Sunday, March 2, 2008

Silent Symptoms: Food Allergies

I am not a doctor, visit your doctor if you believe you might be suffering from a food allergy. What I am posting here is nothing more than my personal experiences.

Silent symptoms; that is the problem with a food allergy.

You eat something, a few minutes later, usually 15 - 20, your face feels a little warm. You might have a slight prickly sensation around your nose. Your eyes might even feel heavy. Mentally it feels like a heavy fog has just settled on your world. Perhaps you are getting agitated at the smallest things. Your muscles hurt (usually neck, shoulders, upper back) every morning when you get up. You have little energy. You feel like you are in a constant state of fatigue. People tell you that the world is a stressful place and that you might just be stressed out.

All the above a silent symptoms of a food allergy. A matter of not is that, those were my symptoms. I wasn't getting sick to my stomach. I wasn't breaking out in hives. No major external symptoms to warn me of the danger that was lurking. Until I went to the birthday party of a friends child.
I ate 4 hot-dogs that day, some cake. The hot-dog buns were made with whole grain wheat. I had a couple of beers. Not big deal, I can usually drink a six pack without feeling much. Then I had a couple of lemon drops (vodka and lemon juice). After I finished my second, something very very awkward happened to me. A very heavy fog was descending one me. I sat down, every once of energy that I had was gone, I was getting very very tired. I was also losing my vision.

What's the big deal you ask? You were stinking drunk! I would normally agree with you except for one thing. I was very alert of everything going on around me. I was talking to people about the way I felt. I asked for some milk. The milk could curdle the remaining alcohol in my stomach and I would vomit it up. I drank 2 glasses with no results. This made me even more concerned because if it was not alcohol, then what was happening to me?

I took me 2 days to recover from this ordeal and during those 2 days, I sought an answer.

My wife has recently realized she had a food allergy as she is now lactose intolerant. I looked down up food allergies and was presented with a list of symptoms. As I started to read into this list of symptoms, I noticed that people were commenting on 'being tired after eating' and 'always exhausted'.

I would eat 2 sandwiches for lunch and be ready for a 15 minute nap. If I would eat a larger meal, I could nap for 30 minutes. Yet, after I awoke, I still felt drained.

I kept reading, people were talking about 'foggy thinking' and 'can not hold a thought'. I knew that one first hand. 'Aching muscles', 'Difficulty breathing', 'itching face' and the list went on.

The food that was listed as the culprit for this crimes? Wheat.

Well, there was only one way to test this theory. Stop eating wheat all together (easier said than done).

When you first STOP, you come away from wheat, oats, barley and corn. No cereals, no muffins, no cookies, no cakes, no sandwiches, no onion rings (unless you remove the batter), you need to watch every thing you eat.

Here are things they DON'T TELL YOU ABOUT...
The first day I was off of wheat and everything else, it was a typical day. Day two I was hungry before lunch and the tuna salad (no bread) my daughter made for me didn't fill me up. Day three was the same way (same lunch also). Day four I ate my lunch (same as day two and three) by 10 am, went to lunch with co-workers and had a open-faced burrito. For of those who don't know. It is basically all the fixings, no wrap. One Saturday (day five), I was hungry, famished, felt like I had not eaten in days. The wheat products had been 'filling me up' but not giving me nutrition. Now that my body was relaxing from the shock it was going through, it wanted energy!
I also started taking phytonutrients to aid my body in recovery. I had read an article regarding phytoplankton and wanted to give it a try. Except I couldn't find the phytoplankton locally and didn't want to wait for a order to come from elsewhere. So, I purchased a container of powdered phytonutrients, a combination of grasses, fruits, vegetables and sea vegetables. I was mixing it in with apple juice and later cran-grape juice.

The results of getting off wheat?

Well, by day five, I was working in the yard and I didn't get tired. Something that has not happened in years. I slept soundly for multiple nights in a row, no muscle cramps in the morning, no stiff upper back, my focus has returned and one interesting thing occurred. I spent a entire day without my glasses on. I suffer from an astigmatism that I was told, because my prescription is very low, they tell me I have 'tired eyes'.

Food allergies have many symptoms that the medical community may mistake for something else. The fact remains, both the wheat and the milk are processed. They are altered from their original states. Once altered in this way are they really fit for human consumption? The FDA will tell you yes. Yet, we are starting to see the LONG TERM EFFECT of these alterations. Shame that the FDA doesn't wake up and see that the answer has become NO.

It is not that the foods are bad for us, the process which they go through is bad for us. Another food that is damaged and has harmful side effects is sugar. White, refined sugar. That is another argument for another day.

If you have any symptoms, you need to get yourself checked out. At best, stop eating wheat and dairy for 2 - 3 weeks. I challenge you! See if your health changes any.

Prior to the discovery of this food allergy, during the weeks leading up to it, one of my meditation session each day was 'relax, rest, rejuvenate'. I presume the universe brought the silent allergy to my attention because it is hard to relax and rest when you are eating things that are stressing your body out.
Now I can begin to reset and relax then hopefully rejuvenate.

5 comments:

Genie said...

The Atkins diet was such a boon to me because it pretty much got me off everything I was allergic/sensitive to. I even discovered that hard cheeses were fine (they don't have much lactose) but that softer cheeses caused me problems. I discovered that cream, which has no lactose, is perfectly okay for me but I can't drink milk without suffering. I stay away from all grains except rice now. It's just easier. And I definitely stay away from lactose unless it's unpasterized, unprocessed goat milk--which never bothers me.

I'm intrigued by the idea that wheat might not bother me if I was getting it unadulterated. Is that even possible anymore? What with genetic engineering?

I always thought my wheat and lactose intolerance had something to do with my Native American ancestry--they ate meat and whatever fruits or veggies were available. But they weren't much for milk (to my knowledge) or wheat.

But wheat seems like one of those things mother nature gave us, a gift, like she gave us deer and slow moving cattle. So I've always wondered why some of us can't tolerate it. Now you've got me wondering what wheat was like back before man started interfering with it.

Matters of the Spirit said...

There are four things in our diets that are modified for production reasons.

Grains
Sugars
Milk (Cow)
Juices

If they are not in their original state prior to production. How can our bodies break them down properly?

You mentioned GMFs (Genetically Modified Foods), do the scientists have any idea what they have done to our food supply by altering them? I doubt it. As I mentioned, if the FDA didn't live in the pocket of the industries they would then stop most of the modifications for production since it is NOT FIT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION. But alas, money is more important than you are!

horatioB said...

I cant thank you enough for posting this! I found your blog from google searching to see what was wrong with me. Your post was spot on on how i was feeling! I stopped eating wheat and i feel great! Thanks so much. I did however feel really sad when i realized beer is not part of my diet anymore.

Spirit said...

Horatio:

I am glad that I can help. As for the beers, I found that not all beers are wheat based. There are many out there that use other grains. I still have the luxury of an occasional beer, I just researched the brewing process and in one case called the company to find out exactly what the ingredients were.

Good luck out there and congratulations on feeling better!

Spirit said...

Opps...Sorry -

I was going to note: Corona Extra is made with all natural ingredients, water, barley, hops and yeast.

So, if the allergy is just to wheat, pull up a Corona and lime.