Attached is today's full Englemed News report on Allergy UK's campaign to highlight food intolerance.
The campaign makes some good points. I was lucky, in a way, that when I eventually went to my GP I had very clear symptoms in my mouth and throat. I received no advice on diet from my GP.
I thought with good reason that I had a wheat allergy. Some of the headlines today refer to "pasta problems". In fact my problem was the tomatoes, herbs and olive oil - all that healthy Mediterranean food. It took months to see a consultant and longer still to get the results of IGE tests. We excluded salicylate allergy early on because I thought I took aspirin, probably soluble, when the throat and tongue swelling became an obvious problem. We then gave it another look. This allergy hardly features on anyone's radar except as aspirin allergy. My dietician said she had only previously come across the problem as a cause of eczema. And it seems as if the scientific evidence on salicylate content of foods is limited and not especially consistent. So well done to my consultant who put together my clues which amounted to pasta, pizza, tomato and beer.
Here's that news report:
The specialists don't like the way people always jump to the conclusion that wheat is what's causing the problem. I guess it would be equally disturbing if salicylate allergy became fashionable, especially because it excludes almost all foods that are generally good for you, notably the red fruits and orange vegetables. The very few specialist salicylate sites, such as foodcanmakeyouill, seem to make some sense. It may well be that this is a natural substance to which quite a few people are overexposed. If that was so however, I would have thought the medical benefits of aspirin might have been called into question before now.
- Almost half the British population are badly affected by the food they eat - suffering a range of symptoms, campaigners claimed today.
- Some 45 per cent of people suffer from some kind of food intolerance, according to Allergy UK.
- This compares with just two per cent diagnosed with serious food allergies, such as nut allergy, which can be life-threatening.
- Results of a survey of some 5,200 people reporting food problems are to be published today in a report Stolen Lives.
- The reports shows that sufferers feel their symptoms are treated "dismissively" by health professionals.
- Recent surveys of GPs show that 70 per cent believe most complaints are in the mind, the organisation says. Scepticism is aggravated by celebrities such as Victoria Beckham, who claims to be allergic to dairy products.
- A spokesman for Allergy UK said: "They are left without proper guidance and advice despite the very significant impact on their lives. This in turns drives them to seek alternative and clinically unproven methods of diagnosis and treatment."
- Allergy UK chief executive Muriel Simmons said: "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.
- "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."
- Ms Simmons warned that the lack of advice was driving patients to "weird and wacky" diets and towards poorly qualified alternative practitioners.
- She said: "They start off with one problem and this is compounded by bad dietary advice."