All posts by Kate Knowler

Feeling bloated? Was it something you ate or drank?

If you’re prone to waking up bloated and uncomfortable the morning after the night before, especially at this time of year, then you’re not alone. The festive season is a time when many of us will indulge in rich foods, parties, alcohol, and or course a few mince pies along the way… If you’ve got a food intolerance, this may lead to bloating, discomfort, gas, cramps, diarrhoea, constipation, fatigue, headaches, and generally not feeling as festive or merry as you might like! Continue reading Feeling bloated? Was it something you ate or drank?

Can you get a better bit of butter?

I’m a big fan of butter. It’s delicious. In my opinion, a small amount* of butter for those who can tolerate it in their diet is far healthier than a pale, processed, tasteless margarine spread with a myriad of health claims. Real butter is made from milk but, as I recently discovered the hard way, not all butters are created equal. Continue reading Can you get a better bit of butter?

6 Nasty Cerebral Signs You Have a Food Intolerance (1)

6 Nasty Cerebral Signs You Have a Food Intolerance

Food intolerance is a lot more common than people think, and frequently leads to unpleasant symptoms that aren’t easily associated with what you’re eating. The most common signs you have a food intolerance occur in the digestive system, but there are several that can develop cerebrally.

For once, it really is all in your head… Continue reading 6 Nasty Cerebral Signs You Have a Food Intolerance

8 Ways Food Intolerance Can Easily Trigger Autoimmune Disease (2)

8 Ways Food Intolerance Can Easily Trigger Autoimmune Disease

Autoimmune diseases have been rapidly rising in recent years, with almost 100 recognised autoimmune diseases, as well as another 40 disease processes which have a component that is autoimmune related. Worse still, if you have one autoimmune disease you’re at higher risk of developing another.

From Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (a type of underactive thyroid disease) to coeliac disease, there are many autoimmune diseases that can be caused by many triggers. One such trigger may be food intolerance and poor gut health. Here are eight ways food intolerance may trigger autoimmune disease… Continue reading 8 Ways Food Intolerance Can Easily Trigger Autoimmune Disease

6 Signs Of Food Intolerance To Watch Out For (2)

6 Signs of Food Intolerance to Watch Out For

Food intolerance can cause a slew of unpleasant signs and symptoms. The most obvious ones occur in the digestive system. These are more easily identified (and more easily associated with the food you are eating) than some of the other signs, which at first blush don’t appear to be related to diet.

Although there are multiple causes for these digestive symptoms, if you have any of these regularly, or a combination of several, it’s worth checking to see if food intolerance is the cause… Continue reading 6 Signs of Food Intolerance to Watch Out For

The new years resolution to improve your fitness that you’re probably already doing!

OK, hands up… who ate one mince pie too many, or drank too much prosecco over Christmas? I know I did!

In past years the 1st January would have seen me resolving to lose those post-Christmas pounds and improve my fitness by getting back into some kind of exercise. This year though, I have far too any excuses… Continue reading The new years resolution to improve your fitness that you’re probably already doing!

How to go gluten-free without going broke!

I was working with a client recently, and her face dropped when her test results showed she would need to go gluten-free.

“But it’s so expensive to go gluten-free!” she cried.

And indeed, it can work out expensive.

Visit any supermarket and you’ll find a section dedicated to gluten-free breads, pastas, cereals, biscuits, and cakes. Take a look at their price tags and you’ll likely need to take a lie down to recover from shock! Gluten-free bread is rarely less than £2 for a tiny loaf of miniature slices, while a 500g bag of gluten-free pasta also hovers around the £2 mark, and it’s hard to know which brands will turn to mush when you cook them. And don’t get me started on the lack of nutrients in most gluten-free products… it seems to be a case of remove the gluten, and replace it with a bunch of sugar and/or incredibly refined carbohydrates, add a handful of weird chemicals for flavour and texture, then stick on a huge price tag.

But is it really necessary to buy all your products from the gluten-free section of the supermarket?

I don’t think it is, and here are four of my favourite inexpensive purchases for going gluten-free without going broke:

1. Courgettes. Not the coolest of veggies, but grab a julienne peeler or a spiralizer and you can make your own nutrient dense noodles that will soak up a good bolognese sauce and add flavour to your meal. You can also use those gadgets to make noodles out of butternut squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes.

2. Rice. For many people avoiding gluten, this is can be a staple go-to as it is naturally gluten-free and generally inexpensive. Some clients with a gluten intolerance will cross-react with rice, but if you’re ok with rice then always go for brown rice for extra nutrient density.

3. Lettuce. Again, not a particularly cool veggie, but makes a great alternative to bread or tortilla wraps. Stuff a large crisp lettuce leaf with whatever you fancy (burrito style) or layer with ham and roll together (like a savoury swiss-roll!)

4. Oats. Gluten free oats and gluten-free oat cakes are widely available, and make a great breakfast alternative to the high sugar gluten-free breakfast cereals and gluten-free biscuits found in the gluten-free section of the supermarket. Sadly, gluten-free oats are not suitable for all, so always check your test results before tucking in!

If you’re not sure whether you should be avoiding gluten, you can book an appointment with us to find out your food intolerances in just 60 minutes!

Kate

 

8 Symptoms You Should Never Ignore

All nutritional therapists are obliged to refer a client to their GP to investigate further, if any “red flags” are mentioned during a clinic appointment. This blog covers 8 of those “red flag” symptoms.

In clinic, we often see clients with symptoms from this list, who don’t want to waste their GPs time or worry that their GP won’t take them seriously. We’ve all heard that GPs are busy people, working long hours and seeing lots of patients everyday and the last thing anyone wants to do is to waste their time, talking about their health concerns. But if you have a symptom in this list, or any other symptom that has come on suddenly or is causing you concern, then you must make that appointment.

1. Pain
Any pain which is persistent and/or severe, that occurs anywhere in the body, should never be ignored. The most concerning pains are those in the head (including eyes and temples), abdomen, and central chest. Your GP will be able to refer you to the appropriate specialist to explore the underlying cause of your pain.

2. Blood
Whether it’s red, brown or black, thick, thin or lumpy, just a few spots or several cupfuls, any and all unexpected blood loss needs to be checked out as soon as possible.
There may be red blood in your vomit, urine or bowel movements, or you might have seen brown or black “coffee grounds” in your vomit (a sign of coagulated blood). And if your bowel movements have become black and tarry (and you’re definitely not taking an iron supplement), then you should see your GP straightaway.

3. Sudden Changes in bowel habit
A sudden change in bowel habit, whether it be the frequency, type, colour etc. should be reported to your GP. They may request a sample to send away for analysis or to check for parasitic infection.

4. Change in a skin lesion
A change in size, shape, colour, itching, bleeding or pain in a skin lesion such as a mole should always be shown to your GP, who will refer you to a dermatologist (skin specialist) if necessary.

5. Unexplained Weight Loss
We’d all like to lose weight easily, without even trying, but if you’re losing more than 1lb (0.5kg) per week without any major dietary changes, then your GP needs to know. Routine blood tests will be used initially to rule out issues such as overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) and further investigations will take place if these initial tests are negative.

6. Recurring Cystitis
Women are much more likely to get cystitis than men, because their urethra is shorter, making it easier for bacteria to enter the bladder. More than half of all women will experience cystitis at least once in their lifetime, but women who experience cystitis that recurs more than 3 times need to have their case examined thoroughly by a urologist (urinary tract specialist) to see if there is an underlying kidney or bladder issue.

7. Non-menstrual vaginal bleeding
Whether you’re between periods, postmenopausal, pregnant, or using hormonal contraception, any vaginal bleeding not associated with menstruation should be reported to your GP, who may then consider ultrasound scans and blood tests for the underlying cause.

8. Breathlessness
We all get breathless from time to time, but if you’re finding walking up a short flight of stairs has you gasping for air, or you struggle to catch your breath on a short walk down the road, then you should ask your GP for some routine blood tests to rule out anaemia (serum ferritin, serum B12 and serum folate should all be checked). If those come back negative, your GP will need to explore other causes for the breathlessness.

Health and happiness to you all!

Kate x