Enabling you and your family to heal in mind, body & spirit
Can Fibromyalgia be caused by food allergies - Ottawa Holistic Wellness

Can Fibromyalgia Be Caused By Food Allergies?

The Short Answer Is “Yes, Food Allergies Can Be A Part Of The Picture.”

In fact, allergies, sensitivities and intolerances to foods can trigger a variety of unexpected health conditions including chronic pain and inflammatory conditions such as fibromyalgia.

My Experience

I have been practising as a natural allergist since 2004, and in that time I have found that so many of my clients presenting with fibromyalgia can find relief simply by identifying and eliminating foods to which they are reacting.

Some people find this hard to grasp, especially for those who do not have accompanying digestive issues.So often I hear: ‘What? The food I am eating is causing my pain? But I have no digestive

So often I hear: ‘What? The food I am eating is causing my pain? But I have no digestive issues!”

It is important to remember that foods are ingested and therefore affect us systemically. This means they can cause symptoms in ANY part of our bodies – this includes skin, breathing, hormone balance, mood, energy levels and brain function.

They can trigger inflammation and auto-immune responses in the body and can cause the body to attack its tissues.

If you are diagnosed with fibromyalgia, your doctor will usually recommend medications. However, you may want to consider making some straight forward lifestyle changes such as exercise, sleep strategies, stress reduction and eliminating the foods to which you react. For some, this is enough to be able to reduce or completely alleviate the need to take medication.

Case study

Let’s take a client of mine – we will call her Maggie.

She had been given a diagnosis of fibromyalgia and was complaining of digestive issues, migraines, chronic pain and fatigue. She was living on meds for her pain and inflammation, and it was the only way she could get through the day. When asked if there were alternative approaches, her doctor told her there was no solution, and to take the meds.

During her first visit to me, we determined that she was reacting to specific grains in her diet, in particular, wheat and corn, along with various other allergens including milk products, refined sugar, coffee, night shade vegetables (tomato, bell peppers, white potatoes) and artificial additives and sweeteners, especially aspartame and MSG.

She was very sceptical; however, she was so fed up with having such a poor quality of life that she agreed to try changing her diet. Within a week of removing the identified allergens, she considered her pain to be less than half the level it had been before changing her diet. She had also regained much of her energy.

It took several months, and some careful rethinking of her diet, but she is now almost entirely free from pain, and no longer needs her medication.

For Maggie, the real test was when she tried re-introducing the foods that she had eliminated.

Within a few days all her old symptoms were back, and in her own words, “The treat was not worth it!”

Another client, Paul, while seeking answers to his fibromyalgia had eventually been identified as celiac (intolerant to wheat and gluten), with many of the associated celiac symptoms, including skin rash, bad digestion, constant chesty cough, body pain and fatigue.

On the advice of his doctor he had removed wheat and gluten from his diet; however, the improvement in his symptoms was only moderate.

Paul suspected there might be other foods that affected him and refusing to accept that he would have to live with his condition and poor quality of life, he sought answers.

We identified several other food allergens, which had not shown up on the traditional skin or blood testing.  Removing these from his diet has given him much of his quality of life back.

In summary

As you make changes to your diet, keep in mind that people with fibromyalgia tend to benefit most from taking a variety of approaches to managing their symptoms.

Taking any medications your doctor may prescribe for pain or other symptoms is always an option; however, you may wish to seek a more natural approach.


This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Now I would like to hear from you. Do have Fibromyalgia? What have you tried to help with their symptoms? Let us know in the comments below.

Like what you’ve read? Sign up for FREE updates delivered to your inbox.

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Ottawa Holistic Wellness, 356 MacLaren Street, Ottawa, ON, K2P 0M6, https://www.ottawaholisticwellness.ca. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact
Please follow and like us:
ADD/ ADHD: 7 Ways you can reduce symptoms - Ottawa Holistic Wellness

ADD/ADHD: 7 Ways you can reduce symptoms

As we all know, there seems to currently be a continuing epidemic of ADD and ADHD, with more and more adults, children and youth being diagnosed with the disorder.

The symptoms of attention deficit, impulsiveness and restlessness can severely impact everyday life, and the ability to focus and to achieve whether at work or school.

The medical profession has few answers beyond medication, so I would like to offer some simple ways in which you can help to reduce or even resolve your symptoms.

1. Increase exercise

It has been shown that incorporating exercise into your everyday routine can significantly reduce symptoms.

I remember reading many years ago about Daly Thompson. He was an Olympic medalist in the decathlon in the 1980s. He was unable to focus at school and was doing badly academically until he was sent to a special school for ‘Troubled Children”.

The school was unique in that it provided several hours of Phys-ed classes every afternoon. His grades improved dramatically, and he commented that it was such a relief to be able to MOVE instead of being tied to a desk all day.

2. Address Food Allergies and Intolerances

As a natural allergist, I see many people, especially children, who’s ADD / ADHD is being triggered, at least in part, by what they are eating.

The common allergens I see are wheat, milk, nightshade vegetables (in particular tomato, bell peppers, potato), food additives/colours. It is possible, however, to react to any food that you are eating.

I had one notable case where the mother complained that her two-year-old was sleeping only a couple of hours a night, was a nightmare to handle during the day, being aggressive and confrontational. She was exhausted. Following removal of milk products and potatoes from his diet, he started sleeping 9 hours per night and became much better behaved during the day.

3. Nutrition and Real Food

“We are what we eat” – nothing could be truer.

Changing the diet to include more fresh vegetables, fewer sugars (processed grains, fruits, potato, candies, etc.) and little-processed foods can have a significant impact on ADD / ADHD symptoms. It also helps to ensure proper nutrition.

Supplementing the diet with Vit D, Vit B12 (fish, poultry, meat, eggs) and B6 (beef, poultry, organ meats), Omega 3 oils (fish / chia/flax / hemp, etc.), and zinc (nuts, beans, red meat, seafood) can also be beneficial.

It has also been shown to be helpful to eat more protein, especially at breakfast and lunch.

Talk to your naturopathic or functional medicine doctor or holistic nutritionist about the right nutrition for you or your child.

4. Mindfulness

This is about being able to be present in the here and now.

Even small children can benefit from mindfulness. It can be as simple as asking them to describe what they hear, smell or see at that moment, or what the food they are eating tastes/feels/smells/looks like, allowing them to connect.

For older youngsters and adults yoga and developing a meditation practice can be helpful.

5. Disconnecting and Unplugging

We all spend far too much time in front of screens, whether for work, school, or gaming and staying in touch with our friends and family.

In addition to the addictive nature of these devices and the fact that it removes us from reality, every electronic device emits its frequency, whether the TV, computer screen, laptop, gaming console, etc. Even after they are turned off, they continue to emit for upwards of an hour. Reducing screen time has been shown to assist with ADD / ADHD symptoms so try to build in other activities and games that do not require screen time.

6. Chemicals and Toxins

When choosing household cleaning products, body products, dental products,shampoos, etc. select those which are natural and unscented.

Consider seeking advice from your naturopathic or functional medicine doctor regarding the possibility of heavy metal toxicity such as mercury and lead and the ways that this can be resolved.

And finally.

7. Get out in Nature

Getting regular outdoor time has been shown to be extremely beneficial to those with ADD / ADHD.

I hope these suggestions assist you in controlling your ADD / ADD symptoms.

If you have any questions or simply want to know more, please contact me today.


This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Now I would like to hear from you. Does your child have ADHD? What have you tried to help their symptoms? Let us know in the comments below.

Like what you’ve read? Sign up for FREE updates delivered to your inbox.

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Ottawa Holistic Wellness, 356 MacLaren Street, Ottawa, ON, K2P 0M6, https://www.ottawaholisticwellness.ca. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact
Please follow and like us:
Is your Irritable Bowel triggered by Food Allergies - Ottawa Holistic Wellness

Is your Irritable Bowel triggered by Food Allergies?

So, you have been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel or IBS? Or maybe you suspect that you have IBS?

You are experiencing constipation / diarrhoea / bloating / gas and / or cramping. Your doctor has may be prescribed some meds to control the symptoms but otherwise been of little help?

The same thing happened to me at the age of 33. Up until then, I had not had any digestive issues other than cramps if I drank glasses of milk, and suddenly I was in the washroom multiple times, usually at short notice and experiencing terrible diarrhoea, cramps and gas. Everywhere I went the first thing I did was find out where the closest washroom was located.. sound familiar?

When my doctor diagnosed IBS, I asked: “So, what causes this?”

He said vaguely, “Oh, could be anything..” When I asked about allergies, he stated categorically that there was no possible link between allergies and IBS, and prescribed meds to control the cramping and diarrhoea.

On the suggestion of a friend, I had an allergy test. It came up positive for yeast, cow’s milk products including cheese (I was a BIG cheese fan) and wheat. I immediately cut these foods out of my diet and within 48hrs felt almost completely normal. What a relief!

My doctor was very sceptical. However, I knew that just a few mouthfuls of bread or one glass of wine, which contains a lot of yeast, and I would be in the washroom for most of the next morning.

The top food allergens include wheat, corn, soy, yeast, milk and eggs, however, we are all unique individuals, and you can be reacting to any of the foods you are ingesting.

A true allergy causes an immune response and will trigger an almost immediate reaction. Once that food has been eliminated from your system you will likely feel much better.

If you have an intolerance to food the reaction will be slower. There is no immediate immune response, and it is more an issue with digesting, breaking down and absorbing the food. The reaction can take several days to reach a peak. This makes it quite difficult to work out what is triggering your reactions as it may be nothing you ate today or even yesterday.

So, how do you find out whether you have food allergies?

There are many ways to test.

You can try an elimination diet, removing suspected foods and monitoring the result. After a trial period without the foods, you reintroduce them one at a time. It can be difficult to obtain definite answers, particularly when you are reacting to several foods – eliminating one brings little relief as you are still reacting to the others.

Your family doctor or a naturopathic doctor can requisition a blood test which looks for antibodies to certain foods. You have to be eating the allergens in your everyday diet to be tested, so if you have removed say wheat and then want to find out if you are Celiac the doctor will ask that eat it for several weeks or even months before testing.

I have found blood testing to be reasonably accurate for allergies, but that it can provide false negatives for intolerances and emotional reactions to foods where there is no immune response.

Skin testing can also provide answers. Your family doctor will need to refer you to a medical allergist to have this done. In my practice, I have found this method ideal for identifying bigger allergies, but have also seen cases where the skin showed no reaction even though there is a strong reaction when eating that food.

As a Natural Allergist, I prefer to use Muscle Response Testing, also known as Autonomic Response Testing or Applied Kinesiology. This method utilises the body’s response to potential allergens and can assess allergies, intolerances and emotional reactions to foods. It is an effective way of asking the body to tell us what it likes and does not like. It has the added benefit that you do not have to be eating the allergens to be tested.

Whichever method you choose having an allergy test can provide much-needed answers and, as in my case, bring enormous relief from your IBS symptoms.

If you want to find out more about the triggers for IBS, come for a complimentary initial consultation with one of my colleagues at Ottawa Holistic Wellness or me.


This article in not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Now I would like to hear from you. Do you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome? What have you tried to help your symptoms? Let us know in the comments below.

Like what you’ve read? Sign up for FREE updates delivered to your inbox.

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Ottawa Holistic Wellness, 356 MacLaren Street, Ottawa, ON, K2P 0M6, https://www.ottawaholisticwellness.ca. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact
Please follow and like us:
Are food allergies causing your headaches?

Are food allergies causing your headaches?

Are you one of the many people who suffer from chronic or severe headaches?

Perhaps you have been through the medical profession and have no answers?

I have had numerous clients who experience headaches and migraines and have been to a whole range of doctors, had multiple tests performed only to receive no answers as to the cause of their pain.

An aspect that is often overlooked is the impact that food allergies and intolerances can have. I speak from personal experience; if I eat any corn products I suffer for several days with what I would describe as a ‘clamping’ headache – my head feels like it is in a vice and I cannot think straight. No corn, no pain!

Some doctors may suggest that you avoid certain common food triggers such as coffee, chocolate, wheat, corn, cow’s milk, eggs, citrus, sugar, alcohol, artificial additives, colourings, sweeteners (especially aspartame) and MSG. However, these are just that, ‘common’ triggers; every one of us is a unique individual, and as such we all react to different things.

If you don’t feel well, get bloated, or tired after a meal it is a good indication that the food that you are eating is not suiting your body and may be a factor in your headaches.

An elimination diet where you remove the common food triggers and any others that you suspect will help you to determine whether they are actually a factor for you. Remember that if your headaches only occur periodically then you may need to remove the foods for several weeks or even a month or so to determine their effect. You will probably notice a range of other improvements too, including your digestion, energy and stamina, muscle function, sleep, memory, concentration and others.

Once you have established that you are better without the foods you can reintroduce them, one at a time. It may take a few days or more for any reaction to become apparent so I recommend that you wait 2 weeks before adding another food back in.

You can also have allergy testing. This can take the form of blood or skin tests, however, I find these to be of limited use when looking for the cause of headaches as they provide a general list of allergens, and do not identify the specific triggers for your headaches.

I usually recommend muscle testing with an experienced practitioner. You will get the results at the time of the test and it is possible to identify specific triggers for your headaches including allergies, intolerances, nutritional deficiencies and any emotional or structural components.

Once you have identified the food triggers it is easy to then avoid them.

Diet, in general, will play a huge role in relief from headaches and migraines and in general wellness. One of the biggest things you can do is try to return to a more natural, ‘real food’ diet. So, cooking from scratch, using organic produce where possible and sticking to grass fed, free range meats and poultry or wild fish. It can actually be cheaper to eat this way, and you will be surprised how good you can feel.

Of course, this has to be balanced with reality, so it is equally important to accept that it is not always possible to eat this way, and not to stress about those occasions when you ‘cheat’!

And, finally, water is an essential part of that natural diet. Dehydration will ALWAYS cause headaches..  so try to get 2 litres a day.

Contact me for more information, or book a complementary introductory session.


This article in not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Now I would like to hear from you. Do you suffer from Headaches? What have you tried to help your symptoms? Let us know in the comments below.

Like what you’ve read? Sign up for FREE updates delivered to your inbox.

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Ottawa Holistic Wellness, 356 MacLaren Street, Ottawa, ON, K2P 0M6, https://www.ottawaholisticwellness.ca. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact
Please follow and like us:
3 Ways Allergies May Affect Your Sleep

3 Ways Allergies May Affect Your Sleep

Allergies and sensitivities have an impact on many aspects of our health and are often overlooked when seeking to determine the causes of sleep issues. Over the last 12 years, I have had many clients who come in complaining that nothing they do seems to resolve their sleep issues.

Frequently they have been forced to resort to sleeping pills from their doctor to finally get the sleep they need. In many of these cases, I have found that food allergies and sensitivities are a large part of the problem. They can cause

  • increased anxiety and restlessness
  • an inability to fall asleep
  • difficulty staying asleep


Clients may find that they experience a faster than usual pulse rate, thirst, excessive urination, sweats and even shivering. They may experience dreams and nightmares or complain that their brain “just won’t shut off”.

Common foods linked to these problems include cow’s milk products, artificial additives and colours in foods, and the night shade vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers and potatoes.

There is some truth in the old wives’ tale that eating cheese before bed causes nightmares!

Of course, if your food allergies are causing you to experience digestive issues such as cramping, gas, reflux or indigestion then this too will affect your sleep. They can also lead to inflammation and pain in the body making sleeping uncomfortable.

In my practice I often find cow’s milk, wheat and corn to be triggers for digestive issues, inflammation and body pain. If you suspect that food allergies may be a cause of your sleep issues, try removing the common triggers of wheat, milk products, artificial additives and nightshade vegetables for a week and see if that helps.

Environmental allergies

Food allergies, along with environmental allergens such as dust and dust mites, moulds, pets and feathers can trigger stuffiness, sore throats and cough, leading to poor sleep. In this case, it is hard to avoid the triggers, but you can reduce them by withdrawing feather pillows, using protective covers on your mattress and pillows, and removing carpets from the bedroom. You could also seek treatment from a natural allergist or NAET practitioner who can efficiently eliminate the allergies.

Electromagnetic Frequencies (EMF)

Another area to consider is the significant presence of EMF in our modern world. We are bombarded, sources including TVs and cell phones, wifi routers, bedside clocks, smart meters, household wiring and electrical outlets on the wall.

Just as an example, at my workplace I can pick up 32 different wifi networks from surrounding businesses and condos. These EMFs can have a stimulating effect on your body and mind.

You may want to remove all electronic devices from your bedroom and make sure that your bed is positioned such that you are sleeping at least 5 feet away from them; whether they are in your bedroom, the other side of a wall or in the room above or below.

If this is not possible then make sure they are switched off and unplugged from their power source.

For at least 2 hours before bed try to avoid using electronic devices, especially phones, computers and games, and preferably TVs too. This strategy gives your body and brain time to calm down and prepare for sleep.

So, to summarise, allergies and sensitivities can play a big part in your insomnia. I have only touched the surface here so come and see one of my colleagues at Ottawa Holistic Wellness or me to find out more about how these are affecting you.

Stop guessing and get the answers you need!

Please follow and like us:
Anxiety, Depression and Food Allergies

2 Overlooked Factors that May Be Causing Your Anxiety And Depression

As an allergist and energy healer, I see many clients who have anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. For most, the medical profession only wants to prescribe meds without addressing any of the underlying causes.

I find that two of the most overlooked factors in these conditions are allergies and intolerances to foods.

I want to introduce you to one of my clients, “Rachel”.

She had been experiencing anxiety issues since around seven years old. As she passed through puberty into her late teens, the symptoms became much worse and included severe anxiety, depression, along with lethargy and fatigue, an inability to concentrate and migraines.

By the time she was 17 years old, she had been on medication for some years. These meds helped her to function, but the side effects had a negative impact on her quality of life.

When she came to me, she was seeking an alternative approach that could help her eliminate the necessity for her to take meds, , and alternative medicine to help fight all of these symptoms.

We tested for food triggers and determined that the protein casein found in cow’s milk products, wheat, tomatoes and bell peppers were big issues for her.

I have found these to be relevant allergens for many clients with anxiety, depression and other mental health concerns.

Frequently anxiety and depression go hand in hand with irritable bowel and other digestive complaints; however, it is important to remember that it is not necessary to experience these digestive issues to have food allergies and intolerances.

Food allergies and intolerances also impact the digestion of foods and absorption of nutrients. I recommended that Rachel asks her MD to test her blood levels of Vit D, B12 and iron.

The levels came back at the bottom of what an MD will consider being the ‘normal’ range, but that I would consider being sub-optimal.

In Rachel’s case, she removed the milk products, wheat and nightshade vegetables including tomatoes and peppers from her diet. After an initial detox period, of less than a week when she felt even more tired and depressed, her mood lifted significantly, her energy levels steadily increased, and her migraines became less frequent and severe.

She started taking Vit D and B12 supplements along with some iron glycinate.

Within a month she had improved significantly and was able to discuss coming off her meds with her MD.

Now, several years later, she feels great, no longer has migraines and is not taking meds. She uses meditation to release the stress everyday life causes her.

In her words, she has ‘Never felt so balanced and well”.

Are suffering from anxiety and depression? Contact me for more information on how to determine whether food allergies and intolerances may be some of your triggers.

Please follow and like us:

Cystitis, Urinary incontinence, Urgency and Allergies

Do you suffer from bladder problems such as cystitis, incontinence or urgency, or perhaps have pain, itching or bleeding with intercourse?

You are not alone!

Did you ever consider that allergies may be triggering your cystitis?

I want to tell you about a client of mine, let’s call her Sarah.

She came to me with Interstitial Cystitis, a chronic condition which causes intense bladder pain and frequent urination. On a good day her pain level was 6 or 7 out of 10, and many days it was 9 / 10. She was getting up numerous times in the night to drink water as it helped to keep her urine dilute and therefore lessened her pain.

She was also finding that she often had abdominal pain after sexual intercourse and sometimes itching and bleeding.

She underwent extensive medical testing which showed no physical problem, everything was apparently ‘Normal”, and no infection was present. Her doctor had given her pain meds and suggested avoiding a few foods. Not wanting to take the pain meds on a regular basis she had found avoiding some foods to help a little, anti-histamines also brought some relief.

Natural Allergy Testing identified one of her main triggers as an allergy to salicylates. This is a compound naturally found in most fruits and vegetables. She considered her diet to be healthy, consuming foods such as olive oil, coconut oil, berries, herbs and spices, avocado and various other fruits, all of which are high in salicylates. A simple change in her diet to reduce the intake of salicylates brought a noticeable improvement in her symptoms.

She also had a problem with latex and spermicide. Changing her condoms to a non-latex version almost eliminated her pain after intercourse.

So how does this affect you?

Many women as they get older experience bladder urgency and incontinence. And it’s not always a case of “I am just getting older”!

One aspect that should be always considered is allergies. Allergies could be directly affecting your bladder, however, whether you have seasonal allergies or food allergies exposure to these allergens causes generalised inflammation in the body including the bladder and can increase urgency. This is why Sarah noticed an improvement with anti-histamine allergy meds.

What about foods?

One way that the body eliminates unwanted substances is through the urine. If you are allergic to a food it may cause increased thirst and / or bladder urgency as the body seeks to expel it from your system.

How do you know if food is the problem?

Research into the link between food and bladder issues such as interstitial cystitis is very limited, and at this time, there is no special diet recommended for these issues. There are, however, several ways to identify any food triggers.

Elimination diet

You avoid any suspected food allergens for a period of several weeks to a month. Once you feel better you re-introduce them, one every 2 weeks and observe any reactions.

In Sarah’s case, this would have been hard as salicylate is in so many foods.

Allergy testing

This can be done by your Family Doctor, a Naturopathic Doctor or a Natural Allergist. Once you have the results you can use these to do your own elimination diet. This will give you the opportunity to determine which foods are worst and which you can tolerate and in what quantity.

Low Histamine Diet

Certain foods will always trigger Inflammation in the body, in the form of Histamine, whether you have an allergy to them or not. By avoiding these foods you will lower your general level of inflammation and improve any symptoms. This diet can be used as a way to‘re-set’ your body or to reduce symptoms at any time that you are experiencing an inflammatory response such as seasonal allergies or cystitis. The diet is used for a limited period of a few weeks to a couple of months.

Remember, you do not have to suffer, even if the medical profession say that everything is ‘Normal”. There is always an underlying reason for your health concerns so keep looking till you find it. There is no such thing as “I am just getting old”!


This article is not meant to diagnose or treat any health condition. It is important that you do seek advice from a Medical Doctor to eliminate the possibility of infection or any other more serious issues.

Please follow and like us: