Almost half of UK residents have some form of food intolerance, the Independent reports. According to a just-published study by the nonprofit Allergy UK, such intolerances—non-life-threatening reactions to foods (most commonly certain components of milk and wheat)—are the root of many seemingly minor ailments like exhaustion, migraines, colds, and flus. The group is PO’d that the government hasn’t helped sufferers bypass long waiting lists for medical specialists, claiming that this inaction drives patients to seek out quacky alternative medicine. As the head of Allergy UK tells the paper:

People can get weird and wacky diets which are very damaging to their health. They start off with one problem and this is compounded by bad dietary advice.

The group urges traditional doctors to bone up on their understanding of food intolerance so that people don’t have to go the “wacky” route.

UK doctors counter that while they’ve seen a recent spike in patients claiming to have food intolerances, most of the reports were “in the mind.” Some blame this rash of self-diagnosis ailment on a handful of recently diagnosed British celebrities, including Rachel Weisz and Victoria Beckham.

But to hear the account of anyone who’s actually been diagnosed with a food intolerance, doctors’ skepticism is a major problem. Has anyone here gone through it? What was it like to have to give up a whole class of potentially yummy foods?

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