For a young man of 22, Danny had a surprising number of health problems. Afraid of losing his job as a trainee hotel manager, he pretended not to be as unwell as he really was. He only consulted the doctor when the red, itchy bumps that covered his skin (nettle-rash) became unbearable. It was with great reluctance that he admitted his other symptoms – regular bouts of indigestion and diarrhoea, aches in his joints, headaches and extreme fatigue. There was also some eczema and hay-fever, both of which he had suffered from as a child. Skin-prick tests showed that he was sensitive to grass pollen and cat fur, but not to any foods. Nevertheless, the doctor decided to try Danny on an elimination diet, excluding most of the foods that he usually ate. Within six days he returned to the surgery looking very pleased. He reported that his nettle-rash was gone, along with his

headaches, joint pains and digestive problems. He felt far more fit and energetic as well. Under the doctor’s supervision, he then reintroduced foods one at a time. Wheat, milk, eggs, tomatoes and oranges caused the problems. These brought on urticaria within a few hours, with tiredness, headache and aching joints later. Danny can avoid these foods most of the time and has remained well. His eczema also cleared up after a while, and his hay-fever is less troublesome than before. This sort of case is interesting because the diet apparently helps with symptoms that are thought to be due to allergic reactions, such as urticaria and eczema, as well as clearing up symptoms like headache, diarrhoea and joint pain. There are many cases of this type on record, making it difficult to draw a sharp dividing line between food allergy and food intolerance.


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Posted on Monday, April 20th, 2009 at 9:28 am and is filed under Allergies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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