Allergies and food intolerances in the UK seem to be on the rise, with causes ranging from chemicals used in food processing, to pesticides, to household cleaners. While only around 2% of the UK adult population suffers from a food allergy, that figure rises to 6 to 8% in children under three. There’s also a huge number of people who’re affected by food intolerances – some studies suggest that as many as a fifth of us suffer at some time in our lives – and many more suffering from non-food allergies such as dust mites.

Food allergies occur where the offending food triggers a violent, instant allergic reaction such as a rash, swelling or sneezing. Common food allergies among adults include fish and shellfish and nuts, particularly peanuts. While children can suffer from these allergies, they also sometimes react to milk and eggs. Food intolerances occur when the foods in question prove difficult to digest, and cause symptoms such as IBS or stomach cramping. The most common causes of intolerances include gluten, eggs, nuts and dairy products.

Non-food allergens include dust mites, which are associated with asthma, eczema and allergic rhinitis; hayfever and domestic pets.

If any of these sound familiar, whether you’re affected personally or a member of your family is a sufferer, then the Allergy and Free From Show North, held in Liverpool on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th October, is a must-attend event.

It’s the one-stop-shop of the north, packed with new products including food, drink, household items and more. That’s not all, though – there are cookery classes to teach you how to concoct delicious allergen-free meals, as well as talks, support groups and expert advice to help you manage your life as easily and efficiently as possible.

For more information and a list of events, just visit the Allergy and Free From Show North website, or Facebook page. I’m going to be there in my capacity as Vice Chair of ARCH, the Association of Registered Colonic Hydrotherapists. Colonic hydrotherapy is a safe, non-toxic way of rebalancing your colon, and it can be a very useful management tool for food intolerance sufferers. I’d love you to come along and say hello at the event – look forward to seeing you there!

Helen x