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Food allergies, elimination diet, help!!

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by SickOfSickness, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. antherder

    antherder Senior Member

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    I think Tylenol is paracetamol, not aspirin? We call it something different down under.

    The interesting thing about salicylates is that they are the plants natural pesticides, designed to stop pests devouring them and disesases killing them, which is why they are more concentrated in unripe fruit, because the plant doesn't want anyone eating the flesh and distributing the seeds before they are mature. Cunning, huh. (peeling the fruit will significantly reduce the salicylate level.) So technically, salicylates are a chemical. It might not be relevant to your situation at all. I'm just learning about it myself at the moment. Aparently methyl salicylate, which is wintergreen oil, found in mouthwash, etc is added to some pesticides to mask the whiffy smell many of these chemicals have.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methyl_salicylate

    My latest theory is that maybe this triggers a salicylate sensitivity in MCS people, like myself, who have had significant pesticide exposure. And salicylates are commonly found in perfumes etc, and the other nasties that cause problems for those with MCS. I'm still doing lots of research...wading through, when the murky brain fog lifts briefly...which isn't very often...

    Re your sister being autistic, there is a lot of evidence suggesting that people with autism have trouble with sulfites, and that there is a genetic component. A friend who has a major sulfite problem, has an autistic child. His other child also has a sulfite sensitivity.

    Lots of interesting info here;

    http://www.enzymestuff.com/epsomsalts.htm

    Some techinical info here; http://www.newtreatments.org/fromweb/sulfur.html

    All you can do is experiment on yourself, I guess. And if you don't already, keep a very detailed food diary, so you can try and spot any patterns forming. One simple thing that might be worth a shot, if you haven't tried it already, is to buy a couple of unripe organic peaches and eat them, to see if you get the same jaw pain. If you do, it might be the salicylates. Unfortunately, organic veggies and fruits have more salicylates than the sprayed stuff, as organic farmers tend to use naturally disease resistant plants. But organic stuff has less, or no added sulfites. Still natural sulfur though... Oh the irony...

    Hang in there...

    Oh, and my friend with the sulfite problem has one very noticeable symptom when he eats something with sulfites. About 20 to 40 mins later, his face and ears turn red. Do you ever get this? Might be more noticeable with higher concentrations, like those found in dried fruit and wine.
  2. antherder

    antherder Senior Member

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    Very aptly put. Can so relate to that!
  3. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    Yeah, I think the CFS immune system stuff makes us more allergic to life... for some of us, extremely so :(

    Oh yeah, you're right about Tylenol, forgot.

    Ok, thank you for all the info about salicylates and sulfur. Maybe I could take an asprin and see how I do? I think I have rarely had aspirin in my life, and vaguely I do seem to remember having a bad reaction... though I don't trust that memory. Wow, I am really curious, but yet I don't want to have that one type of allergic reaction I get (the crappy reaction I get to pain meds).

    Interesting about peeling the fruit. With plums, the peel tastes way too sour for me, so I peel them. If I don't, I guess I get that sour crampy jaw feel. This sure sounds like the culprit.

    I'm also finding that when I get all stressed about something, I get that crampy thing happening too, even when not exposed to a new allergen? I think it's my body reacting to the stress hormones. I'm allergic to stress it seems...?! When I get a little cold (like I'm walking aroudn the grocery store where they keep it cool), many times my body starts really reacting too. Watery eyes, stuffy nose, post nasal drip, suddenly feel like I have a fever, etc. I think that's cuz of XMRV or EBV or some other viral crap I have :(

    But the salicylate doesn't go away when they make it into juice? I get that reaction to almost all juice and even those beverages that are 0% juice... I always thought it was cuz they added citric acid. Or maybe the other preservatives.

    Yeah I'm allergic to most perfumes.
  4. antherder

    antherder Senior Member

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    Noooo! Please don't take an aspirin, cos if you do have a salicylate problem, it could be very dangerous! It can cause anaphylaxis! Especially if you get asthma. Are you asthmatic? I was as a child, and I used to take aspirin a lot. i don't rememember having a reaction then, but I was on asthma meds. It was probably when I was in my late teens i noticed that whenever I took aspirin it would bring on an asthma attack. I don't usually get asthma anymore since I gave up dairy, unless a chemical, sulfite or other, triggers it.

    Juice would still be full of salicylates cos they just chuck the whole fruit in, even the moldy ones, apparently. I think I read somewhere that citric acid is usually made by some sort of sulfite process. It's very hard to get away from...
  5. antherder

    antherder Senior Member

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    Also, a lot of medicines contain sulfites to preserve them. Others are sulfur based. Like some antibiotics.

    The injections dentists use generally contain sulfites. Have you ever reacted to these?
  6. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    Well Allegra helps my asthma a lot. Mostly I just get an asthma attack if I breathe in certain fumes while I'm out driving? I'm not sure what fumes. It happens rarely, to trigger a strong attack that I would need an inhaler for. I am sure that most times I'm on the road I am getting mild symptoms to gasoline and other stuff. (Also to the heat, to trees and grasses, etc.) Or one time when I ate raw peanuts, I'm not sure if that counts as an asthma attack, that was more like swelling.

    Gross about moldy fruit! Though I guess they do UV or something to kill off organisms. Yuck that they process the stuff so much.

    The skin prick test did say I was not allergic to gluten or tree nuts, but I believe that can be wrong. And they had me only mildly allergic to peanuts, or maybe not at all, but I am clearly allergic to them, especially raw. Strawberries I believe it said no or mild, but I am almost positive I am allergic. Even soy said it was not a major allergy, but soy is so bad for me. I also had some things checked via blood draw, and it said I was not allergic to citrus. So yeah, maybe I can have citrus that's organic?

    Are whole potatoes also contaminated with chemicals? I love potatoes too, though I know they aren't that healthy.
  7. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    Yes, those dental injections would drive me crazy. And I thought there was something wrong, that I wasn't just being a wimp. But it's been a long time, I can't be specific about it. I thought it was because it was epinephrine basically? I started getting them to use a different numbing agent (non-epi) which helps but yes I think they still give me some problems, at least that crampy muscle feel.

    Also when I was young I had my MMR vaccination. Then I got a fever so I was given penicillin. Then I got a rash all over. They said it was not measles or mumps and decided it was a penicillin allergy. But I never took penicillin again so it's not confirmed.

    So... lots of thanks for pointing this out to me... gee, would have been nice if my allergist or other doc told me this! (Everyone knows I am probably allergic to penicillin.)
  8. antherder

    antherder Senior Member

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    Fumes make me sick too. Cigarette, or wood smoke makes me very ill. Apparently that can be a salicylate thing too.

    Your reaction to peanuts sounds scary. If it was your lips, throat, face that swelled, it can be very dangerous.

    Potatoes are supposed to be heavily sprayed. I still eat them. I love spuds...they are low in salicylates though...

    I actually still eat most of the things I'm allergic to, because there isn't anything left for me to eat. Even an immunologist told me not to cut anything out of my diet for that reason. Or, in other words, I'm doomed. Sigh.

    Strawberries, and all berries, are very high in salicylates. Citrus is high too, I think. You might find some interesting stuff on this site;

    http://salicylatesensitivity.com/about/food-guide/

    I'm not sure about the allergy tests either. You might have intolerances, instead of allergies, which is really just semantics when you feel so rotten all the time!
  9. antherder

    antherder Senior Member

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    Funny you should say that...my friend with the sulfite problem saw lots of specialists--and paid them lots of money--yet not one of them suggested he might have a sulfite sensitivity. Despite his classic symptoms, and chronic asthma. Makes me shudder to think how many other people, especially children, are undiagnosed.
  10. antherder

    antherder Senior Member

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  11. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    Yes, the tests may not show it because the reaction doesn't happen right away in that way they're testing. I wonder if I should get ALCAT testing, but I already know I shouldn't eat most things.

    What a pain, I wonder how much of my issues I was born with versus how much is from the my immune system not working smoothly.

    I thought of potatoes because I normally avoid eating the skin. In the last year I wondered why I did that.

    I have a "high metabolism", I'm wondering if it's because I'm not able to digest a lot of what I eat. Body gives up when it's full of allergens and has to just waste some of what goes in.

    Of course I'm sensitive to OTC and prescription meds, and supplements in general. Sometimes it's useful, because I can take a 1/4 dose and it saves money. But I'm sure allergies are causing problems in that area too. And sensitivity.
  12. guest

    guest Guest

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    Same here. I hope so much that scientists soon find a solution to this.
  13. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    Do probiotics and other supplements help any of our food allergies, digestion, MCS? I tried them a little, maybe not enough.

    Wow I seem to be getting a reaction to the peeled cucumber I ate... probably due to chemicals.

    I want to go to Whole Foods and find a few things I could eat, but I'm less clear on what I can eat now. So there's a chance I can eat most fruits, veg, and meat if it's organic and otherwise good. Well, ones without sulfites. And I don't know if I am sensitive to salicylates but can assume so for now. Probably I can't eat legumes and nuts if they are organic? That's a lot of good food to not be able to eat.

    Is there a better sweetener I should be using instead of buying some local honey? I read that agave nectar isn't actually too healthy, and others are being misleading?
  14. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    I think I'm going to try to detect allergens just one or a few at time. i.e. Don't eat eggs for 4-10 days, then eat lots of eggs (and almost nothing else) for 3-5 hours. My body is sensitive and good at telling me when something is a problem. I will still avoid soy, nuts, and a bunch of other things but not avoid some others. And will convert to organic. I've been gluten free for a week now, and I ate some organic granola that has organic malt and organic maltodextrin. But I bet there's gluten, since they don't promote it as gluten-free. I'm having a bad reaction, am very tired. But this granola also had organic molasses, I didn't realize that molasses was often sulfured. So it may be the molasses. So not a great experiment there.
  15. Lisa

    Lisa Senior Member

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    Local honey isn't likely to be diluted with high fructose corn syrup, especially if you are finding it at Whole Foods. :Retro smile: Make sure you're not allergic to the type of pollen the bees are using - for instance, I have trouble with clover honey but not most others and I'm definitely allergic to clover pollen. You could also try raw cane sugar (one brand is sugar in the raw).

    There's been a lot of really good advice on this thread to help you along your way SOS. I don't think anyone has mentioned it, but make sure to be taking a good multivitamin and some probiotics if you are not already. :Retro smile:

    If you decide you want to give paleo a shot or have any questions about my two previous posts, pop me a PM here at the forums! I'm moving on from this thread, don't have much energy these days and a big week to prep for.

    Good luck SOS! Lisa :Retro smile:
  16. Mark

    Mark Acting CEO

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    Not sure how much I can add to the great advice on this thread, but a couple of quick items from my personal experience...

    - I was really interested in the stuff about chicken. Both my sister and I settled on a diet that included beef and chicken for quite some time, never having suspected that chicken would be a problem, but eventually we realised that it is, sometimes. The info here about soy and non-organic foods being the key makes total sense to me: I'm sensitive to both.

    - I agree that organics made a big difference to me - but not the 'organic' food you buy in supermarkets, the difference I experienced was with genuine organics from a reliable health food shop. So watch out for organic produce from big chains...

    - Also agree with filtering water, that's another measure that was part of my overall strategy during the 2 years I made really good progress and like everything else, I don't know what was most significant but I keep up with the filtering.

    - You mentioned the difficulty of identifying effects and the suspicion that environmental factors were also at play making it hard to assess the impact of dietary changes. And that is indeed a difficult one. It can take a long, long time before you're detoxed enough, and following enough of the right measures, to be able to work out where a problem is coming from. My main advice would be to try to do everything - obviously it's hard, but I took the environmental measures (air filtering/dehumidifiers etc) at the same time as changing my diet, and I was also having detox saunas, vitamin supplements, and sublingual B12, CoQ10 etc all at the same time. Basically I committed to doing all these things for a year to see where it left me - and in the end, in 2 years, I had gradually improved enormously. So I think it's true that it's going to be hard to make obvious progress on diet when you don't know what environmental factors are also in play.

    - For me one part of my personal breakthrough was identifying some of the precise effects on my body of different foods and environmental challenges. in particular, I discovered that my digestion is often very slow, and the negative effects of foods I can't tolerate often don't show until about 24 hours later. Once I'd got a handle on that timing it became much easier to work out what foods had caused what problems. I also discovered that I get a clue almost as soon as I eat something - often when I eat something I shouldn't, I feel the pain within minutes as it hits my digestive system, and that always correlates with...er...problems later on...so that was a really helpful discovery.

    - I should also note that after a couple of years of eating nothing but a very boring, restricted diet, I've found that I can now tolerate some of the foods I react to for a limited period of time. So if I now have the occasional pizza, I can just about get away with it, but after a week or two of relaxing my restrictions, the problems start again. I think these reactions really should be called "sensitivities" rather than allergies, because technically they aren't allergies (in my case at least) but they do show up on certain tests (consistent with my experience); they are sensitivities and I suspect they do fluctuate somewhat; I definitely become gradually less sensitive to everything through avoidance, but that's a very slow process indeed, whereas the re-sensitisation once I start eating them again is much, much quicker :-(

    - Finally, the diet that my sister and I have ended up on is beef, potatoes and broccoli. We both eat that near enough every day. The other main thing that has kept me going is fruit smoothies (and I mean good pure fruit Innocent smoothies or ones you make yourself from organic fruit, not chemically-enhanced varieties...). Some people can't tolerate any fructose of course, but if you can, then they are a hugely healthy way of getting a lot of energy.

    Hope you get some good results from the mass of info on this thread :)
  17. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    Interesting about organic food from the regular grocery stores.

    Hmmm about becoming less sensitive over time. I've heard that before too, especially if people avoided it for 12-18+ months, they might be completely fine with the food afterwards? Not that often but sometimes.
  18. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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  19. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    Those with CFS/ME should avoid the epinephrine in the dental injections. I got a quite severe neurological reaction from one ..body spasms so bad i couldnt walk.. and the side effects from the needle lasted days (i had extreme pain for days in the needle site).
  20. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    Wow!

    I do find that rice is making me very tired. I should probably give that up :(

    And I ate fish again and feel like I'm allergic. Don't like the taste either. Who knows, maybe my symptoms aren't from the fish. I'm not a great detective, my head is foggy!

    I just read that you shouldn't take fish oil supplements if you have a soybean allergy. (Or if you are allergic to fish, obviously.) I don't think mine say soy on the bottle, but it's been a while since I looked.

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