Do you suffer from regular bloating? People frequently tell me that they wake with a flat stomach and by the end of the day look as though they are pregnant. Bloating may not be your only issue, do you find yourself having to rush to the bathroom 5 times a day? or on the other hand, not going for days?
Many people experience gastrointestinal upset and associated pain for years on end without finding the source. Sometime they learn to live with it or other times they do an array of tests without any result and feel as though they are forced to live with it. If this sounds like you or someone you know, it is advised that you look in to the possibility of food intolerance.
- Aches and pains
- Alternating constipation/ diarrhoea
- Excessive gas
- Abdominal pain
Why should you look in to the possibility of intolerance?
Apart from the obvious alleviation of symptoms, you can also prevent and correct any malnutrition and deficiency. This is one aspect that people tend to ignore. People who suffer from the aforementioned symptoms often exclude a vast variety of foods that they think may trigger their issues. Often this results in weight loss and a very nutritionally incomplete diet.
Often the nutrients that suffer include:
- Energy – when people are unsure of what to eat, often they don’t eat much at all! This then leads to weight loss and inadequate energy intake.
- Vitamin D
If you are one of those individuals who have had numerous tests performed to no avail, there are processes that can be undertaken to determine what exact foods are a problem for you – if food is the cause. As an example, I recently saw a woman who had been suffering from GI pain/ discomfort and frequent, loose bowel motions for 10+ years. She had undergone numerous testing and was unable to find a cause. With dietetic intervention, we were able to determine that the issue was wheat and her symptoms have now completely subsided.
Why is it best to get professional guidance?
Why make life more difficult than it has to be? Restricting numerous foods may not be necessary and it certainly is not conducive to good health, as previously mentioned.
Many people test foods themselves however, it can be difficult when you’re not 100% sure of what to avoid/ what process to take. Sometimes a minute amount of wheat that was disguised by a different name in the ingredients list can cause your body to react negatively – if you’re so thought “wheat free diet” has still caused you to be symptomatic then you may not suspect wheat to be the issue (as happened in the previously mentioned case). A professional will also make sure that you are meeting your nutrient requirements whilst testing certain foods.
It’s not always straight forward
We all know the obvious triggers – dairy, wheat, gluten etc. What many people don’t know is that there is much more to intolerance! For instance, a FODMAP intolerance (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols) or an intolerance to food chemicals e.g. amines, salicylates. These components can be found in a variety of different foods and can therefore be a little more difficult to pinpoint than a set, well known group like dairy or wheat.
Contact us for results focused nutritional advice
This article was written by our dietitian Belinda Elwin who is a Dietitians Association of Australia member and Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist.
If you have questions about healthy eating, make an appointment. We‘ll provide you with a simple and effective routine targeted to your concerns. Contact us today.