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Army April 28, 2011
What triggers food
intolerances and aller
how can they be managed?
Natalie Alexander reports.
Some simple steps can help
you manage food-related health
If you think you may have a
condition, ensure you obtain
a correct diagnosis by a
If diagnosed, follow expert
advice and ensure a proper
diet is developed to include
an adequate intake of
vitamins and minerals.
Don't be afraid to ask. When
you are eating out, make
sure you know what is in
everything you eat.
Inform your friends and
family so they can help you
avoid danger foods.
Maintain a balanced lifestyle
and look after other aspects
of your health -- work,
fitness, nutrition, hydration
condition should seek a professional
"If you have not been properly
diagnosed then you may be avoiding
the wrong foods."
Sgt Ben Angliss, a PTI at the ADF
Physical Training School, said people
should be wary of self-diagnosis.
"Without the required knowledge
on nutrition, there is a strong chance
you will be doing guesswork," Sgt
He advised anyone suspecting they
may have a food-related condition to
consult with a registered, qualified
expert such as an allergist.
"An allergist is a physician
who specialises in diagnosing and
treating allergies, and they will be able
to determine if you have an allergy
or intolerance to certain foods," Sgt
He also added that if individuals
were aware of their dietary needs,
they would have no reason to be
concerned about their physical health
"If you avoid foods that cause
symptoms, you should be able to
participate in any physical fitness pro-
gram without any negative effects,"
BREAD and milk are a familiar
part of our daily diet, yet these
common foods can also be a
cause of danger for those with
Dietary conditions such as lactose
intolerance and nut and wheat aller-
gies are now commonly recognised,
but what triggers them and how can
they be managed?
Clare Evangelista, a Darwin-
based practising dietician who con-
sults regularly with Defence
personnel, said with more
people reporting food-relat-
ed conditions, it was vital to
distinguish between allergies and
Ms Evangelista said
while food allergies involved
an immune system reac-
tion to a protein component in a
food, intolerances were caused by
chemical reactions in the body to
"It is important to ensure a person
has been properly diagnosed because,
generally, allergic reactions can be
life-threatening, but food intolerance
reactions are more quality-of-life
threatening," she said.
Ms Evangelista said both condi-
tions could have a significant impact
on a person's health.
"Reactions such as diarrhoea, hay
fever or migraines can make it almost
impossible to leave the house, let
alone work or exercise," she said.
"People who feel they may have a
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