnesses many people may not realise that they have an adverse food reaction as this sounds strange to them. It can take months or years to identify this.
It is thought that 10% of the UK population may have some sort of adverse reactions.
There have been books available about Food Allergy , Food Additives and Food Intolerance for over 30 years so this is well established old knowledge.
This is just a short summary.
There is an overlap between Food Intolerance and Food Allergy.
There is an overlap between adverse reactions to preservatives and food additives; and true food allergy. The symptoms are similar and it is difficult to distinguish between these two possibilities.
Adverse Food Reactions can be classified (categorised) as mild, moderate or severe. This depends on each person’s own personal experience. This varies and depends on many factors including their own genetics, allergic predisposition (atopy) ; immune system etc.
An allergic reaction to a food, ingested substance or chemical is like being poisoned. So one person’s food is another person’s poison.
A true allergy is an Immune System Reaction (ISR) and is like a poisoning.
Immediate collapse and systemic anaphylaxis is rare (Gel and Coombs Classification – Type I Immediate Hypersensitivity).
There are often effects from immune complexes in bloodstream after eating certain foods; for a few days ( up to 7 days ) after eating them (Gel and Coombs Classification – Type III Delayed Hypersensitivity).
The immune system works by a system of cascade and amplification so a tiny amount of irritant food can cause bad magnified symptoms.
The TIMING is very important to identify adverse food reactions/ allergies. e.g. if a person notices a headache or muscle pains 1 to 9 hours after eating wheat or fish ; and this happens twice ; then this suggests an adverse reaction to wheat or fish; or the artificial chemicals added to those foods.
There is often an incremental worsening reaction over a few weeks to foods or chemicals .
So to is vital to keep an accurate and meticulous food diary and health diary over the years. Some people possess this skill and training but many people do not. Some people have good skills at this are more observant than others. Family members can help if they have good literacy skills and are meticulous at recording these details.
Some people have a severe reaction to wheat or gluten but many have just a mild reaction.
To avoid a bad reaction to chemical preservatives , colourants or food additives it is important to read the food labels carefully and avoid the E additives.
If a person has a mild reaction to wheat/ gluten then he/she might prefer to eat small amounts of this for 3 days per week; and avoid the worse reaction to chemical preservatives , colourants or food additives. So it is important to read the food labels carefully and avoid the E additives.
People who have food allergies often have multiple food allergies and food sensitivities. e.g. a person with a reaction to wheat/ gluten may also react to dairy foods, citrus fruits, soya, food additives , colourants and food preservatives; but many of the gluten free foods produced are NOT “organic” so still cause symptoms. They contain artificial chemicals/ food additives. One needs to read the food labels very carefully.
People can try “organic” (chemical-free) foods without such food additives.
The organic ranges in supermarkets are improving all the time. The bigger supermarkets have a wider range of such foods.
It is important to try foods form different supermarkets and see if one suits a person best. One supermarket might spray fresh fruits and vegetables with chemical preservatives but another might not.
There are also organic food shops in the UK such as Holland & Barrett or Pure Health. Search for items labelled as “organic” (chemical free).
Restaurants have their own organic supply chain so get high quality potatoes , salads , meats and foods that are chemical -free.
Inform a restaurant before going of any food reactions and they will often help and make special dishes. They are real food and water experts.
A good way to have low doses of foods through the week is to set a weekly food menu e.g. Fish on Fridays; chicken on Sundays; Eggs on Tuesdays etc.
Having chicken all the time 3 times daily every day can cause an overdose of chicken and a reaction to chicken; so it is best to rotate foods if possible through the week.
It is a good idea to rotate these foods and have some days each week free of fish, dairy foods and meats.
e.g. have Tuesdays and Fridays as a “fish” days for 2-3 portions those days; so have 5 fish-free days per week.
e.g. have Wednesdays and Sundays as a “chicken” days for 2-3 portions of chicken those days; so have 5 chicken-free days per week.
e.g. have Mondays and Thursdays as an “egg” days to have 2 -3 eggs those days; so having 5 egg-free days per week.
e.g. have dairy milk on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (3 days per week) to reduce the irritation of the immune system. So have 4 dairy-free days per week.
This means that the body’s immune system has a rest from certain foods on a few days per week ; thus reducing the irritation and reactions.
Ensure that all foods are very well cooked to reduce the risk of food reactions.
The act of heating and cooking changes the chemical composition of the foods and destroys certain chemicals. We are all aware that kidney beans, mushrooms, peppers and potatoes contain naturally occurring strong chemicals.
e.g. cook meat or fish for at least 40 minutes.
e.g. cook vegetables for at least 15 minutes.
e.g. cook potatoes in the oven for at least an hour – read the instructions.
There are very good books online from Amazon.co.uk on Coeliac Disease and Gluten Free (GF) Cookbooks.
Some of the WORST PAINS seem to be after acidic foods so AVOID vinegar; acidic/ alkaline foods or additives; avoid all citrus fruits and fruit juices if you react to Vitamin C ;acetic acid; citric acid; MINCE PIES, CHRISTMAS CAKE. Chemical food additives/ preservatives, artificial colourants (AVOID COLOURED YELLOW RICE). (Sulphur Dioxide, Potassium Sorbate). Salad creams, Mayonnaise.
A truly “organic” diet means avoiding fizzy drinks such as cola drinks. These often contain chemical additives like Phosphoric acid, Potassium Sorbate, Citric acid. These can cause bad muscle pains and painful urination as they are excreted via the kidneys into the urine . So read the food labels very carefully.
Try boiled basmati rice; cooked vegetables; organic meats, and organic fish.
Basmati rice has a nicer smell and taste than normal rice. A person who has food sensitivities might need to eat these foods 4 or 5 times daily because their diet is limited. They need a special diet. Skimmed milk is less allergenic (irritating) that full fat or semi skimmed milk. Diet Coke does not contain Potassium Sorbate but some other brands do. Diet Cola drinks still contains artificial sweeteners and citric acid so normal Coke will cause less reactions.
Cook cakes made from boiled rice. Garlic smells strong and can cause reactions so avoid high garlic content such as Garlic Chicken/ Chicken Kievs.
Good “organic” water supply.
Drink only bottled mineral water (organic chemical free water) and use this in cooking; boiling rice and vegetables etc. This is better quality than a manual water filter. Water filers often filter through cloth/ plastic/ charcoal/ carbon/ sand to absorb chemicals.
A Samsung fridge water filter gets rid of Organophosphates (OP), microplastics, Calcium Carbonate (hard water), turbidity, particulates, Mercury, Lead, bacteria, fungi, Parasitic Cysts, Asbestos, Benzene, P-Dichlorobenzene. Carbofuran. So properly filtered or mineral water is much purer than UK tap water. In mainland Europe many countries drink only purer bottled mineral water ; not tap water.
If a person is sensitive to foods it is worthwhile trying bottled mineral water for a month; rather than UK tap water. In Europe the Doctors often advise people to drink the bottled mineral water. Written research studies show that UK tap water often contains Organophosphates (farming chemicals) and Calcium Carbonate (“hard water”); picked up by the water as it runs through the soil.
Bottled mineral water is bottled at the source of the spring; often at the top of a mountain; so does not collect such chemicals or debris. So it is purer and uncontaminated.
List of common foods that cause bad reactions :
Keep an accurate food diary and health diary over the years. AVOID Dairy foods –MOST MILK; cream, full fat yoghurts, custard, COTTAGE CHEESE, ALL CHEESES , CHEESECAKE – high in Amines/ Tyramine. if you react to them. AVOID RICE MILK, OAT MILK. ALMOND MILK (reactions). Avoid them if you react to them.
AVOID APPLES, Plums, pears, peaches, raspberries, mango, lychees, oranges, grapes/ sultanas/raisins, fruit juice, all nuts, coconut, bananas, acidic apples, tomatoes, cucumber chillies, peppers, mushrooms, beetroot, potatoes (crisps, chips) ; raw sweetcorn and raw vegetables; raw cabbage ; cooked cabbage; GARLIC; and raw carrots in salads; peas (yellow split peas, lentils, chick peas) ; honey, maple syrup. Vanilla pods. Organic honey. GF Oats. Ginger. Avoid them if you react to them.
Apples contain citric acid, malic acid. Peeling them might not help.
Try Organic Fish/ Salmon from Fish counter.
AVOID CHOCLATE, SOYA, LENTILS, POPADUMS, RED MEAT, CHICKEN, FISH, PRAWNS , EGGS, ALL NUTS if you react to them.
AVOID soft bread and cakes, flat breads, raw rice flour, raw poorly cooked foods, fish, prawns, plant alcohols, (FRUIT JUICES). GF biscuits & cakes ; mince pies; popcorn; marshmallows. Fruit trifles. Fruit jelly. WHITE SUGAR. ICE CREAM. Rice pudding, Angel delight. Choclate teacakes. Choc Ices. Rasmalai desserts (contains nuts), Indian or Turkish wseets/ desserts. Avoid pizzas – often contain tomatoes and cheese; if you react to them.
AVOID GLUTEN FREE (GF) PORRIDGE OATS if you react to them. Many GF foods contain chemical food additives or Sodium Bicarbonate.
GF Corn Cous Cous contains traces of Soya. Avoid them if you react to them.
Avoid all nuts (peanuts, almond, pistachio nuts , brazil nuts, cashew nuts, coconuts, coconut milk, almond paste) if you react to them.
Copyright by Dr M.N.Hossain (March 2021).