Is a Food Intolerance aggravating your IBS?

multi seeded bagelDigestive problems are one of the most common reasons clients come to my Clinic. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) affects 1 in 4 people at some point in their lives and many sufferers cope in silence for years, feeling there is little that can be done to relieve their pain and discomfort.

Even without a diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) it is common to experience symptoms of constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, pain and excess wind and struggle to find the underlying cause.

Food intolerances and IBS

Food intolerances can cause a wide range of symptoms: pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, wind, headaches, fatigue, and skin rashes – these are just some of the problems that can occur.

Food intolerance is different to an allergy. In cases of allergy, there is a strong immediate immune system reaction that can, in extreme cases, be life threatening. Food intolerance symptoms can take hours, even days, to manifest and whilst uncomfortable and life-limiting, are not life-threatening.

What kind of intolerances are there?

Sometimes the immune system can be involved in a food intolerance reaction and other times the problem is caused by an enzyme deficiency or irritation in the body from certain compounds in plants.

For example:

Proteins in certain foods may trigger production of certain immune cells called IgG antibodies. There may be symptoms associated with this reaction.

Lactose intolerance is caused by low levels of lactase enzyme, needed to digest the milk sugar lactose properly. Without sufficient lactose, symptoms of cramps, pain, wind and diarrhoea can occur quite quickly after eating dairy products.

Histamine intolerance: some foods contain high levels of histamine and other foods promote the release of histamine in the body. If you can’t breakdown histamine properly, you may suffer symptoms including rashes, migraines and digestive problems.

Can you test for intolerance?

Certain intolerances can be detected by noting down what you eat and how you feel after eating it. Lactose intolerance for instance occurs pretty rapidly after drinking milk or eating cheese or any other dairy products. Other intolerances, particularly ones involving IgG antibodies, are harder to detect.

When I see clients with ongoing conditions like IBS, I will talk to them about food intolerance testing. My colleague Sally Duffin is a Nutritional Therapist who offers IgG testing at her Clinic in York. Many of our shared clients have made significant progress with their conditions through a combination of Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture, food intolerance testing and Nutritional Therapy.

Together we have successfully helped clients with health issues including IBS, rheumatoid arthritis, fatigue and poor digestion.

How can Acupuncture help?

Acupuncture has been proven to relieve digestive disorders by:

  • Improving the motility of the digestive tract
  • Stimulating the release of natural anti-inflammatory chemicals that relieve gastrointestinal inflammation
  • Balancing nerve signals throughout the digestive system: a ‘hyper sensitive’ nervous response plays a big part in many IBS symptoms
  • Promoting the release of various enzymes and digestive secretions
  • In addition, my acupuncture treatments can soothe and nourish your nervous system and restore feelings of calm and well-being.


Do you feel certain foods may be worsening your symptoms?

Is anxiety about your digestion ruling your life?


Take the first step towards freedom from IBS and digestive complaints – contact me today on 07788 633292 or email at

Have more questions about how Traditional Acupuncture can help you? Simply contact Tiziana Bertinotti on 07788 633292 or

York Traditional Acupuncture – your leading provider of acupuncture in York

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