Food Intolerance - Smartblood Q&A

Winter aches and pains. Could there be more to it?

When the cold weather sets in, many of us experience flare ups of discomfort in our joints. Old injuries can rear their heads as the temperature drops, causing us to reach for the anti-inflammatories. But could something else be behind those aches and pains?

If you experience joint pain but are struggling to put your finger on the cause, it could be worth considering whether something in your diet could be the trigger.

What is joint pain?

It’s estimated that around 9 million people in the UK suffer from arthritis and other conditions related to joint pain. 

Pain in the joints can feel like a persistent, dull ache. It can flare up in a particular area, such as the ankles or wrists, or it can be felt throughout the body, in the hips, shoulders, knees and back.

You might feel stiff when you start to move after being still for a while, and you may notice a reduction in your flexibility. The pain might not be constant, instead coming and going with varying degrees of severity.

What causes pain in the joints?

For some, the swelling and stiffness of joint pain is caused by a specific injury, such as a fracture, which causes damage to the joint. This results in a type of osteoarthritis called post-traumatic arthritis.

For others, joint pain can be caused by inflammation in the body, which, in some cases, can be triggered by a food intolerance.

Joint pain can also be felt as the result of repeated stresses such as lifting, typing, or performing other types of repetitive activity.

Why is joint pain worse in winter?

Studies on the impact of weather on joint pain have revealed mixed results, but various theories exist as to why some of us feel more discomfort when the temperate dips.

One suggestion is that barometric pressure – a measurement of the weight of the air – drops when cold weather moves in. This fall in pressure can lead to swelling of the tendons, joints and scar tissues which can lead to pain. It’s also thought that the fluid in the joints, known as synovial fluid, thickens at lower temperatures, making the joints feel stiffer.

When the weather is cold, some of your blood is diverted from your limbs to vital organs, like the heart and lungs, to keep them warm. But this takes warmth away from your joints which can cause aches and pains.

Tips for taking care of winter joint pain

  • Make sure you wrap up warm with plenty of layers when you go outside.
  • Use moist heat to boost circulation and loosen muscles. A warm bath can help soothe the pain
  • Don't stop moving. Although the idea of exercise can be off-putting in the colder months, it is extremely important for flexibility and strength, helping reduce the stress on the joint. Try swimming in a heated pool or yoga for warmer options!
  • Get enough sleep to give your body the best chance to rest and repair.
  • Make sure you’re getting a balanced and nutritious diet and maintaining a healthy weight to avoid putting extra pressure on your joints.
  • Avoid foods in your diet which may cause inflammation.

How can diet play a part in the pain?

It’s estimated that around 45% of UK adults have a food intolerance. While for some, the symptoms are quite mild and manageable, for others, the impact their trigger foods have on their health can be debilitating.

Food intolerances can occur when your body’s immune system mistakes a food protein as a threat, releasing antibodies to fight it. This reaction can result in a range of inflammatory symptoms, such as IBS and bloating, headaches, brain fog, skin complaints like eczema or acne, or joint pain.

Although there are foods, such as dairy and gluten, which are often thought to be the cause of food intolerances, there really are no hard and fast rules.

While experts generally agree that it’s a good idea to reduce your intake of sugar, alcohol, and processed foods to help manage inflammation that causes joint pain, it’s important to look at more tailored advice if you want to make informed choices about your diet.

An ingredient which causes problems for one person, may be completely fine for another. This is why it’s important not to base dietary decisions on what may have worked for someone else. You may end up avoiding foods which do not cause you problems and miss out on vital nutrients as a result.

Take control of your diet

Getting to the bottom of a food intolerance can be frustrating. A common recommendation is the elimination diets, where you remove one food at a time for a few weeks to see how you feel. But this process can take a long time. And, although many of us react to several ingredients, the elimination diet is often abandoned when the first trigger food is found, leaving an incomplete picture of what’s causing the problem.

Get answers faster

When it comes to food intolerance testing, it’s important to do your research and choose a reputable laboratory testing company. At Smartblood, we offer a comprehensive test to help you take control of your diet quickly and discover your own trigger foods. 

Our home-to-laboratory service gives you fast, accurate results that pinpoint exactly which foods you are reacting to. Tests are completed in our accredited laboratory by trained experts, with clear, easy to understand results sent to you via email within three days. 

Our tests are supported by a 30-minute telephone consultation with our BANT registered Nutritional Therapist to help you understand your results and make safe, sustainable changes to your diet.

Smartblood Story - Julia's Intolerance to Dairy

Julia is a market trader, and also studying speech and language therapy. Julia has suffered with regular migraines for over 22 years, and has tried everything to get rid of them, even ice baths!

It wasn't until Julia had a Smartblood food intolerance test recommended to her by one of her friends that she found out that she had raised IgG antibody levels to many dairy products. Replacing these foods with others on the advice of a Smartblood nutritional therapist has made a big difference in Julia's life - her migraines have vanished, and she would recommend a Smartblood test to anybody.

It’s estimated that those with trigger foods actually react to between 4 and 6 ingredients and the results can be surprising. Anything from prawns to potatoes can present a problem.

If you think dairy is causing you discomfort, cut out the guesswork with a Smartblood test. With results available in as little as 3 days, you don’t have to wait long to take control of your diet and see the benefits.

The 1st-step indicator test is popular with those that have health problems that may be explained by a food intolerance but want to just check this before proceeding to a full test, which can be done on the same sample with no extra effort.

The full Smartblood test is a complete program that includes a 30 minute consultation with one of our BANT registered Nutritional Therapists and is a great way to discover all of your food sensitivities and take control over your own personal trigger foods.

Image

1st Step Test

  • A Simple Yes/No
  • Result in 3 Days
  • Our most popular pathway
  • Can Upgrade if Positive
£19.75Free p&p
Image

Smartblood Test

  • Reactions to 134 Foods
  • Results in 3 Days
  • £110 Refund if No Reactions
  • Nutritionist Consultation
£129.75Free p&p

If you think that a food intolerance may be responsible for your symptoms then we believe that our easy to complete tests could help you. SImply choose either a 1st-step indicator test for a positive/negative result overall or find out all of your food intolerances out at once with the full Smartblood test.

The 1st-step indicator test is popular with those that have health problems that may be explained by a food intolerance but want to just check this before proceeding to a full test, which can be done on the same sample with no extra effort.

The full Smartblood test is a complete program that includes a 30 minute consultation with one of our BANT registered Nutritional Therapists and is a great way to discover all of your food sensitivities and take control over your own personal trigger foods.

Image

1st Step Test

£19.75
  • A Simple Yes/No
  • Result in 3 Days
  • Our most popular pathway
  • Can Upgrade if Positive
Image

Smartblood Test

£129.75
  • Reactions to 134 Foods
  • Results in 3 Days
  • £110 Refund if No Reactions
  • Nutritionist Consultation

If you think that you may have a food intolerance then we believe that our easy to complete tests could help you. SImply choose either a 1st-step indicator test for a positive/negative result overall or find out all of your food intolerances out at once with the full Smartblood test.

The 1st-step indicator test is popular with those that have health problems that may be explained by a food intolerance but want to just check this before proceeding to a full test, which can be done on the same sample with no extra effort.

The full Smartblood test is a complete programme that includes a 30 minute consultation with one of our BANT registered Nutritional Therapists and is a great way to discover all of your food sensitivities and take control over your own personal trigger foods.

Image

1st Step Test

£19.75
  • A Simple Yes/No
  • Result in 3 Days
  • Our most popular pathway
  • Can Upgrade if Positive
Image

Smartblood Test

£129.75
  • Reactions to 134 Foods
  • Results in 3 Days
  • £110 Refund if No Reactions
  • Nutritionist Consultation