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The complex world of food intolerance

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I was pleased to read the article in the Observer on Sunday 16th August by Linda Geddes 'Leave it Out: Are Food Intolerances Fact or Fad'  because at least there was an admission that intolerances are not made up nonsense and the distinction between allergy and intolerance was made clear. This distinction is often misunderstood. Allergies are rare indeed with kids more prone than adults. Allergic reactions are instantaneous and are life threatening. Food intolerances are not as serious, but do exist nonetheless and the most common symptoms are bloating and abdominal pain. These are slower to manifest themselves but of course are highly unpleasant for sufferers. Ms Geddes goes on to explain that among the most commonly reported intolerances are those relating to dairy and gluten. Of course we must all bear in mind that the bowels are a very sensitive part of the body and if we are ill the bowel often displays symptoms so it is not clear if this is to do with food intolerance or allergy.

It all reminds me of the time Yuppy Flu got upgraded to ME or Myalgic Encephalopathy or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in the 1980's and was not dismissed as a fantasy. 



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