Sue's Blog

Cyberchondria and Dr Google

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All too often people with food intolerance are dismissed by medical professionals and by their friends, who don’t really believe that the side-effects of foods can be as bad as those of any medicine or drug. A certificate from a dietitian can help a lot with credibility.

As we all drown in a sea of misinformation, it is very important to know for certain whether foods do actually affect you, which foods are issues and how specific foods affect you.

That is why we strongly recommend that people use the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Allergy Unit’s diagnostic elimination and challenge protocol, thoroughly and systematically.

Testing for food intolerances

1. RPAH diagnostic elimination diet – use for a short time (minimum 2 weeks)  until symptoms improve

2. Challenges – to find out exactly which food chemicals are causing which symptoms

3. Liberalisation - add back in food chemicals that didn’t cause symptoms.  Discover your tolerance by gradually adding back in foods or food chemical groups that cause problems one at a time to find out how much you can tolerate

From: The Food Intolerance Handbook Volumes  1 and 2

Preferably use with an experienced and supportive (both!) dietitian from our list based on feedback from some of our 21,000 members.

Do it once and do it properly

Then you will know for sure what affects you. Then you can eat failsafe or explore other avenues with confidence.

There is now a recognised disorder called Illness Anxiety Disorder (IAD), which is excessive health anxiety often without a basis in fact. Such people may even die earlier, possibly due to the stress of worrying themselves. Dr Google does not help here. If it is food, find out.

Read more: ‘This should not be ridiculed’: the link between hypochondria and early death