In April I had a stand at a health event in Reading. It was a corporate lunchtime affair where local businesses were invited in to talk to the staff about what we had to offer.
Despite being in the middle of a beautifully large atrium at the heart of the office there was a surprisingly small number of people who came to speak to us and so, we suppliers ended up speaking to each other and this is where I first met Kathy Bradfield.
She was promoting her food sensitivity and nutrition service and I was interested to know more given that I was in the throes of sorting out my own health issues. I made a mental note to get in touch with her.
On Saturday I went along to have my appointment.
Kathy practices out of Berkshire Physiotherapy Centre in Earley. There is free parking and it’s very easy to find so I found myself sat in the waiting room in the high heat of the day waiting for my appointment.
The first thing Kathy asked me to do was fill in a one page health overview questionnaire. It asked about illnesses, lifestyle and any health problems. Once that was completed we went through into the consultation room.
Kathy is a qualified nutritional therapist and holistic lifestyle coach, she has been in practice for over 10 years and part of her skill set is the food sensitivity testing.
This testing is done without skin patches or blood tests. It’s using a system called bioresonance. It uses electromagnetic frequencies to detect food and allergen sensitivities and nutrient deficiencies.
You’ll find a wide range of articles on the efficacy of this system on the internet as you’d expect. But I went in with both curiosity and knowledge from previous tests that I wanted to see for consistency.
The testing itself is quick and painless.
Kathy asks you to hold a metal wand in one hand and then prods your finger with a blunt wand to assess your sensitivity on 150 different foods, allergens, cleaning products and chemical additives. For each item tested (which is in a little vial) you hear a noise. A chirpy higher pitched noise is the the signal that suggests all is well and there are no problems. A lower, slower farting sound is a bad sign (much like real life!).
During the testing Kathy never tells you what she is testing for, so there is no autosuggestion or inkling that you can know in advance. Before I’d even really twigged what was going on with the sounds, she’d already done a whole column of little vials and told me that I really don’t do well on dairy or any sort. Whether it was cows, goats or sheep.
Whilst this is a blow personally ( I bloody love cheese, butter, cream and yoghurt) it was a great validation that there was consistency with what I already knew. I had a blood test back in April to identify what was causing me to produce antibodies in my system that attack my thyroid. Dairy came back as a key player in that then too. This also confirms that I absolutely need to change my thyroid medication as it contains lactose.
Before I knew it the machine was farting constantly again and I had almost a full house of sensitivities with grains, and all pulses and lentils too. This was equally rewarding. For a long time I’ve known my body doesn’t like gluten at all, but had suspected other grains too, I also feel very uncomfortable after pulses which makes any attempts at eating more vegetarian a tricky concept for me. Once again I felt really pleased that what I knew to be true for me was being proved by this testing too.
The testing went on.
Alcohol was a tricky area. My tipple of choice is red wine and all wine is out, probably down to the yeasts which I also have an issue with that was tested later. I like a drink, but I’ve only had about 2 alcoholic tipples in 4 months, so not too concerned with this one.
Some random results were carrots, oranges, dried fruit (too much sugar) and mushrooms. But also confirmation that peppers, tomatoes and potatoes aren’t beneficial and chillis (waaaah!!) I love spicy food, most of my meals have paprika or harissa or curry powder in. This is a blow.
I came up as very intolerant of artificial colourings, good job Haribo don’t feature much in my life and the only lifestyle chemical was sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS).
SLS is the active agent that makes cleaning products foam. So shampoo, shower gel, toothtpaste etc.
There was barely a whisper of a noise on this, my body was definitely against it. So my next job is to find some alternative products for shampoo / soap and toothpaste. I’ve found some online already so just need to try those and out and see what I like best.
The very last test that Kathy does is vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
If you’ve been reading my Hashimoto’s blog, you’ll know that my diet is pretty spot on right now. I’ve been an A* student for some time as I work on improving my health and auto-immune condition. And this is probably the most important part of this blog…
I was deficient across the board in everything apart from vitamin C.
This doesn’t mean for one minute that eating well isn’t working for me. But it does show that you can eat all the vegetables you can stuff into your face, but if your gut is broken and you’re not absorbing well then it’s lost in the digestive process.
For a long time I’ve questioned why I haven’t felt like other people living with Hashimoto’s. I’ve felt a bit of a fraud as I generally feel fine. Yes I have less energy than I did, but life does roll on as normal and I’ve likened it to my dimmer switch being turned down a notch or three.
I think that what I have eaten has kept me on an even keel. If I’d been eating more of the things on this list that disagree with me I’d be feeling worse than I do now and more like the people with Hashi’s who I read about on blogs and online.
It also shows that once my gut is healed and working better, I’ll be in a better position to tolerate some of these foods again. This isn’t life long (although I think dairy and grains will be) and when I sort the problems out internally then I may be able to add bits back in.
As an extra analysis Kathy offers you to bring in 5 foods or medicines or cleaning products. I took in some Mylk (a non-dairy milk replacement which I love) and some aloe vera juice a gut healer which I felt I had a problem with.
Mylk was a bit fat NO. Oh blimey, I seem destined to have nothing even dairy like again!
And the aloe vera was fine.
The whole appointment took about an hour and I came out with my list and some suggestions of what to do next. I asked her how long before retesting and she said given my gut health (!) about 12 months….
I really enjoyed the process and the results and am looking forward to seeing what these further tweaks do to my health and how I feel.
If you’re thinking about going along to see what’s what for you I’d offer one question before you commit.
What will you do with the information when you get it?
If you learn that something you LOVE is recommended to be off limits, will you cut it out? In my mind knowing and not doing something is worse than not knowing in the first place. Every time you eat it, you’ll have a chat with yourself about how you know you shouldn’t but just this once, or you’ll feel guilty, or you’ll get cross with yourself as to why you can’t sort yourself out.
So do consider what the knowledge will do for you when you know.
I am also in the lucky position of not having to cook for a family anymore. I can look after me and not worry about having things in the house that might tempt me. I am also currently preoccupied with fixing my health, some of you may have other priorities right now that may make sorting this out less easy.
All that said. If you did the test and started to slowly remove items over a period of weeks and months, you’d see the differences without the overwhelm of doing it all in one go.
To find out more please contact Katherine Bradfield.