Wheat and dairy intolerance

From The Times May 14th 2011

In Britain, the small number of adualts with food intolerance has not increased in the past year.

But more thatn 20% of people believe they are are intolerant to certain foods nut onoy 2% according to the BNF really have an intolerance.

Diets that exclude milk put people at risk of osteoporosis through lack of calcium.

Wheat intolerance

BNF says on 1-2 people in 100 have wheat intolerance. Triggers bloating, headaches and stomach problems  but does not upset immune system.

Wheat can cause intolerance

Coeliac disease is the clinically serious form of severe intolerance to gluten in wheat, barley and rye. About 25,000 Britons suffer from this condition,

The gluten damages the lining of the small intestine and it is diagnosed by taking a biopsy of the intestine or through blood tests.

But replacing gluten products with rice, cormeal and buckwheat can lead to weight gain according to the British Dietetic Association. Gluten free products contain extra sugar and fat to make them more palatable. Cutting out wheat can cause a deficiency in B vitamins essential for energy production and a healthy nervous system. and can also cause iron deficiency.

Gluten free products are the fastest growing item on our supermarket shelves according to Mintel. They make up more than £100 million sales. Mintel said UK market for free from food is worth £350 million.

Dairy food

Symptoms of intolerance include diarrhoea and bloating. But it can cause red rashes and stomach cramps.

Cutting out dairy food can increase risk of osteoporosis. Low levels of calcium can result in muscle cramps. Children need to find good sources of protein and calcium. In USA girls who stopped eating milk had eaten only 25% of their calcium intake.

Genuine cow’s milk allergy is extremely rare an affects 2-7% of babies but most will outgrow it by age of 6. Unless you are allergic to milk as a baby you’re unlikely to be allergic to milk.

Milk intolerance such as lactose intolerance is due the gut not producing enought of the enzyme lactase which processes the lactose milk sugar. It is common in people of African and Asian background where 80-90% of people have at least some lactase deficiency. It’s rare in Caucasians with 7-10% diagnosis and it is tested by blood, breath and stool tests.

Dr Isabel Sypala runs a food allergy clinic and says 25-35% of her patients say they have a problem with milk but only 5-10% are lactose intolerant.

Seafood

The BNF says almost half food poisoning cases are causes by raw or out of date fish. People with a clinical to seafood have severe symptoms including loss of consciousness. But fish provides omega 3 oil and low fat protien.

Monosodium glutamate

In 1968 monosodium glutamate symptoms were identified including hot flushes, sweats and headaches. Medical tests show that victims have abnormal heart rhythm, rapid heart rate and restricted breathing. Researchers believe it can cause anaphylactic shock such as swelling of throat but most people get better without treatment.

Dr Gerada chair of Royal College of General Practitioners said:

‘Patients who complain of food intolerances ae more likely to have psychological problems and need counselling.’

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