On being allergic

I’ve known about my gluten sensitivity since I was 19. I didn’t really know what to do about it, and couldn’t afford to do much until I was 25. Not eating gluten was an expensive, difficult, and hard to explain thing. “Everyone gets bloated” was the response I used to get. Maybe, but not everyone has other unmentionable side effects that last for up to a week. I’ve been very strictly wheat, and gluten free for about two years with no regrets.

In December, my body started to react to everything. Or, that’s how it felt. I was coated in red and pink patchy, itchy, painful, achy, bumps. My face and my arms hurt to move. If you felt my skin, you could feel the layers of skin swollen. Inside everything felt foggy and aggravated. A visit to my dr, then an allergist and I was told I was allergic to citrus, chocolate, cheese, mushrooms, all tree nuts, mango, cherry (cross reactants to tree nuts), tomato. I should have mentioned that I also noticed awful reactions to eggs and soy along the way, so I stopped eating those too. Soy gives me terrible anxiety, and eggs make me feel like I’m loosing control of my body. No joke.
So, there I was, a happy Christmas indeed.

After diligently removing all those allergens, and nearly all the food in our house, I was still reacting. I had three large pink circles of rash around my eyes and mouth still. I started noticing what else I reacted to: figs, sunflower, apple, turmeric… I went to accupuncture to ease the pain of the rash. I met with a new naturopath and a new family dr. The naturopath asked about my latex allergy, and suggested that I remove cross reactive foods. The new doctor mentioned the low histamine diet. After three months of pain, confusion, and lots of frustration, we finally got it. the low histamine diet includes lots of foods that must be avoided. Buuuuut, actually, I had already been avoiding most of these. The few extra steps made an enormous impact.
I don’t miss foods allergens like avocado or lemon. I’m too happy not to be rubbing my eyes every two seconds because I’m so itchy. Moving my hands in a full rotation without pain means more than a chocolate bar. And feeling anxiety free can never compare with a frittata (which, I’ve never liked anyway).

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