Food Intolerance

Do you suffer from symptoms such as wind, tiredness, catarrh, migraine, irritable bowel, food cravings, eczema, stomach pains, asthma or arthritis? You might suffer from food intolerance.

The people most likely to get food allergies are people who eat the same old food day in, day out, and also those who are allergic to other things. Be aware that foods that you are intolerant to will not necessarily upset you. You might even feel better after them; they might even be your favourite foods. You could be addicted to them.

Food intolerance is a common cause of illness, often under-diagnosed as no reliable blood or skin test exists for it. In other words it is difficult to diagnose. The best way to detect food intolerance is with an exclusion diet (also called an elimination diet). This requires a bit of effort but can save you decades of ill health and perhaps decades of pill-taking. This can be one of the most important medical tests you ever do.

One thing you need to be aware of is that, if you do have a food intolerance it is common to get a withdrawal reaction, especially around the second and third day on an exclusion diet.

The Exclusion Diet

The Exclusion diet lasts two to three weeks.

Not only do you have to stop any foods under suspicion, but you need to stop cigarettes, alcohol, toothpaste (use Sodium bicarbonate, Sea-salt or just bottled water), stamp-licking and most tablets as these all contain food substances. Read food labels carefully. During the diet, avoid chemical exposure as much as possible such as to perfumes, decorating and sprays because these can sometimes provoke allergic symptoms.(Whatever you put on your skin goes into your body)

One carefully performed diet is much better than several poorly performed diets which only leave you confused. It is often best to start on a Thursday, so the worst part (withdrawal reaction) occurs over a weekend. Don’t do the diet if you have any dinners out, parties or other functions coming up in the next few weeks.

Do try unusual foods, you will not be allergic to these. If you’ve never tried squid or snails, papayas or partridge, this is the time.

Below are details of some exclusion diets:-


STOP ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING (depending on which foods you suspect most strongly): – WHEAT, MILK, EGGS, SUGAR, CORN, CITRUS FRUITS, YEAST, SOYA, TEA AND COFFEE. (Wheat is the most common food to cause problems in adults and milk is the most common in children).

Check labels on all foods while doing diet

WHEATIn Bread, Cereals, Cakes, Biscuits, Pastry, Batter, Macaroni, Spaghetti, Pasta, Stock Cubes, Sausages, Gravy. Also in sauces, packet soups, tinned meats, ice-cream, and sweets, Also in wheat starch, edible starch, cereal filler, cereal binder or cereal protein. It is not in corn-flakes or Rice Crispies.

MILKIn Butter, Cheese, Cakes, Biscuits, Chocolates. Also in sauces, souffles, soups, pies, hamburgers. Anything with whey protein, caseinates or lactalbumen on the label is a milk product. Tomor margarine and Weight-watchers spread do not contain milk.

EGGIn Noodles, Pasta, Biscuits, Cakes, Meringue, Ice-cream, Mayonnaise and sauces. If there is Lecithin, Albumen or E322 on the label it contains milk.

CORNIn a surprising number of foods. Present in Chocolate, Glucose, Coffee, Margarine, Vegetable Oil, Baking powders, Soups, Sauces, Popcorn, some Sweets, some Baked beans, Gravies and Custard. Edible starch, Maize oil, Glucose syrup and Dextrose contain corn. Also present in most tablets, toothpaste, stamps (don’t lick), paper plates, instant coffee and tea.

SUGAR In Syrup, Treacle, Cakes, Biscuits, Chocolate, Honey, Jam, Custard, Ice-cream, Soft drinks, Sauces, Pies, some Breads, many Baked beans, and many Medicines.

YEASTIn all alcohol (less in gin and vodka), Bread, Breadcrumbs, Fish-fingers, Yoghurt, Soured Cream, Pizza, Stock Cubes, Beef extract, Pickled foods, Cheese, Vinegar, Marmite, Dried fruits, Soft drinks and Fruit juices (rarely labelled), Over-ripe or mouldy fruit, Mushrooms, Sodium Monoglutamate (MSG), Many vitamin tablets and hydrolysed vegetable protein.

SOYAUsed as a flavouring in many products. Some bakeries use it in dough for Bread, Rolls, Cakes and Pastries. In many sauces. Also in Salad dressings, Sausages, Luncheon meats, Sweets, Ice-Cream, Lecithin, Soups, Margarine and Butter substitutes and many tablets. Vegetable starches usually contain soya.

For a simple elimination diet, eliminate some or all of the foods you suspect. If you are eliminating all then also eliminate additives and preservatives as well. Stop these foods for seven days and then retest (see below).



Eliminate all the above foods as before including all those above.

You can eat any fresh meat, any fresh fish, any fresh fruit except citrus (orange, grapefruit, lemon and lime), any fresh vegetable except potato, tomato and sweetcorn. (This is a good time to try unusual foods). You can drink bottled or filtered water, non-citrus pure fruit or vegetable (homemade or bottled) juices, or herbal teas (without tea-bags as these contain formaldehyde).

You are not allowed tinned or processed foods such as crisps, sausages, or burgers. You are not allowed sauces, gravy, cereals, sweets, chocolates, cakes, milk, cheese, butter, bread, coffee, tea or margarine or anything on the above lists of the seven major allergens.

Drink and cook with bottled water.

You can fry food if you use olive or sunflower oil



There is no need to be hungry as you can eat as much of the allowed foods as you wish.


If your symptoms feel a lot better at the end of the first week then you know you have a food problem and it is now just a matter of testing to identify which foods they are.

If you have had a withdrawal reaction in the first few days but are still not feeling right at the end of the week then you are likely to have a food intolerance but have either not eliminated all of the foods you are sensitive to – or you are reacting to inhaled allergens as well as food allergens. Go on to the testing stage.

If you are no better and you have had no withdrawal reaction then you probably do not have a food allergy – go back to your normal diet.



Now you have been off the key foods for seven days you can continue on the diet and also start to add in new foods. Usually you can add in two each day, leaving 9 to 10 hours between each new food. The morning food is best tested before breakfast. Start adding a small amount –for instance with milk try a teaspoonful, if nothing happens try a large amount an hour or so later –say half a pint. If you get a reaction – say catarrh after adding milk – then wait until this has died down before testing any more foods and continue to avoid any food you have reacted to. If you have no reaction to the tested food you can add this food to the diet. If you are unsure if you reacted leave this food out and retest after another week. Keep a record of any symptoms you get. For instance with eczema it may be a return of the itching or in arthritis a return of joint pain. In asthma keep a record of your peak flow if possible. An increase in weight after a food is another clue.

If you get a reaction take Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda) about 2 teaspoonfuls in 140mls of warm water to ease the symptoms.

Schedule of adding in foods for Stone-age diet


Day 1MilkEggs

Day 2 Sugar – Silver Spoon is Beet Sugar and Demerara or Jamaican sugar is cane sugar – test separately

Day 3 Tea Coffee

Day 4 Yeast Orange

(initial taste and later 6 brewer’ yeast tablets or 2 teaspoonfuls of baker’s yeast)

Day 5 Wheat


To test wheat take pure wheat flakes, whole wheat macaroni, Shredded Wheat or Puffed wheat for two to three days as reactions to wheat are often delayed. For corn use corn on the cob or loose corn plus two teaspoonfuls of glucose with each meal for two days . For rye use pure rye crispbread, for oats use porridge, for barley use pearl barley (boil 2 to 3 tablespoonfuls in plain water).

Day 7 Soya (use soya milk) Potato

Day 8 Corn

Day 10 Tomato Tap water

You may need to test other foods such as additives (use food colourings), chicken, mushroom, tap water, cheese, vegetable oil, nuts, pepper, spices and others.

Watch for a return of the symptoms or weight gain. (if you lose more than five pounds in the first week it suggests a food intolerance).

If you react particularly to sugar and yeast you may have a GUT FERMENTATION problem and you will need a different treatment.


If you react to white bread but not to brown this could be a reaction to anti-staling chemicals.

If you react to wine but not grapes or yeast then you are likely to be reacting to sulphites (and you are probably deficient in molybdenum).

If you react to tinned carrots but not ordinary carrots you are likely to be reacting to phenol.

If you react to bacon but not to ham you could be reacting to nitrites or nitrates.

If you react to raisins but not grapes you could be reacting to sulphur dioxide.