All doctors love when their patients get better, and as naturopathic doctors, we often get the joy of seeing people with long-standing symptoms heal.
A 55-year old man recently came into the clinic with symptoms of severe phlegm in his throat every time he ate. His stomach was always uncomfortable, he was sensitive to his environment, and he couldn’t swallow properly. Years of appointments, tests and discomfort had finally led him to our office.
A simple lab test helped us diagnose a severe food intolerance to dairy, eggs and gluten. After five weeks of maintaining a diet free of those foods, all his symptoms resolved.
These were symptoms he had lived with for years. They were also symptoms that, according to conventional medicine, had nothing to do with food. But as we’re all discovering, food is medicine, and sometimes our chronic, longstanding health complaints are as simple as changing what we put in our mouths.
There’s really a simple 3 step process at work when it comes to a suspected food intolerance:
- Get a food intolerance test. The cost is reasonable, and while you can easily experiment on your own with adding and removing foods from your diet, the test narrows the field so you’re not randomly eliminating foods for months and months.
- Do an elimination diet. Remove any suspected foods for 4 weeks. Dairy, wheat, gluten, sugar, eggs, yeast are the most common culprits.
- Reintroduce the foods slowly. If you’ve eliminated multiple groups, you’ll need to reintroduce them one at a time. Watch your symptoms closely.
Once the body balances, some people are able to eventually tolerate foods they once couldn’t. Others may have to avoid them permanently. The end result in both cases is the same, though: a much happier stomach! 🙂