“I am also a busy mum of three children and love the challenges that come with juggling work and family life.”
What top tip would you give to somebody who has just been diagnosed with lactose or wheat intolerance or celiac disease?
“Every allergy or intolerance is very different and impacts the diet in different ways,” she says. “I would strongly advise that anyone who is diagnosed should seek advice from a registered dietitian as soon as possible. A dietitian will assess current diet and symptoms and give you tailored advice taking into account your likes, dislikes and lifestyle. They will also ensure that if you are avoiding certain foods or food groups that your diet remains healthy and balanced, with the right amount of vitamins and minerals.”
“As a freelance dietitian, I am able to see people who believe they may have an allergy or intolerance and diagnose this using tools such as food and symptom diaries and elimination diets. If an allergy or intolerance is confirmed, or has already been diagnosed, I would provide specific dietary advice on what to avoid and how to avoid it, whilst ensuring that people can still follow a balanced diet, obtaining all the nutrients they need to be healthy.
- “More improved diagnosis and specialist dietitians and physicians in post . There has been a lot of improvements in diagnosing people with allergies, which makes it look like allergies or intolerances have been on the rise. In fact they may have been there all along, just undiagnosed. In particular, coeliac disease and milk allergies in children have become more common due to this.
- “Food allergies tend to run in families.”
- “The amount of processed food people eat may increase the likelihood of developing food intolerances. We eat a larger amount of processed food now compared to ten years ago.”
- “A lot of people self-diagnose in our current day and age, or seek advice from nutritionists who lack proper qualifications. This can mean that people believe they have an allergy or intolerance without having had it diagnosed by a registered health professional, such as a Dietitian or Physician. The British Dietetic Association provide an informative fact sheet on allergy and intolerance testing.”
- “In terms of allergies in children and infants, recent research suggests that if children are exposed to allergens (such as nuts, gluten or milk) too late, they may be more likely to become allergic. Similarly, introducing allergens before 17 weeks of age may lead to increased allergies.”
Any final advice for our readers?
“I would advise anyone who thinks they may be suffering from an allergy or intolerance to seek advice from a registered dietitian. You may be able to see a dietitian on the NHS, or you may choose to see a Dietitian privately.
“It is important to understand that a food allergy is different to a food intolerance. A food allergy is an immune response, whereas a food intolerance is a chemical reaction. Although symptoms may be similar, people with a food intolerance can usually tolerate a small amount of the offending food.”