Heartburn, acid reflux, migraines, chronic fatigue, arthritis, nausea, vomiting, bowel trouble, hives, aching, asthma, iron deficiency, weight loss (or weight gain), hair loss…… these are all conditions that affect too many of our population. Our evening television programs are now inundated with pharmaceutical ads trying to convince us that help is merely a "medicine" away.

As a society, we have become very complacent in our own health care. If we don't feel well we visit our family doctor and sit through a myriad of tests, in the hopes of an immediate diagnosis. We're often angry or upset when the doctor doesn't have the answer – or we get the feeling he feels "it's all in our head".

Our medical community, although well versed in "prescribing a cure" appears to have been taught very little about how the food we eat affects our bodies. And make no mistake – it does affect us. After all, most of us eat anywhere from 3 to 6 times a day – 7 days a week – 365 days a year.

Imagine for a minute, if we as a society started to become aware of what we were doing to our own bodies with the foods we consume every day. Imagine if we started to pay attention to how our bodies react to what we actually put in them. What if we were actually taught what foods might cause irregularities and the physical processes that actually do happen when we eat certain foods..….instead of adhering to a diet we grew up on – simply because it's been eaten for years.

The human body is the most amazing living thing on this planet – at least as far as I'm concerned. Remove the toxins, nourish it, and it will flourish. Fill it with bad fats, grains that have been genetically modified beyond recognition, and/or dairy products that contain a collection of growth hormones, few enzymes, and antibiotics – who knows what will happen.

As far as my health goes, I feel I was extremely lucky. For the early part of my life I was oblivious to the fact that what I had eaten might be causing my hands to become itchy, dry and cracked, my sinus to plug up, my heart to beat faster, or my toes to go numb. I had heard of food bothering others – by causing hives, vomiting, diarrhea – but not sinus trouble. That just couldn't be.

In my mid 30s I was fortunate enough to meet a woman who introduced me to alternatives. Not only alternatives to eating and nourishing my body but also to alternatives in the way I manage my health. I became much more "proactive" in my own health. Basically, I started paying attention.

Wheat and dairy are two of the biggest items I avoid today. They also happen to be two of the largest consumables produced and are found in a tremendous number of items our society eats.

Asthma, chronic sinusitis, eczema, heart palpitations, gastrointestinal problems, "wart like" skin lesions, boils, body aches, extreme fatigue, numbness, bone pain, muscle pain, itchy hands and feet, and headaches are all symptoms that I, and members of my family, no longer experience because of a change in diet.

I never experienced all of these symptoms at the same time and some came and went over a period of two decades. Simply put, I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired and willing to seek out alternatives. Now, at the age of 45, I am presently not on any medications (as are none of my family) and I feel better than I have in years.

When and if I do consume a food that disagrees with me I can usually tell. Symptoms of some type will usually appear anywhere from thirty minutes to two days later - and they're not always the same.

I'm not a doctor. I'm not a scientist. I'm simply a wife and mother who is grateful to have her health back and someone who would like to see others benefit from this information.

It is not my intention to tell you what you should and shouldn't eat. It is simply my intent to make you aware of the fact that what you consume could be affecting your health in ways that you never dreamed.

You may feel you are eating a healthy diet – whole grains, dairy, healthy fats, less sugar – but are the items you're still eating making you sick? Would you be willing to try an alternative to see if it makes any difference? My thought is that if you're sick and tired of being sick (like I was), then you just might.

If you'd like to try this alternative method to healing your body, simply eliminate all of the top allergens (gluten (wheat, barley, rye, oats), dairy, eggs, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, and corn.) from your diet for four weeks. Limit sugar intake (but no artificial sweetners please). Drink at least 2 litres of water a day. After the four weeks are up – add one of these items back to your diet (one per week). Watch for any type of reaction.

Will it be easy? No. (Not as easy as asking for a prescription anyway. ) Will it really help? Only time will tell. It took me two weeks for my symptoms to subside and I've never looked back.

Just because Grandma always baked cookies with bleached white flour and made creamed soups with actual cream doesn't mean you have to. Just because your mother always took her puffer three times a day for her asthma doesn't mean you'll have to either. There are alternatives everywhere – and your health might just benefit by you finding them.