Nadia Essex, 36: Cramping & Bloating

“I feel like a million dollars since I discovered a food intolerance was disrupting my health”

  • Celebs Go Dating star Lady Nadia Essex regularly suffered cramping and bloating after eating
  • The pain was so bad she used to cry after meals
  • After discovering YorkTest, she took a FirstStep test, which highlighted she was reacting to something in her diet
  • Following a Food&DrinkScan programme revealed an intolerance to seven ingredients, including cows’ milk, fish, gluten and yeast
  • Embarked on a new free-from eating plan and her symptoms subsided within three days
  • She says: “ I used to cry tears of pain after eating, and after I took a YorkTest, I wept with relief as I was finally symptom free.”

Relationships coach Lady Nadia Essex, who rose to fame as a dating expert in the first series of E4’s popular reality show Celebs Go Dating, is used to being in control and calling the shots – especially when it comes to her personal life.

The 35-year-old Chelsea-based businesswoman, who famously claimed only to date rich men (“I like nice things… and wealthy guys are very romantic”), is used to being in the public eye and enjoys the attention that celebrity brings. However, although she may be an expert on finding other people love, when it comes to her own health, she realised that she didn’t have all the answers.

“I started to suffer from cramps, breakouts and general ill health,” she explains. “This went on for months – sometimes my symptoms became so bad I would cry after eating supper and I would always feel sick after eating lunch every day.”

The fact that Nadia couldn’t even enjoy her food without anxiety as she knew she would suffer afterwards meant that mealtimes became a battleground.

One evening after supper, her painful symptoms reduced her to tears, so she realised she couldn’t go on like this. Determined to find a solution, she carried out online research and messaged friends about her situation. When a friend contacted her via Twitter about trying the YorkTest FirstStep test, Nadia decided to give it a try.

Her FirstStep test involved a simple pinprick blood test which was then sent back to the company’s laboratory. This revealed that she was reacting to a food in her diet. By upgrading to a Food&DrinkScan programme, her sample was then analysed for reactions to 158 food and drink ingredients. This found that Nadia had an intolerance to seven ingredients: cows’ milk, gluten, yeast, wheat, plaice, sole and cashew nuts.

To say Nadia was surprised was an understatement. “However, I believe in going straight to the source and getting a solution with fairly instant results.”

The next challenge was embarking on an elimination diet. Our full programmes include up to two 30-minute consultations with a registered Nutritional Therapist, who advised Nadia how to cut those trigger foods out of her diet and replace them with free-from alternatives.

“It was great to know that a professional was there to answer my questions and she was really supportive.”

She duly did this and she noticed a difference almost straightaway. “By day three I felt so much better – and I cried with relief! Yet this time they were happy tears.”

Nadia didn’t find the elimination diet too tough – “the hard part was coming to terms with the fact that I can’t eat like I used to. That made me sad, but being symptom-free has made it a worthwhile sacrifice.”

She is still sticking to her new regime, yet if she does cheat, she immediately feels sluggish and bloated, so she is determined to keep going.

“Words cannot describe how good I feel – my life, skin and tummy are better than ever for the first time in 35 years. I feel a million dollars inside out – I feel like a new woman!”

Nadia started her journey with our FirstStep test, then followed a YorkTest Food&DrinkScan Programme

Further support:

Nadia is not alone when it comes to suffering from bloating and cramping.  Here at YorkTest, we conducted a study with over 5,000 participants. Out of 576 people who reported experiencing bloating, 92% reported an improvement having removed their ‘trigger’ foods from the results of their food intolerance programmes. You can read the full study on our research page.

YorkTest define Food Intolerance as a food-specific IgG reaction. 
YorkTest advise that you consult with your GP first if you are experiencing the types of symptoms mentioned in this testimonial.
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