The Allergy & Nutrition Centre

Tired all the Time?

The most typical person who comes to see is in search of treatment is a woman in her thirties. Usually, she will have had a childhood history of frequent sore throats and respiratory infections which will have been treated with antibiotics. Often she will have had her tonsils out. There will have been no improvement and the sore throats will have continued.

As a teenager she will often have been pretty fit, not to say extremely healthy and robust, but the first symptoms will often show up in her twenties and they will usually be frequent vaginal infections, thrush and cystitis. They will be accompanied by the sort of minor symptoms that people don't talk about: abdominal distress, wind, flatulence, bloating and a general feeling of being run down and tired.

Left untreated, these symptoms will get worse and worse. The fatigue becomes considerable; there is alternating constipation and diarrhoea, the sufferer begins to experience aches and pains in the joints and a considerable number of headaches, which can be quite severe. By this stage, she is usually in her thirties and will have visited her doctor many times. If her doctor can't help, the patient will get more annoyed and frustrated and the mental fatigue and confusion will make her irritable with family and friends. Headaches, migraine, sore muscles and irritable bowel syndrome are all part of the package.

What is really going on? The answer would seem to be this: the frequent antibiotics takes as a child start to depress the immune system and this will have been further affected in her twenties by use of the contraceptive pill and by further antibiotics given for cystitis and vaginitis. But underlying all of this, and playing a very significant part, is poor nutrition and a diet which often relies heavily on just a small number of staple foods. The chief of these is wheat and the second most common is milk and other dairy products.

Often, without realising it, the patient becomes subconsciously addicted to wheat in all the many forms in which it occurs in our daily diet - bread, sandwiches, rolls, cakes, biscuits, scones, gravies, sauces, stuffing and the many different canned or packaged foods bought in supermarkets. Similarly, milk may be used throughout the day in the form of cream, butter, and most margarine, added to tea or coffee or to breakfast cereals, eaten in the form of yoghurt or as an ingredient of those very same soups and sauces that contain wheat flour.

The presence of an addiction to these foods (or, as some people call it, an 'allergy' or 'intolerance' or 'sensitivity') combined with the presence of Candida, can be responsible for all of the symptoms the patient is experiencing.

The trouble is that very, very few doctors know how to detect hidden allergies and it takes an expert to help the patient find out what is the trouble. So it not surprising that many doctors will say there is nothing organically wrong and that, therefore, it must be in the patient's mind. Unfortunately, the symptoms are very real and extremely upsetting, sometimes incapacitating, to the patient. Often he or she will have to stop working. Sometimes marital relations and social or sexual relationships will have floundered. Often the patient loses confidence and begins to wonder what on earth is going to happen, when will it all end. This syndrome is extremely common. Unfortunately, it will often take years for a person suffering from it (and it can affect men too) to find their way to a practitioner experienced in treating it.

The Allergy and Nutrition Centre
London, Sussex and Oxford

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