Food Intolerance Review - Patient Blog

We had to share this fabulous blog from Cheryl from The Power of 3 :) Cheryl had our food intolerance test and is doing so well with improved skin and less brain fog! Click here to see her blog

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The last year and half, I have been on an incredible journey of changing my mindset which has resulted in reducing and managing my anxiety and depression.  This has come from a reconnecting to myself and finding joy in the small things as well as the bigger things in life.       

My life experiences have shaped me into the person that I am today, but I continue to learn, grow and evolve and work every day on being the best version of myself. 

The main focus up to now has been my mental health and I am now in a good place and feel so much better.  I still get times or days when things are more challenging, but I have the tools and mindset to be able to work through them. So, the feeling does not stay around for too long but flows in and out.  My focus now is my physical health whilst maintaining good emotional health.  

Now for quite some time I have felt unwell and not really listened enough to my body which is awful to say but it is the truth. I have been feeling constantly exhausted, having skin flare ups, bloating and suffered with brain fog.  

I have always had problems with not getting enough sleep.  I am not sure where this stems from because one of my family members could fall asleep on a washing line.  I did have a large period of time and still do this but when I am anxious is that I can’t sleep.  I tend to stay up late with the belief that I can calm my anxious brain down but in reality, I was set myself up for a fall each time because all I do is override the part of my body that wants to rest and repair and then this cycle is repeated for days until your body forces you to sleep.  

Over the years I have purchased loads of different face creams and face washes to clear my skin and whilst I have had great results in the beginning they don’t seem to last.   

I was diagnosed about 10 years ago with an underactive thyroid and the doctor told me that as long as I was taking my medication, I would be fine.  

Having read around the subject and listening to various podcasts it seemed that it was possible my symptoms were linked to thyroid issues and possible food intolerances.   

What is a food intolerance? 

A food intolerance occurs when a person’s body has difficulty in digesting a particular food.   

Symptoms of a food intolerance?

  • Feeling under the weather;

  • Migraines;

  • Bloating;

  • Stomach pains;

  • Skin rashes.

If you are experiencing, any of these symptoms or others then please seek professional help from either your GP or a qualified nutritionist that offers intolerance testing.   

The next step for me was contacting Amie Marshall from Body Fabulous based in Salisbury.  I have known Amie for a number of years and knew that she had an upcoming clinic day for intolerance testing. 

On the day of the test I drove down to Salisbury and had my consultation with Amie where she took my blood and had a little discussion.  The results revealed I am intolerant to cows milk.  Amie also advised that due to my thyroid issues it would be best to reduce/remove gluten from my meals as well as contacting my doctor to have further blood tests done to find out how well my thyroid is functioning. I contacted my doctors surgery the following Monday and booked an appointment which is still a few weeks away.  

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been removing products with any cows milk and have been using alternatives like coconut milk and coconut yogurt.  I have been also working on my sleeping pattern. On the nights I manage 8 hours I wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go and my productivity at work and home has increased. As for my skin I have seen a great improvement.  I have not had any flare ups and that in itself has made me feel better. I am not experiencing so much brain fog either.  

I have taken this opportunity to get to grips with my own nutrition and am tracking my food using the MyFitnessPal app and ensuring I stay within my calories whilst increasing my protein intake.  I have kept my plan simple in order to build consistency and adherence.  

If you would like to find out more about Amie and the work she does then click here on the link to her website www.mybodyfabulous.co.uk 

Until next time.

Much love 

Cheryl 

Managing My Dairy Intolerance

Article contributed by Jim Marshall

Article contributed by Jim Marshall

Our thanks to Jim for giving this interview on how he's doing after his food intolerance test last month showed a strong reaction to dairy. 

Says Jim, "When Amie asked me if I would like to have a food intolerance blood test done for a You Tube video I was intrigued to see if I had any reactions to the basic 46 foods. To be honest I have had tummy troubles on and off for years but I had learnt to live with the bloated, gassy feelings and acid reflux. My answer was just to reach for the Gaviscon or Rennie!"

Continues Jim, "The test itself was very simple and only involved a finger prick so not painful. The results only took 50 minutes to develop but those 50 minutes have changed my life and the way I eat now! The reaction tray showed a strong reaction to dairy and for those that have not seen the You Tube video of my test - click here to watch  - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slFjr4cNqtg .Before we did the test I explained my symptoms to Amie and she predicted cow's milk would show up but the reality of seeing it in black and white made me realise how much my body had been struggling. I started excluding dairy straight away and as it was a strong reaction I have to remove it from my diet for 12 weeks. My greatest fear was no milk in tea and giving up cheese but I soon read up on what I could replace it with and began to relax."

Adds Jim, "Within 7 days of removing cow's milk from my diet I started to notice the difference, no more gurgling tummy and much less bloating and gas. I was really motivated to continue but I missed cheese so much that about 2 weeks in I buckled and indulged in 3 slices of cheesy pizza. It tasted delicious at the time but the following 4 hours were very painful and made me realise that because my reaction to dairy was very significant I was going to have to ban it entirely whilst my body repaired." 

"8 weeks in now it has got easier to manage my dairy free lifestyle and I am no longer tempted to indulge - I don't want that bloating back again thank you! Its true what they say about planning ahead and part of that planning is checking labels, I've been amazed the number of things I've found cow's milk in. Crisps, gravy powder even some salamis have milk in so I am much more vigilant now. I use the Food Maestro app to help me identify foods with dairy in and I have let my friends and family know I am dairy free for a while so that helps when eating at other people's homes. If you are also following a food intolerance programme I really suggest you find alternatives to your favourite or most missed items. Also ask for the allergy details when you're in a restaurant as the good ones have a full list of what's in each dish."

Jim's Top Tips;

Milk for tea - I have found oat milk is a very palatable alternative, coconut milk just doesn't work for me but I do like it in coffee. Rude Health's range of nut and oat milks are the best I've found. 

Breakfast - Coconut milk is great in cereal and I have swapped my Greek yoghurt for nut based yoghurts made from coconut or almonds which are very tasty and still high protein. The only downside to nut yoghurts is the price but that's a small price to pay now I'm feeling so much better. Best brands are CoYo and KoKo.

Ice Cream - I have tried quite a few and found some very tasty options but I was absolutely shocked with how much sugar is added to the 'non dairy' versions. I now stick to natural no added sugar sorbet to be on the safe side or Perfect World carrot cake ice cream is amazing!

Cheese - I can still eat Goats and Sheep's cheese, there are some very tasty alternatives that I've tried but I've also fallen foul of one sheeps cheese made with raw milk (Roquefort), that didn't agree with me at all! I have learnt some things by trial and error but I know one thing for sure, vegan plant based cheese is not for me. Tastes of nothing!

Chocolate - Thank goodness there are some fabulous dairy free chocolates out there now but Salisbury based 'Heavenly Chocolate' is my favourite - and just down the road!

I'm currently working on my gut repair programme which means including foods and drinks I had never heard of before but that add good bacteria and healing properties. Kombucha, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut and bone broth are now part of my daily food intake, I never thought I was say that!

My next step with Amie's help will be trial a few items to distinguish if I have a full dairy intolerance or just a lactose intolerance. It's been an interesting health journey so far with the added bonus that I have dropped 4kg in the process!