N=1: Latency and Half-Life. [blog post on why self-experimentation is hard to get right]



N=1: Latency and Half-Life​

I. Latency
a. Melons

Peter has a bad reaction to melons. Every time he eats melon, he gets sick right away, and he often throws up.
We can say that Peter’s reaction to melon has low latency. When it happens, it happens right away. No waiting about.
Mark also has a bad reaction to melons. But because of a complex series of biochemical interactions, when Mark eats melon, he doesn’t get sick right away. He gets sick about three days (72 hours) later, when he suddenly starts to feel very ill, and then often throws up.
We can say that Mark’s reaction to melon has high latency. It happens, but it always takes a long time to kick in.
Peter and Mark have basically the same reaction to melon. Both have the same symptoms — nausea, sickness, and vomiting. Both reactions happen for sure every time — they are both equally reliable. The only thing that’s different is the latency.

b. Different and the Same
Though their reactions are nearly identical, Peter and Mark end up with very different experiences of their sensitivity.
Peter quickly learns that melon is a trigger. After all, he gets sick right away. He just makes sure to avoid melon and goes about his life with no additional air of mystery.

Mark, on the other hand, is plagued with random, crippling nausea. He sometimes gets sick, and it always seems to be for no reason. This is because it’s hard to remember what you were eating exactly 72 hours ago (for example, take a moment to try to remember what YOU were eating 72 hours ago). So for Mark, the connection is very obscure. He may never figure it out.

continues at link: https://slimemoldtimemold.com/2023/04/25/n1-latency-and-half-life/


Senior Member
That's why I keep recommending food/activity/symptoms journals. My ME started with a type IV food sensitivity, which had a precise and consistent delay of 48 hrs (+/- just a few minutes). Not easy to notice the correlation just going by memory.

Rufous McKinney

Senior Member
I prefer to eat simple foods...but sometimes, well, "more complicated food" arrives...with a whole lot of ingredients.

Good luck with that. (thinking about Trader Joe's...you can get some pretty good stuff there, but still, it sometimes just has so MANY ingredients)...so just write that down...

In other food news, my grandaughter has a milk protein issue, and so my daughter had to stop dairy as she is breast feeding. It's not a milk allergy but some other type thing. And I wonder if she got the from me, and I wonder if I actually still HAVE those original allergies only now they are HIGH LATENCY.

( I was allergic to just about everything, at age one; on shots for many years)