When I answered a telephone call from Mrs D I was surprised to hear that her daughter aged 6 had been suffering on and off with a tummy-bug for several weeks. Having been diagnosed with a virus with only a few days without loose stools o tummy ache the little girl was not improving. Mrs D was worried and asked if I could carry out a “Food Intolerance” test on her daughter. Mrs D arrived with M (her daughter) and after explaining the protocol and demonstrating on “Mum’s” finger how the test worked, we began testing M.
Although every patient is truly individual, there seems to be a pattern involving certain foods linking to symptom groups. For example, experts have found that in some cases there is a underlying link between Asthma ( the respiratory system ) and Eczema ( the skin ) and animal based dairy products. Problems with the digestive system are often complicated. As a holistic practitioner, I believe there is a symbiotic relationship between the emotional and the physical, in other words if there is emotional pain , there will be physical pain and visa versa. How often have we experienced a pain in the gut when we have heard some distressing news, or had to deal with a situation we would really rather not have to deal with. There is also the gut/brain theory to consider, does the symptom begin in the brain………….or the gut ?
If we begin at where the patient believes the symptom started, a causal chain often becomes apparent. It is not normally one food group that is wholly responsible for causing symptoms. It can be a combination of foods or a culmination of foods. It can be a mixture of issues including the patients lifestyle. How they regard food, do they live to eat to eat to live ? How do they eat, with the family around a table or alone with a tray on their lap, or on the hoof, grabbing what they can when they can. A poor diet, with a high concentration of processed foods containing chemical food colourings and preservatives. Overuse of stimulants such as tea, coffee, sugar fizzy drinks ( cola ) and chocolate in the diet is almost certainly going to create dysfunction of the gut.
Back to six year old M, I talked with M throughout the test gaining information about when she first felt unwell. What was she doing and what came first, tummy ache, feeling sick or diarrhoea. Had the pattern changed. Her favourite foods and where she liked to sit when she ate her tea. When was her tummy aches worse, when did she feel sick. What was her favourite breakfast. Did she sit with friends at school for lunch, what was her favourite subject at school……….all this information helped build a picture. I completed the test and explained to Mrs D and M what I had found. I showed M a list of highlighted food to avoid for a few weeks to see if her tummy improved. I explained that very often a tummy “bug” will upset the normal functioning of the tummy and then certain things you eat and drink will irritate the whole of the digestive system. Interestingly, M’s best friend that she used to sit with at lunch time at school had left the school and moved away. Mrs D was unaware of the impact this information might have played in her daughters tummy ache.
A few weeks later Mrs D rang with the news that M had improved almost immediately she eliminated the highlighted foods from her daughter diet. The teacher at her school had been alerted to the possible impact of the loss of her fiend and had made changes in the lunchtime seating arrangements.
To eliminate any foods from a childs diet must be treated with caution. Substitute foods must be given to prevent nutritional deficiencies. ©AW/2017