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Saturday, February 12, 2011

why i'm blogging about food/allergies...

as you probably know by now, i have food allergies. i'd like to tell you a bit about how i was diagnosed...and why i'm passionate about creating allergy friendly foods that can satiate any appetite.

up until 3 years ago i always had stomach issues and problems with migraines/eczema/asthma/hives. then i started experiencing severe stomach cramps - severe to the point that i would pass out. um, red flag. i decided to see an allergist vs. going to a gastro doc after talking with a friend who was having similar symptoms. the allergist performed a scratch test on my back with 80 different types of food. i waited 30 minutes for the test to end - biting my nails the whole time - to preoccupy myself while my back itched to high hell.

cortisone, anyone?


when my doc returned to the room to check my back her jaw dropped. she couldnt believe that i was allergic to so many foods - over 30 of them. to confirm the scratch test - she ordered a smattering of blood panels - to test for IgE antibodies. the back scratch test results were confirmed with the RAST blood tests - i really was allergic to a TON of different foods - all of which i ate regularly. i went home and drank a bottle of wine for dinner that night.

my allergist suggested i visit a gastroenterologist and be tested to celiac disease. and so i did - it took a year of misc testing with my gastro to first rule out other diseases/disorders with blood and dna tests. he told me that i needed to have my stomach scoped and biopsied to completely rule out celiac disease and other problems.

$4,000 later my results were in - no celiac disease, no nothing. amen right?!?! yes and no. to this day my docs and i still dont know why i'm allergic to corn, beef, yeast, hops, cumin, wheat, cucumbers, barley, rye, oats, etc, etc, etc. i was a bit ticked that i spent that much money and still wasnt getting relief from my symptoms. i pushed and pushed my gastro until he finally tested me for lactose intolerance. no more dairy for me. it turns out that i'm off the scale lactose intolerant.  as soon as i cut removed dairy from my diet - my stomach cramps disappeared. read here for the difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance.

here i am 3 years later. i now go in once a year for an annual allergy test. my allergies have changed over time - some have disappeared, some new ones have shown up. its an uphill battle. its tough not knowing why my body reacts to food and its even tougher cooking/baking things that are safe.

want to know whats in your food/where it comes from?
its not been an easy transition cutting tons of common foods from my diet. i felt defeated at first, but have come to embrace the challenge. education is key. most food in america is highly processed and filled with preservatives and dyes.  if youre interested in where your food comes from and whats in it i suggest checking out any of michael pollans books, especially "the omnivores dilemma". try having a corn allergy - corn is virtually in EVERYTHING. get yourself read on ingredients. never buy anything without checking the ingredient list. use the internet to your advantage! on eating out - i'll cover that in another blog post.

in short, my quest is to create allergy friendly foods that ACTUALLY taste good. i'm sick of skipping out on delicious foods and enjoying those little things in life.

2 comments:

  1. wow! that's quite the journey you have been on! glad you have some answers and you are feeling better! Education is the key..there are lots of foods we no longer eat and I'm ALWAYS reading ingredient labels. Now I see people who buy or eat certain things and I cringe or my stomach doesn't feel good..blech! My mom told me one day that I make my kids eat weird foods...its not weird(just stuff we didnt' grow up on) but its much healthier and as my mom's neighbor put it, they don't know any different!

    when your kid would rather pick out cheerios vs. lucky charms you must be doing something right!

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