Food intolerances make life miserable for thousands of people in the UK. While less serious than a food allergy, which triggers the body’s immune symptom and can cause very severe reactions and even death, intolerances produce vaguer but sometimes very distressing symptoms.

Common signs of food intolerances may include fatigue, joint pain, diarrhoea and vomiting, a bloated feeling, wind or even skin rashes. If you suspect you may be suffering, the first step is to see your GP. According to Kristian Bravin, senior dietitian at University Hospital in Leicester, around 20% of people in the UK believe they have some sort of adverse reaction to food, and self-mediate by cutting out a major food group such as wheat or diary. The real figures for number of sufferers could be much lower, so it’s important to seek expert advice before dropping anything from your diet.

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Most experts agree that food intolerances are on the rise though, for a number of reasons. The most common offenders are dairy, wheat, alcohol and yeast, and according to Kristian Bravin the modern diet contains far more gluten that it used to, as the advent of commercially produced bread mean the gluten is no longer broken down during baking.

If you are diagnosed with a food intolerance, there’s a wide range of products on the market now to help sufferers maintain a more balanced diet, such as gluten free bread. Coming up on the 4th, 5th and 6th July is the Allergy and Free From Show, which showcases new products and runs advice seminars – well worth attending if you follow a special diet. As Vice Chairperson of the Association of Registered Colonic Hydrotherapists (ARCH), I’m going to be attending the sister event in Liverpool on 25th and 26th October, so make sure you come and say hello.

To keep healthy, if you’re dropping one food group make sure you replace it with an alternative, and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables to help your immune system. Another option is to take a regular course of colonic hydrotherapy. These safe treatments use warm water to gently wash out toxins from your colon, giving your immune system a flying start, and as a fully trained and insured colonic hydrotherapist I’ll help you feel better from top to bottom!

For support, advice or general health-related chat, why not follow me on Twitter at @CHClinicUK or give me a call on 0161 207 4034? I’m here to help.