Thanks to Jennifer for this story which appeared in
The Independent, London's premiere daily newspaper:
Pasta & Milk Are Root Cause Of Ill Health For Millions
By Jonathan Owen (Published: 21 January 2007)
Almost half the population is suffering from common
complaints such as exhaustion, colds and migraines
because of food intolerance, according to a new
report published tomorrow.
"Around 20 million people are suffering from symptoms
that impact on their daily lives and yet they are not
able to get help from the NHS," said Muriel Simmons,
Allergy UK's chief executive.
"We want to see more dietary advice being available and
more training given to GPs so that they can recognise
that food could be the trigger for some of the symptoms
that they are seeing on a daily basis."
While 2 per cent of Britons suffer from a life-threatening
food allergy, up to 45 per cent have some form of food
intolerance; symptoms include rashes, headaches and stomach
pains. Food can also worsen existing conditions such as
eczema, irritable bowel syndrome and asthma. The most common
food intolerances are to milk and lactose (the sugar in milk),
gluten and wheat.
Allergy UK claims that year-long waiting lists to see a
dietician are driving sufferers into the hands of
alternative practitioners who may have no clinical
background or qualifications.
"People can get weird and wacky diets which are very
damaging to their health. They start off with one
problem and this is compounded by bad dietary advice,"
said Ms Simmons. She attacks the Government for having done "absolutely nothing".
The charity's "Stolen Lives" report is based on a survey
of several thousand people with food problems and reveals
that more than a third suffer from more than one symptom -
the most common being bloating, diarrhea and vomiting.
One in 10 falls victim to lethargy and anxiety. More than
half become so sick that they have to take time off work
and two-thirds have problems sleeping. Although 76 per
cent regularly go to their GP for help, most said their
doctor did not understand their problems.
But a survey of 250 GPs by North Union Healthcare last
year showed that while 63 per cent reported an increase in
patients reporting a food intolerance, 73 per cent claimed
such reports were all in the mind. Food-intolerant
celebrities, including Rachel Weisz (wheat) and Victoria
Beckham (dairy), were blamed for the surge in self-diagnosis.
The British Dietetic Association' s Dr Carina Venter, however,
said: "People who consider they suffer from food allergies or
intolerances should have access to specialised allergy centres,
where their diagnosis could be confirmed or ruled out."
York University researchers report in next month's Nutrition
and Food Science Journal, that more than 60 per cent of
patients in their study endured years of repeat appointments,
suffering and misdiagnosis before food intolerance testing
Meanwhile food intolerance has become big business. The value
of the "free-from" market for foods devoid of problem
ingredients has more than doubled in five years to 138m,
says market analysts Mintel.
Headlines such as this one help to shatter America's
phony Got Milk myth.