Food and Health

Why food?

Food is a requirement that connects us all. Everyone needs food as a source of energy to fuel for the body and as a source of building blocks for maintenance and repair. Food also provides us with medicine in the form of infection-fighting phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Food connects people for social, cultural and business purposes. However, while it can be a source of vitality and pleasure, it can also become a source of suffering.

A good homeopath will seek out obstacles to cure in each case before proceeding with treatment. Ancient healing systems such as Chinese traditional medicine and Ayurveda recognise the importance of dietary imbalances in disease. Even conventional western medicine catalogues the influence of nutrition on health and disease, but medical doctors often sideline this aspect of patient management in favor of achieving quick symptomatic relief.   

Food may not always be the main cause of the problem, but rather a contributing factor or an obstacle to complete cure. People don’t often suspect food as a part of the problem, since the symptoms may not be digestive in nature and may not occur directly after having eaten a meal.

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Food hypersensitivities

We more frequently see patients suffering the consequences of their dietary intakes for some time after the have consumed a particular food; sometimes starting up to 3 days after having consumed a particular type of food and continuing for as long as 4 weeks in some cases. This makes pinpointing the food culprit almost impossible, given the fact the other foods have been consumed during the period before the symptoms develop.

This is particularly the case when one has food hypersensitivities, which can result in one or more of a myriad of symptoms such as headaches and migraines, asthma, eczema, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s Disease and even Juvenile Diabetes. Some people refer to food hypersensitivities as food intolerances, but the correct term is food hypersensitivities. To learn more about food hypersensitivities, how to test for them and how they differ from food allergies please click here.

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Other ways in which diet can cause disease

Some food reactions are neither IgE nor IgG mediated. Some reactions are due to local release of histamine without IgG or IgE as a trigger, histamine related enzyme deficiencies, digestive enzyme deficiencies, due to imbalances in the gut ecology, due to gut inflammation or due to other diseases such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Irritable Bowel Disease, hernias, ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Sometimes the symptoms related to diet are due to deficiencies and / or excesses. In these cases the person usually doesn’t realize that dietary imbalances are the cause of the symptoms such as in cases of fatigue, recurrent infections, recurrent muscle cramps, insomnia, depression, heart palpations, hair loss, diabetes, cancer etc.

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Investigating the links between food and symptoms

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To download a full document on food and health, including information from all links in this section Right click here

Also see:

Food and skin, digestive, respiratory and mental / emotional diseases
Food and insomnia, headaches, fatigue, recurrent infections
Food and ADD / ADHD
Food and allergies
Nutrigenomics: Learn how your diet and lifestyle interacts with your genes

To make an appointment with either Dr Cornelia Botha or Dr Tanith Davidson please contact their receptionist by visiting the contact page.