My New Normal takes a Turn in the Road

1/31/16 The past few days have been quite a roller coaster.  And though this post is mostly about food intolerance, there is a possibility there is a link between my migraines and food sensitivities.

I had a migraine every day last week and by Thursday night I had run out of abortive medications and was still in migraine mode, only without anymore pain relievers.  So I used what I had in my migraine toolbox to help manage the pain the best I could: dark, quiet, my new IceKap and my iPad with an ear bud to minimize sound and distract my brain from the pain.

Thursday was also the day I picked up the results of my food sensitivities and intolerance.  My first response was “there is no way my mind can take this in with this kind of head pain and I am on my way to get my hair done”.  So I set it aside and mentioned a few brief things to Dan.  And then I went in my bedroom because my head was killing me and decided to compare my list of no-no foods to my stocked Crave Cave.  I can no longer eat any of them.  Then I came out to the cupboards and could find nothing that I could eat that didn’t have at least one ingredient from the list.  Then I started swearing, throwing things, crying…you name the emotion, I likely felt it except all the happy ones of course.

12651188_10153830137376897_9210018167551688087_nFriday sucked as much because I was still mad and now becoming very depressed because I didn’t know what to eat.  So I ate nothing for breakfast, a cheese stick for lunch and a tortilla for dinner.  The worst part of the day though was that my migraine was not only awful, but the light sensitivity was awful and it was extremely bright outside and I had to pick up the kids; Gideon from the bus stop, no big deal and then Josiah from school because Dan forgot about him and had to work late.  So the picture here is of me trying to drive with an awful migraine while trying to block the sun out of my right eye where I was already being stabbed from the inside.  But it really demonstrates how I really felt as well.

And now onto my main point of this entire blog post, the Food Intolerance/Food Sensitivity testing and what in the world I am going to do and eat for the foreseeable future.

Food Allergies: Here is the list of allergies that my family and I have been learning to live with since June of 2014.   Actual allergies measured by IgE enzyme may or may not show up on the food tolerance testing but a few did show up on both lists* (and this turned our families life upside down, but not begin to compare to the upheaval it will take in the coming months):

  1. Peanuts
  2. Almonds
  3. Walnuts*
  4. Pistachio*
  5. Coconut
  6. Avacado
  7. Cherry
  8. Melons*

 Severe intolerance: (which means these foods should be avoided for a minimum of 6 months):

  1. Anchovy (which I thought no big deal at first until I read that you find it in soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce and other fish sauces…possibly even Fish Oil supplements.
  2. Baker’s Yeast (which is in EVERYTHING, well just about anyway.  All breads of course, processed foods, crackers and many broths)
  3. Kale (which shouldn’t be a problem because I have not acquired a taste for it and we never buy it)
  4. Lentil Bean (something we enjoy making once in awhile in our house, but we can do without easy enough)
  5. Licorice (the flavor is found in a variety of candies, soft drinks, herbal teas and cough syrup)
  6. Portabello Mushrooms (Something I really like but we rarely ever buy them, so this shouldn’t be too hard to avoid)
  7. Zucchini squash (I do love zucchini bread and we finally found a way we love to cook it on the grill, but again, not really a hidden ingredient and it will just have to make it’s way off my to eat list.
  8. BHA (These are often added to foods to preserve fats and is found in butter, meats, cereals, chewing gum, baked goods, snack foods, dehydrated potatoes and beer.

Moderate Interolerance (which means these foods should be avoided for 3-6 months)

  1. Acorn squash
  2. Apricot
  3. Basil
  4. Bok Choy
  5. Cayenne Pepper
  6. Clove
  7. Fennel Seed
  8. High fructose corn syrup
  9. Green pea
  10. Honey
  11. Honey Dew melon
  12. Kelp
  13. Kidney bean
  14. Lima bean
  15. Mung bean
  16. Red Beet
  17. Safflower
  18. Scallions
  19. Watercress
  20. Citric Acid
  21. Green dye #3
  22. Acai Berry
  23. Glucosamine
  24. Goldenseal
  25. Grape seed Extract
  26. Huperzine
  27. Resveratrol
  28. Spirulina
  29. Ammonium Chloride
  30. Ampicillin (my doctors thought I might have a slight reaction to penicillin when I was young because I broke out in a rash, but I have had the z-pack since??)
  31. Piroxicam (not sure what medication this is?)

Mild Intolerance (which means these foods should be avoided)

  1. Black beans-so sad 😦
  2. Blueberry-my favorite fruit 😦
  3. Cannellini beans
  4. Cantaloupe
  5. Cauliflower
  6. Chia
  7. Chick pea (but I love humus)
  8. Chicory
  9. Chives
  10. Cinnamon
  11. Cocoa
  12. Cucumber
  13. Cumin
  14. Dandelion Leaf
  15. Date
  16. Egg Yolk
  17. Grape
  18. Guava
  19. Mango
  20. Mulberry
  21. Nutmeg
  22. Gluten free oat
  23. Paprika
  24. Peppermin
  25. Persimmon
  26. Pistachio
  27. Pomegranate
  28. Psyllium
  29. Radish
  30. Sesame
  31. Spearmint
  32. Sunflower
  33. Turnip
  34. Wakame seawee
  35. Walnut
  36. Yellow Squash
  37. Cane sugar
  38. Maple sugar
  39. Barley
  40. Malt
  41. Rye
  42. Spelt
  43. Wheat
  44. Gliadin
  45. Agave
  46. Ashwaganha (wah?)
  47. Barley Grass
  48. Chlorella
  49. Chondroitin
  50. Elderberry
  51. Essiac
  52. Goji Berry
  53. Milk Thistle
  54. Mullein Leaf
  55. Rooibos tea
  56. Benzoic Acid
  57. Brilliant Black
  58. Red #4 Carmine
  59. Red #40 Allura red
  60. Nickel Sulfate
  61. Aspirin
  62. Ibuprofen
  63. Aleve
  64. Neomysin
  65. Penisillamine
  66. Tetracycline
  67. Voltaren??

SO WHAT THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO EAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They gave me a food rotation list, but I am still not sure how that works.  The test results came with a 30 minute call to a nutritionist that may be able to help me get on the right path.  And then they gave me the list of Foods to Avoid:

  1. Acorn squash
  2. Anchovy
  3. Apricot
  4. Baker’s Yeast
  5. Basil
  6. Bok Choy
  7. Cayenne Pepper
  8. Clove
  9. Fennel Seed
  10. High Fructose corn syrup, better known as Corn Syrup or Fructose
  11. Green pea
  12. Honey
  13. Honeydew melon
  14. Kale
  15. Kelp
  16. Kidney Bean
  17. Lentil Bean
  18. Licorice
  19. Lima Bean
  20. Mung Bean
  21. Portobello Mushroom
  22. Red Beet
  23. Safflower (oil and margarine, also in diet mayo and diet salad dressing)
  24. Scallions
  25. Watercress (a main ingredient in V8)
  26. Zucchini

So in the end I have no idea how I will even begin to manage this and it won’t come easily or quickly…but it sure might explain why my stomach or lower abdomen hurts to some extent daily.  And then I have flair ups that the doctors have always just deemed IBS (which I believe I do have symptoms of that as well, but still).  Part of me wishes that I never took this test, that I never knew the results because they make me angry and I feel like I can’t eat anything.  So I have had much grieving over the past few days and not eating.  Dan tried to pick up a few things at the store for me, but when you are only looking for a few of the issues, there seems to be 5 other ingredients that are on this list.  But he is trying.  He also made us steamed fresh broccoli, ham steaks (that had no indication of additives that I couldn’t have) and plain white rice with a little salt.)  And it felt good to know that there was a meal that I could possibly eat.  And to know that I have a spouse on my side (like he has been through it all).

IMG_7373

I go to my Head Pain doctors on Tuesday and I am going to ask him he thinks that it is worthwhile to test for Celiac Disease.  I read an article about the relation of having a food allergy to Baker’s Yeast and CD and though I have not been tested for the food allergy I at least have some basis to be tested.  Headaches, fatigue, acid reflux, etc are also symptoms of CD.  So it might not hurt to at least get tested at this point.

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4 thoughts on “My New Normal takes a Turn in the Road

  1. Heather I can’t even fathom how frustrating this must be (well, maybe a teensy bit). But I know you will adjust and learn and grow and conquer this! You have an amazing family to support you and your friends aren’t bad either 😉 Love you!

    Like

    • Thanks Mindy! I am slowly accepting it and of course my family is supporting me 🙂 Thank goodness! However I am going to try an elimination diet instead of stopping eating all of these things all at once. My neurologist felt it might be a better way to both determine which foods I am sensitive to from a gastrointestinal point and from a head pain point.

      Liked by 1 person

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