Don’t suffer in silence with food allergies and intolerances Food allergies and intolerances can be debilitating, causing painful and often embarrassing symptoms such as bloating, wind, diarrhea, constipation, mouth ulcers, headaches, hives and even rashes. Many people with food allergies or intolerances suffer in silence but an Accredited Practising Dietitian can help. NAPHL Health Hub Accredited Practicing Dietitian in Cairns, Alyce Rees (pictured) has a special interest in food allergies and intolerances. She said that a food intolerance can severely impact a person’s quality of life and she urged people to seek help early. “Working with people who have a food intolerance is like being a detective, using my knowledge of the body, diet habits and food components, and matching this to the person’s symptoms,” Ms Rees said. “Many people with food intolerances can believe what they are experiencing – such as pain, bloating and diarrhoea – is normal. However, it is not." Ms Rees is now taking on new clients. To book an appointment call 4722 8750. “When food intolerance begins disrupting your life, causing adverse consequences and limiting your social life this is when most people seek help.” RELATED: Back to school lunchbox ideas Ditch the yo-yo dieting for good and do this instead. Find out more about the NAPHL Health Hub Ms Rees works at the NAPHL Health Hub at 19 Aplin Street, Cairns, which is a centre of university-qualified health professionals dedicated to improving whole health and wellbeing. “When discussing food intolerance with clients at the NAPHL Health Hub they are often shocked that even healthy foods such as certain fruits and vegetables can be causing symptoms,” she said. “You might also be shocked to find out that your symptoms of intolerance can be delayed by hours, days or even weeks after consuming the food." “It is satisfying being able to help someone identify and manage their symptoms so that they can live a full life without the worry of reacting to certain foods.” Ms Rees recommends people do not “go it alone” when investigating whether they have a food intolerance. “Excluding foods from your diet can increase your risk of nutritional deficiencies and excluding the wrong food can cause symptoms or delay the time which you are experiencing food intolerances." “Dietitians are able to identify suspect foods, work methodically to remove and challenge foods and determine your level of tolerance to the food – all while ensuring there is no detrimental impact on your nutrition." “We can then help identify triggers and manage food intolerance to minimise adverse symptoms, increase your eating confidence and ensure your diet is nutritionally nourishing.” Ms Rees said it is important to get to the bottom of a food reaction to ensure it is not an allergy, which can have more severe symptoms and a greater impact on your health and nutrition. “Allergies can occur in all ages and while it’s common for children to outgrow a food allergy, if an adult develops a food allergy it usually doesn’t go away with time." “In Australia, 90 per cent of food allergies are caused by wheat, soy, shellfish, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, sesame, cow’s milk and dairy." “Symptoms can include hives, swelling of the face, lips, eyes, tongue, throat, breathing difficulties, abdominal pain, vomiting, eczema and anaphylaxis." “Food allergy should be diagnosed by reliable testing, such as by a doctor." “Once a diagnosis is reached, a dietitian can help you avoid the allergic food through education, label reading, recipe and tips for eating-out safely so that you can feel confident that your diet is nutritionally balanced and adequate.” To book an appointment call 4722 8750 or CLICK HERE to find out more about our NAPHL Health Hubs in Townsville and Cairns.