The 12th Invest in ME Research Conference June, 2017, Part 2
MEMum presents the second article in a series of three about the recent 12th Invest In ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London.
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Is anyone else hypersensitive to stimulating herbs/meds/foods?

Discussion in 'Hypersensitivity and Intolerance' started by SolarMuse, Mar 12, 2017.

  1. SolarMuse


    I am. Are you? Is this a CFS thing? I used to drink a pot of coffee a day 20 yrs ago, now, I can hardly drink 1 cup of coffee (unless I am really wiped out) and Mucinex makes me want to crawl out my skin. I am also sensitive to detoxing herbs and cleaning chemicals.
    merylg, Ryan88 and pattismith like this.
  2. Lolo

    Lolo Senior Member

    Chemical smells make me feel sick - deodorants, perfumes, cleaning products, etc. If I can't get away I will start to get a headache. Love the smell of coffee though.
    Kenshin and keenly like this.
  3. boolybooly

    boolybooly Senior Member

    Yes, its a real problem, I can't take any caffeine also there are a bunch of foods with high amine content and these amines act as stimulants and can cause major headbuzz.

    In addition there are other foods which block the enzymes which should get rid of stimulating molecules (Mono Amine Oxidases aka MAOs) so if you eat a stimulant cooked with a MAO inhibitor it can cause double trouble as the stimulant builds up and doesnt go away. Nutmeg commonly used in sausages and christmas pudding has a very powerful action in this regard and is why some people use it like a drug.

    eg chicken (especially skin) is high in stimulating amines but onion and olive oil contain MAO inhibitors so if I have a fry up of chicken and onion in olive oil it can spell disaster.

    I find I can improve the situation by avoiding such foods as cause a problem and also taking Kirkman B complex is the only treatment I have found for food related runaway headbuzz, I believe some of the Bs may support MAO activity.
    merylg, Ryan88, Lolo and 1 other person like this.
  4. DoggerFisher

    DoggerFisher Senior Member

    This year I collected a new sensitivity to Annatto! - caffeine, MSG etc. are old ones I've long avoided. When my nervous system symptoms are worse (senses heightened) other things can be a problem...
    SolarMuse likes this.
  5. Fogbuster

    Fogbuster Senior Member

    I'm hypersensitive to all stimulant herbs & most adaptogens. Coffee and all other caffeine laden beverages do not agree with me at all, even decaf, although that doesn't stop me from having a cappuccino every so often! Too much caffeine and extras like high fat dairy, syrup etc, set my nervous system up to 11 and make me feel bleurgh and unable to think. Very annoying.
  6. RYO

    RYO Senior Member

    Red ginseng caused tachycardia, unexplained shortness of breath and akathisia.
  7. pattismith

    pattismith Senior Member

    when I was younger, I was already ill, but I could find extra energy with stimulants like caffein.
    With time going by, I had to diminish progressivly my consumption down to one cup per day of very long coffee, and now to zero coffee.

    My own endogenous epinephrine/adrenaline could give me a boost of good energy when I was young but it doesn't anymore now.

    I tryed small doses of Ephedrine drug some years ago (analog to Adrenaline), for a year. It worked at the begining, then it failed. And if I was taking just a tiny amount of coffee at the same time with Ephedrine I could faint!
    I guess there was such a big problem with my energy pathway that stimulants were not good for me...
    SolarMuse likes this.
  8. andyguitar

    andyguitar Senior Member

    South east England
    The way I look at it is if physical activity makes you worse so will the biochemical activity that comes from stimulating herbs, foods and drink.
    SolarMuse and pattismith like this.
  9. Ryan88


    Big Island, HI
    I am totally hypersensitive to a LOT of foods! Caffeine messes with my head big time. I can't eat or drink anything with added sugars either (of any kind, even honey, molasses, xylitol, etc) since I have similar effects to those of caffeine. Certain herbs, spices, + proteins also affect me similarly. Headaches, mood swings, extreme thirst, digestive issues, all the fun stuff. And I'm with you on the aversion to harsh smells too. I can't believe there are others! ha. It sucks. Big time. I wish I had more answers as to why, but still the search continues. I know for me being HSP contributes to alot of my sensitivities. Anyway, we aren't crazy!
  10. Thinktank

    Thinktank Senior Member

    I feel your pain @SolarMuse

    I've become hypersensitive to anything that stimulates the excitatory neurotransmitters.
    Epinephrine/norepinephrine, glutamate and cholinergics.
    Caffeine makes me feel super wired, i become a total mess with even small amounts. I cant drink coffee, tea or eat any chocolate. Also sugar and foods high in glutamate overstimulate me.
    Benzodiazepine withdrwal syndrome and years of taking neurotoxic medication for misdiagnosed "lyme disease" has complicated my sensitivities even further.
    My sensitivities would have been way beter off had i not listened to doctors....
    Wayne and SolarMuse like this.
  11. Dabam


    It's ridiculous how hypersensitive I have become to things olive oil,gluten,dairy products etc the list goes on and on

    On the plus side I react very quickly within a hour if something is wrong with pulsating pressure in my head and ramped up anxiety ,so finding triggers and eliminating them is made easier.

    It's a bit like Russian roulette at meal times
    Fogbuster and Wayne like this.
  12. Fogbuster

    Fogbuster Senior Member

    I can certainly relate with everything you've said. Do you get the relaxing effect from the olive oil as well as the symptoms you get? I get both allergy like symptoms and the relaxing therapeutic effect from consuming it on food. o_O
    Dabam likes this.
  13. Dabam


    I actually use to get that effect from olive oil and epa fish oils but now within about 30 mins of consuming either I get symptoms like my brain is swelling loads of head pressure then palpitations that last hours.

    So I have to avoid it....... doesn't figure that the things that are healthy have such a bad effect :(
  14. Each Day

    Each Day

    I can't touch caffeine.

    I used to drink coffee with no effect, I could drink it before bed and sleep fine. Occasionally, If I was tired at work I would drink 1 energy drink (this was not often though maybe 5 times in as many years.)

    When I was really trying lose weight for sport, I'd drink caffeine (insert brand) before going to training after work just to give me the motivation. I would drive a long way in the day and work hard.. Then physically train hard most days of the week and was full on at the weekend. The body had not issue with it.

    I can't touch booze now either (even though I used to like to go out and have drink). A sip or a mouthful can make me feel like achy and hot when I wake up. It's 99.9% certain within a day or so I will feel like have symptoms like a bad cold (without the running nose or sneezing). I will say I feel like I am getting the flu. It can also make me feel more down...

    I never suffered any anxiety or anything like depression before I got cfs/me. It has taken many years for me to start feeling different mentally, I think this is natural too. It's a complete life change and my brain cells feel like they are dying... I loved my work and activity level before.

    I think my CFS/ME is very much linked to stress, so no surprise anything that places stress on the body makes it worse.. I can go from being functional tired, to semi housebound by consuming the wrong things.

    Large meals and regular junk food also make me ache and feel hot... Again as a Neutritionist explained, it takes energy for the body to breakdown food, and lots of bad food can give a kind of food hangover. Best practice was to eat small meals regular, pick foods that were better in nutritional value, so supporting the body rather than trashing it.

    Obviously not everyone is the same, but I bet the advice is fairly generic for anyone who is poorly.

    Eating healthy and taking supplements for me, enables me to have a fairly normal life, the over doing it, is what messes me up, then I use junk food as a pick me up and it starts a whole cycle, perhaps similar to drinking booze to mask a problem, and hi energy bad food seems to reward the brain with feel good chemicals, followed by feel eat more.

    I also think too much bread might be bad for me. I feel better when eating a certain way, but it's hard to live long term (restricted) like an athlete when you're just doing it to get by each day and still don't feel great.

    Excuse bad writing... tired :)

    Sorry I digress, personal experience.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017

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