I’ve struggled with different health issues for years, and after years of denial, I am beginning to realize that most – if not all – of them could be caused by a food sensitivity. I realize I am late to the party here, but I honestly didn’t realize that a food sensitivity could be causing the myriad health issues I experience on a regular basis, such as:
- brain fog
- keratosis pilaris
- horrible skin rashes
- joint pain
- migraine headaches
- nasal congestion
- bloating and gas
It was actually my ENT that suggested I try an elimination diet. I have chronic nasal congestion, and my nose is so swollen inside that he said I don’t breathe in nearly as much oxygen as I should during the day (could account for the brain fog). He wanted to do surgery on my nose to remove the swollen tissue. I’d rather figure out why the tissue is swollen and treat the root cause. I was tested for eleventy hundred different allergens, and showed as significantly allergic to mold and one or two grasses or trees, but that’s it. I was also tested for food allergies and passed with flying colors. BUT after the allergy testing, my skin broke out like whoa, and that’s when he said the systemic reaction I experienced pointed to a possible food sensitivity. He suggested giving up gluten and dairy for a few weeks (easy as that) then reintroducing them to magically find out what was causing my distress.
You can see I wasn’t convinced.
I gave them up and did pretty well for a couple of weeks then decided that was enough and went cray at dinner one night. Two days later I was laid up on the couch with food poisoning. Testing confirmed I had campylobacter. Coincidence? Well I can tell you this much. Two rounds of antibiotics and two weeks later (plus a short round of Cipro which I turned out to be allergic to – irony?) I was back on my feet, and fully back on gluten and dairy.
That was in May. It’s now November, and flu season is coming. Flu season scares me. Last year I got the flu. (notice how great my immune system is?) My kids get colds and because I am constantly kissing them and licking their faces, I get their colds. When I get colds, my nasal congestion is even worse and takes weeks to recover from (just enough to breathe at night). Needless to say, I’m on edge, and I want to make sure I am as healthy as I can be.
I recently gave up gluten a few weeks a go, for about two weeks. I felt really good on the diet. Not gonna lie and say I felt like I was a kid again, but the bloating and gas were gone at least, and I felt a little more pep in my step. Of course, going back on wheat meant I ate pizza and mac ‘n’ cheese and other crap, so it’s no wonder that as soon as I did, I felt bloated again. What did surprise me, though, is that I got a skin rash at the same time I went back on wheat. I get enough of them that it could totally be a coincidence, but I found it interesting anyway. Last night I had a couple of beers while I watched the Broncos hand it to the Chiefs, and I felt congested, bloated, and generally awful.
I’m not convinced that gluten is my problem, but I’m not convinced it’s not either. I am, however, very confident that my problem lies with a food sensitivity (or even more than one). Now I just have to figure out what it is.