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 Post subject: Help with allergies
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 6:02 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:09 am
Posts: 34
Hello!

I have posted before on the corn allergy forum. Let me write out my history.

It all started with horrible reflux which I suffered from for a year. My doctor (who is excellent at diagnosing allergies and the like) advised me to eliminate milk. I did, and after a month my reflux greatly improved. I am now off the pills I had taken for years.

I tested negative for milk so I am not IgE to it, although I am not lactose intolerant either. Probably Milk protein intolerant. I don't digest soy well either, but not IgE to that either.

Now for my IgE allergies. Now about 3 months later I suddenly got sick. I got rashes all over my body (looked like I was attacked by mosquitos), extreme lethargy, itch inside chest and daily rhinitis. I thought this must be an allergy. I wrote a food allergy diary and was able to track it down to rye and wheat. Sure enough, I clearly tested positive to both these foods on a skin prick test. I eliminated them from my diet.

Within 1,5 weeks I saw great improvement and was getting used to the idea of not having pasta and the like (I used to love these foods). I was basically symptom free. Then I took a course of antibiotics for a gum infection (caused by the wheat definately, it used to tear up my gums) instead of waiting it out - per my doctors request.

After this, it all went downhill. I started to react to more foods. None of it as bad as the wheat allergy, but I started to react to basically all grains - including corn & rice. Like I said not as bad (although the corn is rather bad now) but as bad to not want you to eat them. So all grains - including Quinoa (I have no idea why I would be allergic to this, but I am..i get really tired and my throat gets very sore). I tested for these foods - sure enough, they all came back positive on the RAST.

So you accept it, move on - eliminate the foods.

Now, I am just really annoyed. My diet is very limited because it has to be. I have been eating A LOT of coconut. I've been worried I'd develop an allergy to coconut but after searching the net it seems like a rare allergy so I didn't worry too much. Lately, after eating coconut, my face starts itching, my lips crack & I get that familiar sore throat I get from my other allergies. I also get that itch inside my chest. I don't know what to do. Everything I eat is based on coconut.

my wheat allergy is also getting worse. Even from inhaling it my sinuses get sore and I get itchy.

Now.... you can see why I am a bit confused! I feel like food has become my enemy. I don't really know where to go from here because I feel like I can develop an allergy towards anything. I never thought I'd have any allergies in my lifetime, all I've had is hay fever and thats it.

Anyone in a similar situation? My doctor just said "you're unlucky, you have a predisposition for allergies". I just don't understand why they all come at once. Or have I always had these allergies and they all just unfold when you eliminate foods you are allergic to? It's all very confusing! A part of me is in denial of the coconut bringing about problems... it just seems so out there and rare. But at the same time the symptoms are there. I'm gonna try to eat it for a bit longer and we'll see... I am hoping.

I try to be positive though - at least I don't have anaphylaxis. I know from reading the boards that some out there have it a lot worse than me, so in that sens I am not complaining at all!

Thanks for letting me vent a bit.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 4:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6429
Location: Ottawa
Sometimes our bodies can get into a hyper-sensative state. I would suggest that once a food starts to cause any problem, you discontinue it for a while. If you rotate the foods which you can eat say eat them for a week or two and them take a break and eat other foods which you tolerate (assuming there are enough safe foods to do this with). Perhaps your body will not recognize anything long enough to develop a reaction.

Just a thought.

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 5:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:09 am
Posts: 34
maybe! However I thought allergies was something you had and don't develop... ie if you do have an allergy, it will show up sooner or later anyway (although the rotating model might slow it down..?). Very confusing stuff! I do have foods to rotate and that I have zero problems with (ex. eggs, fish, shellfish, meat, potatoes) but coconut flour has been my saviour when it comes to breakfast, pancakes etc. At the end of the day you want some breakfast-y because you get sick of eating meaty stuff all the time.


Thanks a lot for the tip. I'll see how this week progresses. I've not been doing too well today to be perfectly honest, but heres for hoping!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 11:06 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:39 pm
Posts: 55
Location: Ohio
You may want to look into a rotation diet, as was said earlier. The basic principal is that your body can become more sensitive to foods that it is overexposed to, and that by rotation you limit exposure and increase tolerance. The confusing part for me is that you avoid entire food families, not just one food. For example, if you have oranges on Monday, you avoid all citrus for the next four days. Dianna Barra wrote a book on it, but it was minimally helpful. You can find more information on the internet about it, and even listings of food families.

You might also want to visit a website called SpecialFoods, where a woman who is raising a family with a bizzare number of food allergies tells her story, and gives a few ideas on how to eat. She also sells some of the food products that she developed for her family, but I don't know if you will need to go so far as to order them.

Good luck!

_________________
Daughter #1 eczema, asthma, and allergic to eggs, dairy, beef, nuts, soy, wheat, dogs, cats, and grass
Husband intolerant to dairy, allergic to grass and dust
Daughter #2 "outgrew" allergy to dairy and egg


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 5:23 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:09 am
Posts: 34
I am gonna try to consciously vary my food habits a bit more. it is very tough though. I am already cooking lots of times a day. I think I am doing a pretty good job when it comes to varying my lunches and dinners, but not so much for snacks and breakfast since theres really not much choice... unless of course I wrap my head around eating more "dinner like" things for breakfast, but that will take some taking used to!

I didn't know that allergies worked like this too (thought it was just intolerances) so thanks a lot for the valuable info.!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 11:15 am 
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Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 4:27 pm
Posts: 300
Location: Montreal
Just thought I would let you know that not only have I gone through the same thing in the past 6 months or so but I know 3 other people as well. Pretty much every week a new food would get checked off the list. For me, it affects just my throat, sometimes it's sore, sometimes it swells, which is the scariest part. My allergy tests aren't really helpful since sometimes they come out positive and sometimes negative. Even the allergist said it was "unusual" to be allergic to beef and lamb. I fought with my doctor to stay with me on this and I told him I thought something else was the cause as it's pretty much against the law of survival to not be able to eat that much stuff. I did a barium meal, blood tests and an MRI which came back normal so he sent me to an ENT. The ENT said, after a thorough examination, that there are some really tight muscles in my neck which are causing the problems with my esophagus, even the swelling. So he suggested massotherapy and heat therapy. The thing is, my symtoms also appear if I'm not eating, like when I wake up in the morning. This is why I stopped thinking it was related to food. The tough part is waiting for treatment and then I'll have to figure out a way to try re-incorporating the foods.
I completely understand your frustration and I don't know about you but I have lost quite a bit of weight. It sucks because I also feel tired since I'm not eating a lot, although I am taking vitamins to try and stay as healthy as possible.
My suggestion would be to try and figure out if there could possibly be something else going on in your body to make it reject food so badly. But you're definitely not the only one and the other people I know are also at a loss of what to do next. I find it extremely strange that this is happening and hope we can all get to the bottom of it so we can get back to a normal life. (I'm still going to be allergic to peanuts, TN, and legumes but after all this, it seems ridiculously manageable!!)

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Associate Editor at Allergic Living.
Allergies to all nuts and legumes except soy and green beans.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 12:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:09 am
Posts: 34
hello Lisa!

I have checked everything. My throat once swelled a bit and all they said it was an allergic reaction, gave me some meds and told me to go on. I have done tests for everything under the sun and I am healthy.

For me it ONLY happens when I eat. And like I said its not only throat related - sometimes I get numbness in my mouth, itchyness, a few hives and a rash around my mouth. these are allergy symptoms, which I know it is. I was positive before it MUST be something else ("I cant be allergic to rice??") but it isn't, and the tests prove it. Like I said I never thought I would have any type of food allergy ever! Which might have been a bit naive since there are many allergies in my family.

I had to get my own kitchen utensils and pans and stuff because I react to wheat even if they are washed up. It's like those teflon pans just never get really clean.

I think the "hypersensetive" mode is quite accurate. I think my body is just trying to settle down now that I have eliminated all that is causing it pain. During this recovery process, I have gained a few more allergies. I am just really hoping it will stop here.

I'll see how this coming week progresses. I am trying to stay positive because thats all you can at the end of the day! If coconut truly is an allergy, I will know since stuff like this get worse and worse and not better and better.

I wish you all the best Lisa!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 7:08 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 4:27 pm
Posts: 300
Location: Montreal
Thank you and I wish there was something I knew that might help you. I am sending you good vibes and I hope something turns around for the better...and soon!
:D

_________________
Associate Editor at Allergic Living.
Allergies to all nuts and legumes except soy and green beans.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 3:20 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:39 pm
Posts: 55
Location: Ohio
Just a thought, a friend of mine just told me he started acupuncture to help with allergies and it seems to be working. It couldn't hurt to look into it.

Good luck!

_________________
Daughter #1 eczema, asthma, and allergic to eggs, dairy, beef, nuts, soy, wheat, dogs, cats, and grass
Husband intolerant to dairy, allergic to grass and dust
Daughter #2 "outgrew" allergy to dairy and egg


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 4:36 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:09 am
Posts: 34
yes I've heard of that! sounds a bit scary though, I hate needles - eek!

I've tried to be a bit of a food detective today and I'm a bit confused as to what it exactly is I am reacting to! it is something! I've had the itchy chest, some rash around mouth, some itchyness and burning and a few hives today. also my throat like most days is super sore by the end of the day. I'm back to writing a food diary to track down the missing component to my allergy troubles. I am not too sure its coconut anymore since I've had reactions to other meals aswell. hmmm. I think I am doing a fairly job tracking down all traces of corn so I don't know! Like I said, I am curious as to how this week progresses....

have a good day!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 12:02 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2005 5:15 pm
Posts: 365
Location: Regina, Sask
Is the coconut you are eating from a fresh (as opposed to shredded/packaged) coconut? Most prepared coconut is treated with corny stuff. Coconut milk can be corn-taminated as well. I once reacted horribly to some organic (no corn listed) coconut milk.

Corn is everywhere...sigh...

I'd like to help you find some corn-free options. I can't remember if we have discussed this already, but have you tried Buckwheat? It is not a grain, but a member of the rhubarb family. What about dried lentils or chickpeas?

You mentioned that your health went downhill after taking antiobiotcs. It is possible that you have an imbalnce of good and bad bacteria in your intestines from taking the antibiotics which can cause what is known as "leaky gut syndrome". Do you have any of the symptoms of Candida? This inbalance (high levels of yeast) can trigger food allergies. There is a lot of information on the net about this condition. Here is just one site that explains it:

http://www.healingdaily.com/conditions/allergies.htm


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:56 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:09 am
Posts: 34
Yeah, but I don't think thats it. I've had a predisposition for allergies all my life and from additional research we have a lot of people with them in my family...maybe the antibiotics was the last straw to a weak immune system or something, but I doubt its the cause since I've only taken them twice in my life.

I've had an incredibly stressful life lately and I think thats whats triggered my allergies. My body has been very weak from all the stress, and the allergies occured during my most stressful time.. it takes its toll on the body eventually. Now that I've got them though, all I can do is to learn how to live with them and just make sure I give my body a break from all the offensive foods.

And yes I am eating beans that I make from scratch. I really love beans! I have a few meal alternatives so its really not that huge of a problem if you accept the fact that there isnt much variety. I rotate between lamb stew, baked turkey, mung bean dish, salmon and then over again! then there are different combinations with potato and the sweet potato (oven, fries, boiled..!), see you gotta be creative!

As for buckwheat I have a mild allergy to it and I can't eat it much, or I eventually get a reaction. I make pancakes on potato flour which are quite delciious infact! I can also make sweets like swiss roll, so when it comes to goodies, I'm doing fine. When it comes to the coconut, I eat both the milk and coconut flour. I notice whenever I eat coconut, I tend to choke on it and I start itching and occasionally get hives. I've eliminated it for a week now, and I will reintroduce in another week to look for a reaction.

And yes as you said, corn is everywhere! I really think that is a huge part of why I'm not recovering fully (however I am much better, but you just want that 100% feeling!). I have contacted some people to ask about the meat and I am awaiting an answer. As you said, corn is basically everywhere so if you don't know what you've just reacted to I just assume its corn in some way or form! At least I am lucky enough to have a doctor that acknowledges both rice and corn as allergies, he took it seriously which i didn't expect since they are very rare allergies. Though, theres very limited knowledge about either..

Corn needs to be approved as a top allergen somehow because its plaguing an increasing number of people... I wonder if this is possible considering the huge amount of money involved, they might as well deny it exists...

again I really value your help!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:51 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2928
Location: Toronto
Batabid, With any luck it won't endure.

You're certainly not alone (as you'll notice from the posters) with adult onset food allergies. At one point after I'd had my first major (adult) reaction to soy, I seemed to be reacting to lots of things that I knew I usually tolerated. It was maddening.

My allergist thought my system was out of whack from the big reaction, told me to take Reactine daily for a few weeks, and to take my diet down to very basic food for a couple of day - plain rice and chicken. And then introduce vegs. and so on one at a time. Slow process, but it worked. So I didn't do it as a rotation as such - but that also seems to make some sense.

I was also under lots of stress and short of sleep at the time. Stress has been proved now as a trigger in asthma attacks, and since asthma and allergic reactions are so similarly based in the immune system / IgE, I keep expecting we'll hear more about stress and food reactions. When I say that, I think you'd have to be allergic to the food protein, but I do suspect from personal experience that stress "abets" the reaction.

Good luck with it - hope the menu gets more varied for you soon.

_________________
Allergic to soy, peanut, shellfish, penicillin


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:27 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6429
Location: Ottawa
On the topic of stress...stress creates all sorts of chemical reactions within the body and one of the chemicals is adrenaline. That is similar to epinephrene, isn't it? So I am certain that stress can play a role in how and what our bodies react to.

I's sure that I saw studies linking maternal stress during pregnancy to infants developing asthma and asthma and allergies are related.

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 11:35 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:09 am
Posts: 34
gwen - thanks a lot. its comforting to hear that others have gone through the same thing. I also think my body is extra "cautious" now because of whats its had to endure, thats why I am taking it easy, for example not introducing too many foods at the time that are related to anything I'm allergic to. I just want to be careful right now so I don't develop anymore allergies. A relative of mine recently had a terrible reaction to shellfish - at age 50! She was never allergic before.

It's interesting, I wonder if there is any research out there linking food allergies and stress? I really do think its related. After all stress has an effect on the entire body, so why not allergies? In general, I am crossing my fingers for more research regarding food allergies in the future, as we still seem to know very little about them.

I try to take each day at a time and just hope for the best at the moment.


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