For the past — hmmm, how many years has it been? Five? — five years, my health has been a virtual roller coaster. I suffered chronic strep throat for years, and finally got a tonsillectomy in March of 2010. The good news is, I haven’t had strep throat since then. The bad news is, my health still sucks. I constantly get colds, have rashes all over my body, and suffer from extreme bloating and gassiness. (TMI?) Not to mention that I have a tendency to faint (or feel like I’m going to faint) in stuffy or hot places.
A few weeks ago, I was suffering from nasal congestion — AGAIN — so bad taht I couldn’t breathe through my nose at all for four days. I sometimes panic when I can’t breathe through my nose, so this was — shall we say — a rough week. I finally decided enough is enough and made an appointment with the ENT. He gave me some corticosteroid nasal spray called Qnasl and also set me up for allergy testing.
On Monday, I went in for the allergy testing. The tests showed I have a mild allergy to dust mites and cockroaches (ew) plus some grasses/weeds, a moderate allergy to feathers and some trees like red cedar, and a moderate allergy to — wait for it — glycerin. Allergic to glycerin. Have you ever heard of such a thing? Glycerin is in *every* cosmetic product out there!!!
Yesterday, I went to the lab and had blood drawn for food allergies. I hope they run the glycerin test again as well because I really want someone to tell me that was a mistake.
Anyway, the day after the allergy testing, guess what happened. I got a rash on both feet. Awesome! So I went back to the ENT yesterday and they said that it’s because of the allergy testing, my body is extra sensitive right now, not to worry. They also gave me an interesting “cocktail” to systemically address the allergy issues. This is just a short-term thing I’m supposed to do when I have an attack/rash.
– a 24-hour Claritin (or Allegra or Zyrtec) twice a day
– 75 mg Zantac twice a day (apparently this is an h2 histamine receptor??)
– benadryl at night if I need it
I already have 150mg Zantac, so I decided to take that once a day instead. Hope that doesn’t screw everything up!
My doc believes that a food intolerance or allergy might be behind all of this. Maybe the food allergy test will turn something up. Either way, he suggested I do an elimination diet to try to identify whether dairy, gluten, or soy are causing me any issues. An elimination diet is something I’ve never really had the motivation to try, but I’m at the point now where I think I really need to do it. After all, if I could feel better just by not eating something, it would be totally worth it!
So this weekend I will stock up my gluten-free pantry and fridge and give it a whirl. I’m going to do no gluten or dairy for sure, and maybe also no corn or soy.
Wish me luck!