Intolerances and Homeopathy
Food intolerance is an inability to properly digest certain foods. In some cases food passes right through the body before digestion is complete, causing diarrhoea and potential malabsorption of nutrients. In other cases some foods have components which actually attack the lining of the gut and damage it every time that food is eaten (like Celiacs with gluten). Fortunately most food intolerant people recover fully when the offending food is avoided.
Direct problems such as severe abdominal cramps, bloating, flatulence, diarrhoea and haemorrhoids are common. However the indirect problems associated with poor absorption can be much more harmful. When food leaves the body only partially processed many vital nutrients are lost too. People with food intolerance typically catch viruses easily, may have dry skin, hair and nail problems and tire easily.
Some become deficient in iron or calcium and suffer a further series of health issues like anaemia or osteoporosis. Many food intolerant people are underweight due to their inability to get full nutrient value from foods. Of course with diarrhoea there is the constant risk of dehydration especially among children and elderly people. Others can be overweight often from an interference with the thyroid gland causing a disruption to normal metabolism.
Many people wonder why they discover they have food intolerance as adults. Why, they ask, was I able to digest these foods for all those years? The answer is that there was always a reaction to this food going on in your body and an associated stress.
But as you continue to consume it two or three times a day the body adapts and your reactions manifest less, masking the symptoms. However a bout of illness or a stressful period or a course of antibiotics can render your body less able to cope. As the immune system weakens, malabsorption symptoms like iron deficiency may begin to show. These are often the most telling indicators of a long-term food intolerance. Another long-term consequence is that you begin to crave those very foods to which you are allergic.
See also the section on allergies, which are often confused with intolerances.
If you suspect you have a food sensitivity or intolerance, then symptoms to look out for include:
• gastro-intestinal (diarrhoea, bloating etc.) and subsequent malabsorption problems like anaemia and osteoporosis
• respiratory system distress including bronchitis, breathlessness, sinusitis, congestion
• miscarriage; infertility in males and females
• a large number of skin irritations from eczema to dandruff
• a long list of general body ailments including headache, lethargy, migraine, inability to concentrate, sleep disorders / insomnia, mouth ulcers, urinary problems, weight fluctuation and obsessive (addictive) eating.
How can Homeopathy help?
Homeopathy can help by assisting your body to deal with the foods to which you are intolerant, and to aid you in absorbing nutrients which you would otherwise miss out on. Sometimes, it's possible to use the very substance to which you are sensitive as a remedy in its homeopathic, potentised form, and other times another carefully chosen, individualised remedy is chosen to help your body find balance.