Can Food Intolerances Be Attributed To Poor Bowel
By Liz Barrington, Natural Body Healing
Food allergies and food intolerances are becoming ever more
common place these days. Sufferers can experience anything from mild
or short-term symptoms such as headaches, skin rashes, bloating
or diarrhoea, to full-blown long-term conditions, including coeliac
(gluten intolerant) or Crohn’s disease. The potential causes as to why we
should experience certain reactions to foods or drinks can be
quite difficult to identify, yet, it’s important that sufferers
do try to investigate what’s behind their conditions and then
act upon it - otherwise symptoms could worsen as the body
becomes more 'irritated'.
An allergy is a reaction that occurs when the body’s immune
system over-reacts to a substance that’s normally harmless,
causing irritation, adverse reactions, disability, and sometimes
What Is The Difference Between Food Allergy and Food
Food ‘allergy’ should only really be used to describe a specific
response caused by an over-reaction of the immune system.
Severe allergy, such as those that can be experienced after
eating fish, shellfish, eggs, peanuts, or sesame seeds is
immediate and, as already mentioned, it can be life
Food intolerance, on the other hand, tends to be characterised
by a delayed onset and is any unpleasant reaction to an
offending substance often linked to the behaviour of various
enzymes, chemical insensitivities, insufficient production of
stomach acids, or the over-production of antigens, intestinal
toxins, yeasts, parasites or bacteria in the body. Typical
foods that can cause sensitivities within the body include wheat
(and/or other grains), gluten, dairy, eggs, soya, yeast, fish,
shellfish, nuts, even certain 'healthy' fruits and vegetables
such as citrus fruits, broccoli, peppers and cabbage.
For example, milk sugar or lactose intolerance is not an
allergic reaction but it occurs because a person has
insufficient lactase enzyme, required for the digestion of
lactose. Certain 'substances' in food can cause a
reaction in some people include caffeine (in tea, coffee,
chocolate and cola drinks) which can bring on heart palpitations
and restlessness; amines (in red wine, chocolate and cheese) can
trigger a migraine; some food additives such as tartrazine can
cause hives, rashes and asthma; monosodium glutamate in Chinese
dishes can produce sweating and dizziness; and ‘Nightshade’
alkaloids in potatoes, tomatoes and peppers can affect the
The onset of an allergy or intolerance can occur at any age and
the substance causing it may be something that has previously
been tolerated. It is thought that the improper weaning of
an infant could be a possible cause; with the introduction of
wheat grains, eggs and cow's milk at too early an age ie.
before the infant is 9 month old, instead of persisting with
How Does the Body Typically React?
Our immune system usually protects us from harmful foreign
invaders such as viruses and bacteria that can cause illness.
However, in the case of someone suffering from an allergy, the
system believes that the allergen is damaging and so reacts to
Immunoglobulins are special antibodies that are produced by
special white blood cells called B-Lymphocytes and are found
within our immune system to defend against foreign bodies
entering the body. There are several different types of
immunoglobulins, with IgA, IgE, IgG, IgM being the most well
Usually with an allergic response, IgE (Immunoglobulin E) is
produced to fight off the ‘threatening’ substance. This
antibody also triggers ‘mast’ cells to release a chemical, for
example, histamine, that subsequently produces an allergic
response and its associated symptoms, such as swellings, asthma
or a skin rash. The site of the reaction will depend on where
the mast cells are located. IgE antibodies are mostly found in
the skin, nose, lining of airways and lungs.
Food intolerance primarily gives rise to the production of IgG
antibodies to the offending foods. The symptoms of IgG-induced
food intolerance can occur up to 3 days after eating the food
concerned, making it very difficult to determine which foods are
causing the problem. It has been shown by various studies, that
if foods that produce high IgG levels are eliminated from the
diet, the symptoms of food intolerance can be reduced.
Therefore, undertaking a Food Intolerance test should often be
the first stage in finding any solution.
Typical symptoms of food intolerance can include general feeling
of unwell, tiredness, pale face, puffy skin, vomiting,
diarrhoea, asthma, nausea, breathlessness, cramps, bloating,
flatulence, blocked nose, runny nose, watery eyes, ear
infections, epilepsy, arthritis, skin rash and eczema.
The Importance of a Healthy Bowel in the Reduction of Food
A key area in the body that should be investigated further is
the intestinal system which is often the root cause of many
‘allergens’ or intolerances. It’s estimated that two-thirds of
people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have one or more food
allergies. Parasites from infected food and water can cause the
same symptoms as irritable bowel syndrome ie. severe bloating
and wind, cramping, constipation and diarrhoea.
Antibiotic use, along with the consumption of alcohol, caffeine,
aspirin, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can all lead
to the overgrowth of yeasts and other unhealthy bacteria in the
intestines. These microorganisms produce toxins that irritate
the bowel wall and damage the intestinal mucous membranes,
making it more sensitive to certain foodstuffs. An unhealthy
ecology in your intestines will also disrupt peristalsis, the
normal flow of food throughout the digestive system.
Intestinal flora play a vital role in healthy immune functioning
– they create natural antibiotics that keep out unwanted
micro-organisms and produce anti-cancer substances. Flora also
communicate with each other when there are imbalances within the
gut. They play an important role in nutrition, digestion and
they also produce valuable acids (primarily butyric acid) that
nourish the intestinal lining. This is why taking a course
of probiotic supplements every few months, to top up the good
bowel bacteria, is so important.
Another bowel disorder, ‘Leaky Gut Syndrome’ can often be
responsible for many signs and symptoms associated with food
intolerances. Leaky gut is an inflammatory condition in which
the intestinal ‘epithelial’ tissues lose their integrity and the
layers of tissue between the cells also become semi-permeable.
This allows the abnormal re-absorption of intestinal
contents including large protein molecules (most often found in
gluten/grains and dairy) which gives rise to
increases in immunoglobulin levels. This causes a wide range of
internal disorders affecting the immune system, the autonomic
nervous system, and also digestive, respiratory and endocrine
systems, putting considerable workload on an already ‘stressed
Do you often suffer from anxiety or panic attacks?
If so, you may have elevated levels of lactate (a soluble form
of lactic acid) which can cause anxiety. Food allergies
may hinder lactate removal, so you may want to avoid wheat
and/or dairy for a month to see if that makes a difference, and
try to reduce your levels of alcohol, caffeine and sugar intake.
How Can You Reduce the Symptoms of Food Intolerance?
1) Firstly, you should visit your
ensure that there are no underlying causes for your symptoms.
Once you’ve been given the all clear. It would then be
advisable to have a food intolerance home kit tests which can be purchased online
or often through your local chemist/pharmacist.
Subsequently, accurate dietary corrections can be made to
eliminate potential allergens.
2) Bowel movements should be normalised to 2-3 per day if
suffer with constipation, you should consider taking either ‘Bowel
Build’ (for regular but
sluggish movements) or ‘LOCLO’
(for irregular, cramping/explosive bowel movements). If you
don’t suffer with constipation, ‘Psyllium
Hulls’ provides additional
bulk to the diet and has a mucilaginous quality to aid transit.
If you suffer from diarrhoea, then ‘Activated
Charcoal’ is also recommended to help
absorb toxins and expel intestinal gas.
3) Intestinal parasites (anything that lives off another
organism), including worms, an overgrowth of yeast (candida) and
bacteria must be treated to ensure that it’s actually you that
benefits from the food you’re eating, not your parasites! These
parasites produce toxins that irritate the bowel wall and damage
the intestinal mucous membranes. Our parasite cleanse programme
consists of taking:
High Potency Garlic
4) Try to avoid chemicals in your food as these also can damage
the mucous membranes of the intestines. Eat organic, natural
wholesome foods that are high in fibre, such as fruit and
vegetables, ginger, liquorice, eat fresh fish 3 times a week and
always drink plenty of water. Eat plenty of insulin-containing
foods such as onions, garlic, asparagus and Jerusalem artichoke
which is necessary for bowel wall integrity. Avoid all
processed food, processed sugars, and greatly reduce your red
meat, dairy, egg, alcohol and caffeine consumption. Also, if
applicable, greatly reduce your stress levels - as stress
enormously affects the proper functioning of your bowels!
5) Recommended food supplements to take daily should include:
– powerful antioxidant that will help repair and heal
damaged body tissue and cells.
Vitamin B Complex
– helps balance the nervous system if the body is overly
do regularly feel stressed, there is a great
supplement called ‘Nutri
Calm’ which quickly helps calm the body.
– is necessary for the synthesis of enzymes, hormones and
proteins and many functions involving the immune system and
tissue development. Without vitamin C the body cannot make
collagen, the substance that holds the body’s cells
– helps with DNA repair of intestinal villi and is essential
for human health.
– is extremely important to overall health; large amounts
are found in the bone and muscle and it is an essential
trace element required for sugar metabolism.
Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids
- helps normalise anti-inflammatory pathways.
– this supplement is integral to bowel wall integrity.
are all excellent sources of mucilaginous fibre that produce
butyric acid, essential for healthy intestinal and
– these are useful if you’re looking for support in
normalising digestion, as they will ensure that the food
you’re eating is broken down sufficiently, making it much
easier on a stressed-out digestive system! Take these for a
period of 1-2 months maximum.
6) Take probiotics for at least a month, to re-establish the
protective populations of healthy bowel flora.
Eleven’ provides billions of
beneficial intestinal micro-organisms along with fructo-oligosaccharides
to support their growth.
7) Avoid unnecessary drugs and laxatives, and exposure to
chemicals, as these also damage the intestinal wall membranes.
to the Royal Society of Medicine, ‘over 90% of all chronic
diseases are due to an infection of the gastrointestinal tract’.
Food allergies and food intolerances will often be the body's
warning sign that its cells or its systems are impaired.
These warnings should be heeded and acted upon straight away.
Good intestinal health is central to preventing illness and
disease in the body. Whenever your colon is clean and healthy,
you experience a greater feeling of well-being and improved
The nutritional supplement product links stated in this article can only be purchased from this website in UK and in Europe; however all other health product links stated on this page are available worldwide from Natural Body Healing.
The above information should not be treated as a substitute for the
medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care