food allergy experiment

I have had problems with environmental allergies since childhood.  The last couple of years it has become increasingly worse.  The past year has been the worst year, with random breakouts in hives, this spring my face has been breaking out in hives a couple of times a month! It is very rare when I can actually breathe through my nose and I have had 3 sinus infections since January.

My husband has been encouraging me the last couple years to get allergy tested.  I put it off because he has teased me saying he was sure I am allergic to tomatoes and if so he would never let me eat them again.  I know he has wanted this because it would then squash my love for mexican food, especially salsa.  As you have read in my previous post, I have started to consider myself a connoisseur of salsa because I love it so much.  I have my favorite mexican restaurants everywhere I go.

I have been contemplating starting a second blog just to talk about my love of salsa and margaritas.  I would share pictures of the salsa and margaritas from each place I tried and write a review of what I think of it.  I tried to talk my hubby into trying one new place each week, he laughed, rolling his eyes saying he hoped I had someone else to go with.

Years ago I used to make homemade salsa and bring it to work for coworkers.  My coworkers loved it so much they actually asked me to jar it and sell it to them and I did.  I had to stop making it because I hand cut all of the vegetables and my hands were breaking out and burning like they were on fire when I was cutting the tomatoes.  So my husband’s belief of a tomato allergy was not totally unfounded.

I know being a nurse I should know better but who would ever want to admit they are allergic to one of their favorite things.  Especially if their husband is threatening them with cutting them off of this substance!

Due to my allergies being so much worse this year and being miserable, I finally broke down and made an appointment with an allergist.  I saw her for the first time 3 1/2 weeks ago.  Because my allergies have been so bad she didn’t want to take me off of my allergy medicine for 5 days to do the skin testing so she opted to do serum testing.

Today I went to the allergist and got the results of my serum allergy tests.  I found out I am allergic to some molds, every grass, weed, and all trees except mulberry trees, cats and dogs (I have 3 dogs and I am not giving my babies up!)  I am also allergic to carrots, peanuts, corn, potatoes, mango, melons, apples and tomatoes.  ARGH!!!!!

She recommends skin testing to double-check a couple allergies in July, after the bulk of the allergy season is over.  This is because I have had reactions to shellfish and shellfish did not show me reacting on the serum testing.  In six weeks I go back, get skin testing done, see the doctor again and begin allergy shots to work on this issue.  The shots are once a week for six months and than once a month for four years and then I should be immune to the allergies.

What was my response to the new information I obtained at the allergists office?  I called my mom and said,”Hey, I’m allergic to tomatoes! Want to meet me for mexican food for lunch?”  Yes, the stubbornness in me won out.

Prior to going to the allergist, I have done some research about food allergies because I had seen something on TV discussing how food allergies make you overweight.  When you eat something you are allergic to, it causes a histamine release and endorphin release in your body.  You in turn begin to crave what you are allergic to because your body craves the endorphin release, just like an addicts body would crave the drug (substance of their choice) which causes this same effect.  So, you eat the substance, than crave the substance and eat it again and again.  Meanwhile your body is in this constant state of inflammation from being exposed to the substance you are allergic too.  This results in overeating, chronic inflammation, and being overweight.

Experiment

I was contemplating the information I have researched about food allergies, how much it will stink not eating the things I like and the fact I have six weeks before going back to the allergists and starting treatment.  I wondered if I would feel better avoiding these foods and thought it might be fun to do an experiment and see if the information I researched is correct.  Being a nurse I find things interesting and the information I found makes a lot of sense.  I asked two doctors about my findings one said she wasn’t sure it was true and the other said it made a lot of sense and could be true.

So, why not make myself the test subject and try it out.  What do I have to lose ~ other than suffering from not enjoying my favorite foods because oh yes my favorite fruits and vegetables are all on the allergy list!  I may feel better eliminating the foods I am allergic to and since I do carry around a few extra pounds, I may get the added benefit of losing a few while conducting this experiment.

So starting tonight with dinner, until my doctors appointment on July 20, 2011, I am going to avoid all of the things listed on my food allergy list and see what happens.  This will be the longest my husband has gone without mexican food in the 15 years we have been together!  I suppose we could have mexican food, but what is mexican food without salsa??? Not worth having!

Over the next six weeks you may hear me ranting about how tortured I am not having my favorite things and we will see what July 20 brings.  Let the experiment BEGIN!

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Posted on June 8, 2011, in allergy, blogging, experiement, food and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Wow! I didn’t know a body could be allergic to so many different things! And I am waiting to see if the results of your experiment.

    • Me either. I knew I had a problem with grass, dust, and cats but who knew I had a problem with so many other things! I am interested to see the results too and seeing if it is worth giving up my favorite things.

  2. I’ve read about studies that were being done in England, in which problem foods were re-introduced into the diet in small amounts. As the participants became more tolerant to the foods, the amounts were increased gradually. The researchers claim to have had some success with this approach, and I wonder if you’ve heard anything about it.

    Good luck with your experiment.

    • Interesting study. I haven’t read about this but it makes does make sense. With the allergy injections I will be starting, the give you a tiny dose of the environmental substances you are allergic to gradually, with the intent you will build a tolerance and eventually be “immune” to the allergens. I will have to look into this.

      Thanks for the good luck wish! As a girl who loves pizza, pasta, and salsa, giving up tomatoes will be RIDICULOUSLY challenging!

  3. Sounds like you got a lot of information to work with. I know all too well the yummy things you enjoy eating 🙂 and how much you have suffered physically. That said….may your efforts be rewarded… and may you go forward and soar beyond what you think is possible.

    Much success with your experiment.

    • I am not sure what success would be with this experiment? I guess it depends on how you are looking at it….
      1. If I want to continue eating the things I like, success would be that I don’t feel any better or lose any weight, so I can go right back to what I was doing and not feel guilty.
      2. If I want to lose weight, success would be I lose a good amount of weight, like 10 pounds in the 6 weeks. Then I would be inclined to stick with it and see what happens.
      3. If I want to feel better, than I would hope just to feel better than would be reward enough.
      4. If I want to prove the theory wrong than I wouldn’t lose weight or feel any better.
      5. If I want to prove the theory right than I would lose weight and feel better.
      Hmmmmmm, which do I want?????

  4. Dang I am sorry to hear that you are suffering from eating your fav. foods. I know how much you love Mexican food ❤ I hope everything works out.

    • We will see. If I don’ either feel amazing or drop some weight, it won’t be worth it! Then I will go back to eating what I like. 5 weeks and 2 days left, but who’s counting, right?

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