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News You Can Use (Food Sensitivities) April 18, 2010

Posted by FCM in health, news you can use, thats random.
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this may or may not be the start of a regular column here…the “news you can use” series.  or one post that never goes any further, whatever.  i havent decided yet.  i would like to dedicate this one post that never goes any further/series to my mother, who told me, very helpfully, when i was four years old: “if you are sick with diarrhea and you feel like you have to fart, go to the bathroom.”  largely thanks to her, and that one piece of sage advice, i havent crapped my pants since i was 4.  and i know for a fact that there are many, many people who cant say that.  so, thanks, mom!

now thats news you can use, right there.  seriously.  if people never flapped their gums except to say something that was *that* fundamental, and *that* helpful…well this would be a very different world, wouldnt it?

so heres what i wanted to say, and i hope it will be helpful to someone.  when you go to the doctor for anything, there are rules in place regarding what that doctor is able to say to you, and what they are able to advise you to do.  this is called the “medical standard of care” and it basically means that there is a generic, all-purpose body of information from which they are all tapping, and they cannot deviate from the script, or they could lose their medical license.  they arent going to put themselves in that position for you, or for any patient, because they worked too hard for it.  and many of them are still paying off student loans, and it absolutely requires a doctors’ salary to pay it off.  they arent going to lose their licenses and become a walmart greeter, or a taffy puller, or a circus clown, or any other shit profession that they long ago decided they werent interested in, for you, or for anyone else.

so even if they KNEW for a fucking fact that something that wasnt in that generic body of information was going to be useful to you, and help you with your medical problem, they couldnt tell you.  its not that they just might not tell you, or they wont tell you.  they CANT tell you.  what they can do, and must do, is order tests, write prescriptions, and offer referrals.  so…this is the context in which we are all living, and the backdrop against which we are accessing medical care.  not to mention of course most mens disdain for women, and “wimmins trubbles” generally.  but i digress.

one of the things that medical doctors cant tell you (although there is a growing body of research that suggests its true, and it someday might become part of the medical standard of care) is that many, many people are allergic to or respond poorly to certain foods, and that long-term exposure to allergens can make you extremely ill.  one of the biggest things that food allergies do is make you gain weight, or make weight extremely difficult to lose.  thats because you are retaining water due to a histamine response.  you are swelling up like a big old balloon.  and chronic inflammation can also cause chronic joint and muscle pain.  duh.  and…other stuff that makes you feel like shit, day in and day out.

if you feel like shit, you might want to try avoiding the “big 8” foods that are the most common allergens in a western diet.  here they are:

gluten; corn; fish/shellfish; soy; nuts; dairy; beef; and eggs.

many people are also allergic to latex, and the foods that are related to latex.  these foods are:

apples, bananas, kiwi, peaches, plums, figs, grapes, melons, papaya, passion fruit, cherries, nectarines, pears, pineapple, strawberries; carrots, celery, potatoes, avocados, tomatoes; chestnuts, hazelnuts; wheat, and rye.

i have also heard of people being allergic to peppers, but i cant remember why.  here are the things that i realized that i personally cannot eat:

gluten; eggs; nuts; soy; shellfish; and many if not most or all of the latex cross-reactors.

gluten is like poison to me, and i cant eat it at all.  the others will make me sick in various ways if i eat them daily.  once-a-month is a good rule for those.  unfortunately, the only way you will ever really know if you are allergic to any of these foods is to eliminate all of them, completely, for a month or so.  then add them back in one at a time and see how you feel.  then eat that food daily for a week and note your symptoms (or lack thereof), and then take it back out and add something else. 

of course, this makes it almost impossible to live a normal life, (it becomes normal after awhile though, like most things) or to eat out with your nigel.  i finally had to tell mine to shut the fuck up about it, and i decided that i was going to radically alter my diet because i had to.  he can eat whatever he wants, as long as he doesnt contaminate me, or my food.

i always thought pineapple tasted like numbness and burning.  i thought that was how its supposed to taste.  its not.

that is all.


1. factcheckme - April 18, 2010

i didnt want to add specific symptoms in the text because it sounded like an informercial. but gi symptoms are very common (heartburn, gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation). skin reactions too (itchy rashes). neck and back pain can also be caused by inflammation, because the spine is basically a bunch of joints all in a row. if you have pain in other joints too (shoulders/knees) thats a tip off that your neck and back pain might be from inflammed joints, rather than other causes.

interestingly, neurological symptoms are common in people who take prilosec for recurrent heartburn. many people suspect that prilosec causes neurological symptoms, but *i* suspect that people who have food allergies that cause recurrent heartburn, also end up with neuro problems due to chronic inflammation, which prilosec doesnt treat. numbness/tingling, muscle weakness, and slurred speech are symptoms of a neurological deficit.

this is all based on my “lived experience” too. so its beyond criticism. HA. but seriously ppl, changing your diet has no side effects as long as you eat well, and can have a drastic positive affects on your health, and quality of life.

that is all.

2. Laurelin - April 18, 2010

I’m allergic to grapes, raisins, pomegranates, and also to various seeds…. I’m still in the unpleasant process of finding out which ones! I used to think that a tingling mouth was a normal thing with lots of foods, and then in 2006 I had anaphylatic (spelling?) shock and re-thought my approach. I have always wondered if the allergies are either to seeds or to chemicals used in the processing of some fruits. I’ve had tests, but no answers.

factcheckme - April 18, 2010

well raisins and grapes are the same thing so that makes sense, and both are latex cross-reactors. pomegranate isnt on that particular list, but who knows? for me, based on my own LIVED EXPEWIENCE (haha) i basically took a few things that i didnt think i was allergic to, and that arent on the lists as being very high-risk for allergic or other poor response, and ate JUST THAT for a month. basically chicken, rice, cruciferous veggies (broc/cauli, cabbage) squash, and blueberries. it was all very boring, but i got the result i wanted: NOT feeling like shit all the time!

at first, i cheated, even though i knew what i shouldnt eat and why…then gradually my symptoms got worse when i ate them (or i got used to feeling better) and decided not to cheat anymore, at all. i havent eaten wheat/gluten for over a year (although i have been “glutened” a few times unintentionally, mostly at restaurants, which sucks). for those who dont know, gluten is a protein in wheat, rye, barley, spelt, kamut, and is a cross-contaminant in most oats. and its in EVERYTHING, all normal breads, pastas, gravies, sauces, cereals, meat loaf/meat balls/processed lunch meats. you basically have to make all your own food, and not add anything processed at all, like canned gravies etc. and fried foods are RIGHT OUT, unless you use a gluten-free flour and pan-fry (not deep fry) your food. the deep fryers in restaurants are also used to fry chicken fingers/cheese sticks etc so even the french fries are glutened there. SUCKS.

3. polly - April 18, 2010

Ok prilosec is a proton pump inhibitor – ie stops your stomach producing acid. I took ONE once and felt so ill for two whole days I didn’t even bother taking any more. My doctor (the crap doctor) told me it was an ‘antacid’. I thought he was giving me some sort of super strength gaviscon. Which is what I ended up taking. Oh and stopped eating tinned tomatoes, which got rid of the recurrent stomach acid problem.

4. polly - April 18, 2010

Oh and incidentally I read a piece today about a menopausal woman who had a nervous breakdown, which she ascribed to grief at not having children. Bullshit.

I nearly had a nervous breakdown when I was menopausal as well, (the symptoms she described were identical to mine) but having (correctly) diagnosed menopause myself – crap doctor told me I was *too young* until I insisted on a blood test when he had to eat his words, and I felt immediately FINE on taking HRT. I’m fairly certain if I hadn’t been given it though, I’d have had a breakdown. Of course doctors don’t, for some mysterious reason want to admit that drops in oestrogen can affect mood, and would much rather tell women that they’re depressed because they’re dried out old husks and no man wants them.

5. sonia - April 18, 2010

awesome post! yeah, when I ate out with Nigel pretty constantly it was not possible to clean up my diet. Nigel, in addition to being a rather advanced woman-beater, also loved meat and didn’t approve of anyone else not loving it.

I quit eating meat and sugar and bread recently and it was like the world came into focus. yes, being an American means you will be brainwashed about what to eat.

Also cheese and dairy have an opiate compound in them. That’s why cheese is so addictive, your body responds to it the same way that it does to heroin, on a chemical level. Most people don’t realize that because who the fuck ever stops eating dairy? When you do it you go through physical, psychological and emotional changes that are very like a heroin detox, if you do it completely.

thanks for posting on this! I personally love making all my own food-nobody can sneak carcinogens in and I save a shit ton of $$crill.

6. veganprimate - April 19, 2010

“if you are sick with diarrhea and you feel like you have to fart, go to the bathroom.”

I love that! No one ever told me that, and so yes, I have crapped my pants as an adult. I felt like my body betrayed me, b/c I mean, really, I know what it feels like to have to fart, and I know what it feels like to have to shit, and so when you get the unexpected in your underpants in your late 30’s, it’s very disheartening.

factcheckme - April 19, 2010

LOL. i can imagine that being disheartening! i was upset about it, and i was 4. seriously, your comment made me laff. thanks.

7. berryblade - April 19, 2010

I’m lucky – I’ve got no food allergies, except for that one time I did a wheat grass shot and was puking for a few hours after, and then found out I was allergic to the stuff.

““if you are sick with diarrhea and you feel like you have to fart, go to the bathroom.””

Valuable advice.

factcheckme - April 19, 2010

well berryblade, you are young yet, and things change. thats the one thing you can count on. at some point you will probably end up with aches and pains, inflammatory bowel, eczema…or at the very least, menopause (as polly mentions). and there are going to be dozens of doctors more than willing to dismiss you, and your untreatable (aka. “in your mind”, minor, normal part of aging) ailments. by the time we are teenagers, if we have life-threatening reactions to things, we probably already know about it, although this isnt always the case. More to the point, many are low grade or subclinical responses, and things continue to develop well into adulthood where you start to respond poorly to things that never bothered you before. i was never allergic to anything that i was aware of, until i was 20 and started getting sick all the time. that was seasonal allergies, which was new. then, in my 30s i was having strange symptoms and just basically felt like crap for over a year before i figured out that i was having low-grade reactions to food, and not just one food, MANY foods so that it would have been all but impossible to figure out what it was, had i not eliminated all of them and added them back in, one at a time.

really, my point here was that there are many, many people who feel like crap and they dont know why. chronic joint pain, chronic gastric distress, itchy or scaly skin are all going to fly under the radar, and be “mystery ailments” that are “untreatable” by current medical standards. OR they will put you on fucking steroids!! because thats the traditional, approved treatment for chronic inflammatory conditions. doctors are good at setting bones, and if you go into anaphylactic shock, they might be able to revive you. other than that, we are really on our own, and its time we realize it.

8. sam - April 19, 2010

Radical feminist Lierre Keith recently published “The Vegetarian Myth”, a book I suggest with humongous enthusiasm to people struggling with eating issues medical, ethical, and environmental.

My partner is on month two of a similar elimination experiment and the restaurant thing is crimping the last vestiges of my accustomed NYC lifestyle.

9. veganprimate - April 20, 2010

Coming from a med tech point of view, my experience of the medical standard of care is that a lot of tests are run when the doc knows they are probably negative. The biggest example I encounter daily is O&P testing (ova and parasite). It seems they order it automatically for people with diarrhea, whether or not they have potentially exposed themselves to parasites (travel to other countries, drinking unsafe water, etc.).

You mention that if doctor deviates from standard of care, that he will lose his license. I don’t know if that’s true. My understanding is that if he doesn’t do something, and it turns out that you did have that problem, he is opening himself up for a lawsuit. But I’ve seen doctors use their judgment all the time. If you don’t have insurance, and can’t afford the tests, he’s going to recommend the ones that he really believes are going to diagnose you, and avoid the others.

And as far as not telling you about food intolerance, you doctor doesn’t tell you about it, NOT b/c it’s not in the standard of care, but b/c he doesn’t believe it. Although, there are doctors who do mention certain foods. I heard of a case where a family doc advised a patient who had chronic post-nasal drip to lay off dairy. And then there are naturopaths who think everything is a food intolerance (or candida overgrowth *rolls eyes*).

I have a question. If you’re doing an elimination diet, what the fuck do you eat all day every day for those few weeks to clear your system? Rice? Sweet potatoes?

factcheckme - April 20, 2010

Well, the definition of medical malpractice is a deviation from the standard of care. The standard of care allows for the exercise of reasonable, professional judgement, but that kind of begs the question of what is reasonable? Reasonable is what a reasonably competent doctor in his situation would have done, and can include multiple paths or tacks…as long as they are all within the body of knowledge from which they are all tapping. Stray from that, and yes, you will be sued, and/or subjected to disciplinary action. Get sued too mamy times, and you become uninsurable. Its splitting hairs really, because the bottom line is that doctors stick to the script. And yes, they can absolutely lose their licenses, if they deviate from the standard of care.

Inflammatory bowel disease, for example, is treated with steroids, and can become extremely serious if not treated. No doc is going to tell you to drastically alter your diet for a year, to see if it goes away. And if you have celiac disease, you arent supposed to ingest even trace amounts of gluten because it can make you extremely ill. But docs will tell you NOT to stop eating it UNTIL after you get your bloodwork done, bc if you dont have gluten in your system, you will get a false negative! Like, who cares about that? Answer: they do. Because the standard of care says so. More later re my diet….

factcheckme - April 20, 2010

Ok, re my diet, I ate chicken, rice, cruciferous vegetables, squash, and blueberries. That’s about it. It was REALLY hard, bc I was the only one in my household eating that way, and I had to bring breakfast and lunch to work! It was horrible in fact. Nigel and I fought over the issues it created for 3 years, when i finally told him to stfu about it, that this was going to be the way it is from now on, end of. I am still extremely strict re the gluten, but once a month I might have some eggs, and corn and beef I limit to once a week, if at all. Any more than that and I start having symptoms again. Mostly joint pain, and gi symptoms. And weight gain! Don’t forget that one. Gluten free means no refined carbs for the most part, unless you go out of your way to buy gluten free bread, pasta etc. But even eggs, nuts and soy make me gain bc im retaining water due to histamine response.

Sound like fun yet? He

factcheckme - April 20, 2010

Oh! And I forgot to mention re the medical standard of care…that NOT recommending a radical, longterm lifestyle change is probably a good idea for most patients, who wouldn’t be able to do it successfully anyway. Due largely to my education, income level, and frankly the knowledge of health and medical issues i was born into (dad a doc, mom a nurse, terminally ill sibling) I was able to do it pretty successfully. Importantly, i knew how important it was that i do it, and how docs arent gods, and dont even have my best interests at heart, much of the time. One reason these radical lifestyle changes aren’t the standard of care is because very few patients would have a good outcome, if it were. By definition, the SOC has to include whats best for the greatest number of patients, not whats least likely to work, and most likely to have a poor outcome. And…preparing healthy and/or specialty foods is expensive.

And as for docs simply not believing it…well of course they don’t, because its not within the standard of care. Its a tight little package isn’t it? If something worked, they would all know about it, according to them. My dad believed as recently as 15 years ago that the glycemic index was bullshit. There wasn’t even a name for it then, but i could tell you from experience that it was real by the way I felt after eating a sweet roll on an empty stomach in the morning, versus some eggs, or a sweet roll for dessert after a proper evening meal. Docs are the last to know, it at least they are the last to incorporate these things into their lives, and into their practice. It’s because they are terribly arrogant and stubborn, for one thing. And because the scripts are rewritten very, very slowly, if at all.

10. polly - April 21, 2010

Over here we have NICE, (national institute of clinical excellence) who say what can and can’t be prescribed based on an assessment of its effectiveness versus cost basically. You go to the doctor, and you just get pieces of paper thrust at you – I was given one that said ” a healthy low fat diet” that I promptly binned. Dude, I KNOW what a healthy low fat diet is already, that’s not the reason why I’m fat.

The problem is that western medicine doesn’t account for the fact that everyone’s body is very different. It’s a one size fits all approach. Some conventional medicine is good for some people, (I wouldn’t want to be without HRT and the hippy alternatives just don’t work, and there is no increased breast cancer risk for a woman my age, because I had an early menopause) but you need to be a discriminating consumer and do your own research, and most people aren’t because they have been led to believe the doctor is an authority and can *cure* them.

I’m a big believer in the glycemic index, having gone on a strict low GI diet recently and seen my abdominal fat disappear. But doctors here still won’t tell you to avoid high carb and particularly high fructose products to lower your cholesterol, even though there’s loads of evidence around that now.

factcheckme - April 21, 2010

Didnt know that about the cholesterol Polly. That’s interesting. I know they are saying that hf corn syrup might fuck with your hormones, and I recall there being a connection bw hormones and cholesterol? Perhaps that’s the connection?

Anyway, I also wanted to mention that its not even a matter of getting a “good” doctor, or one that believes that any particular nontraditional thing is real, and might work for you. They CANNOT TELL YOU about it, even if they wanted to. It’s a universal problem, a systemic problem, and that’s my whole point here really. It can’t be remedied. I got my information from a nutritionist, not a doctor, and after I learned about the “big 8” I looked it up online and there it was. But it wasn’t being recommended as a treatment for any disease, just as a list of the most common food allergens that account for 90% of anaphylactic reactions to foods. Nothing about subclinical responses, at all.

Sorry if I am coming across as a smarty pants here. But this happens to be something I know quite a bit about. I invite anyone who isn’t sure, to look it up themselves, as always. That’s my name, don’t wear it out.

11. polly - April 21, 2010

Basically fructose is metabolised differently from other sugars. It gives you fatty liver, increases your cholesterol and makes you much more likely to be insulin resistant. I knew I was getting problems because I’d put on a lot of fat round the middle, which isn’t normal for me, and isn’t good at all.


Fructose in whole fruits behaves differently because it is in relatively low concentrations and they also contain fibre, but high fructose corn syrup is a real threat to health. Of course governments won’t do anything about it because they don’t want to upset the food industry – even though they are simultaneously hand wringing about the obesity epidemic.

12. Undercover Punk - April 21, 2010

Food issues! BAH! Most people are too lazy to do the work, but I’m a big believer in “what goes in, is what you get out.” My partner has lots of stomach acid and pain symptoms, so we’ve been messing around with our diet issues for several years.

I do NOT have celiac disease, but limiting my gluten intake made me feel WORLDS better. No more stomach cramps and no more BLOATING after meals– beautiful! Totally worth it! I can actually handle some gluten, but it’s like an INTOLERANCE, rather than a complete inability to process properly.

We also recently removed the nightshade plants (tomatoes, bell peppers, white potatoes, eggplants, and something else I can’t remember…) to address her joint pain. People diagnosed with arthritis and RA often try this. It worked! I mean, not miracles, but hell if eliminating something can reduce her pain, I’m all for it! I’d MUCH rather identify the source of the inflammation than try to compensate with some artificially manufactured antidote from The Man.

I’m thinking about trying to eliminate soy b/c of it’s influence on hormonal cycles– mine aren’t quite right.

factcheckme - April 21, 2010

Ugh, joint pain!! That’s the worst, and I get that too. And yes, the nightshades, I forgot about those. I eat those in moderation only as I react to those too. I’m allergic to everything good. Haha. And I looove eggplant.

13. Miska - April 22, 2010

I’m hearing you on this post FCM.

It is impossible to live a normal life if you have an intolerance to a major but basic foodstuff (like wheat or gluten). Restaurants are out of the question, travel is incredibly difficult. People have a tendency to not take food allergies/intolerances seriously too.

factcheckme - April 22, 2010

yeah, the nigels have food issues too, thats for sure. although most of them dont care how flatulent, runny, craggy, crusty, or otherwise disgusting they are, especially if it gets in the way of their beer. so…good on your nigel (and on you).

14. sonia - April 23, 2010

Also, fyi gals, sometimes cleaning out your system makes it easier to tolerate foods. I recently cleansed my blood and lymphs with burdock root over 8 days and it got rid of a lot of toxins so I have more choice about what foods to eat. I’m hypoglycemic personally, sometimes for hypoglycemics, a cleanse can even help stabilize your blood sugar. that has worked for me. You can clean your system with bloodroot, too, and it will change it permanently (be careful with that stuff, dosing is crucial and high doses can be dangerous), sometimes a toxic system will respond to things way differently than a clean system. With all the b.s. we inhale and take in daily we do need to cleanse.

factcheckme - April 23, 2010

See, I wouldn’t even recommend these cleanses necessarily, because as you say, there can be side affects. There are no side affects to radically changing your diet. In fact, many of what we call aches and pains, are just side affects to what you are eating already.

factcheckme - April 23, 2010

And speaking of crapping your pants…people who have crohns disease and other inflammatory bowel conditions are advised to wear black pants, and to always carry a spare pair of underwear when and if they choose to leave the house. A doctor will tell you that, but they won’t tell you to radically change your lifestyle…and most people wouldn’t or couldn’t radically change theirs anyway, for the reasons I’ve mentioned. But having to carry spare underpants in my bag in preparation for publicly shitting my pants is pretty fucking radical, id say.

factcheckme - April 25, 2010

i wanted to report that i have had an itchy rash on my ankle for a year. an entire year! and it just went away, steadily over the last 2 weeks, after i stopped eating soy. soy is on my list of dont-eats, but i brought it back in last year because i was bringing all my own lunches and i wanted something different, and all the gluten-free crackers and power bars etc are made with soy. it started with 2 little bumps on my ankle that looked like flea bites. i made no connection whatsoever to the soy. a year later, it covered from my ankle to halfway up the side of my leg, and alternated between hard and scaly, and wet and bumpy, depending on how much i scratched it. TERRIBLE. i could get it to *almost* go away with a tube of cortizone, but it would just come right back. i went through three tubes. it kept me up at night and bothered me most of the day.

i finally went to the dermatologist a month ago, who told me to stop scratching it. DUH! i asked him what was making it itch, in the first place. he literally told me, and i am not making this up, “you know how DOGS GET HOTSPOTS and they scratch off all their fur? it just happens, noone knows why. wear a sock to bed.” i took off of work for this advice?

anyhoo, seemingly unrelatedly, i was having terrible neck and back pain over the last several months. it escalated times a hundred when i attempted, very stupidly, to eat cashew butter with my lunch for 3 days in a row. i am definitely NOT supposed to eat nuts…although many people who are allergic to nuts can eat cashews. i made the connection at that point, because the cashew butter caused pain that was the SAME PAIN i had been having, only times a hundred in intensity level. i knew it was inflammation, and that it had made whatever was already there, worse, rather than causing it. and i remembered the soy. i had started eating soy-joy bars literally every day 4 months ago, because they are portable and work with my lifestyle. i stopped eating them. 2 weeks later, my neck and back feel way better, and my rash is almost completely gone. that was the surprise, i hadnt even considered that the rash was related to anything i was doing or eating. my diet is pretty clean, and i dont use fragranced detergents etc.

wow. who knew? well….i did, but i had started cheating a little with the soy, because it didnt bother my stomach and i thought it would be ok. wrong. oh, and DOCTORS SUCK!!!

15. joy - June 12, 2010

Do you think that (as with PIV) our bodies can actually start to crave the things that are bad for us?

I have a terrible time with food. Part of it is from having been anorexic as a teen, but it persists. Even when I only eat fruit (watermelon) and spinach salads, I swell up and feel terrible.

Although I’m ideologically vegan, pretty pure-foody, and don’t eat a ton of refined carbs (other than my sweet tooth which I typically satisfy with chocolate or fruit jelly), sometimes I really crave whole-wheat noodles and dairy (even though I’m 95% certain that dairy is bad for most human beings).
So I’ll have a dish of noodles or cheesecake or slice of cheese pizza. This will temporarily relieve the symptoms (swelling, bloating, pain, irritability, dizziness), and I’ll even lose a few pounds. But sustaining the eating pattern eventually negates any positives.

It really does sound like the PIV cycle. Symptoms relieved, but then made worse, by indulging the craving.

Also, as a minor tangent, it’s really, really, really hard to eat healthy at all when one has/used to have an eating disorder. I’d love to sit down with a huge plate of, say, nachos, with guacamole, cheese, and sour cream on top, right now, just to combat the voice in my head* that tells me to starve myself. But dairy’s legitimately, actually bad for you, not mainstream culture’s “make you fat” “bad” — as is the corn (and possibly soy) in the nacho chips.
So I settle for a salad, because nothing in there can kill me … and then my sanctimonious self says, “Good girl — thin!” … and I just want the nachos again.

*Not a literal voice in my head. You know what I mean.

factcheckme - June 12, 2010

joy, i dont know what your specific issues are or of there is damage there from the eating disorder. but food is a difficult thing. my nurtitionist says that most people are somewhat allergic to wheat for example, and are having low-grade reactions. its just a matter of degree. really, noone should be eating wheat. most bodies dont like it, although its become a staple in many countries, and is heavily subsidized by government agriculture programs so is cheap and abundant.

so it might be the foods you are eating that are making you swell up and be moody etc. even fruits and vegetables can do it, not just junk food, if you are allergic to them. i suspect watermelon makes me ill actually, and melons in general i believe are one of the lists, not sure which one, there are a few of them! as far as i know, these are some of the least likely to get a reaction:

squash, cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts) brown rice, blueberries, chicken.

eat as much as that as you want, and see how you feel. now that you mention it, i really dont have cravings like i used to. mostly i cant eat the things that i crave most frequently, like bread products, so i just dont eat them. i have pinpointed specific symptoms i get with which foods (gi symptoms and generalized swelling and moodiness with wheat; joint pain with eggs and nuts) and it took me another year after that to decide that i would rather feel good than indulge in certain foods, because if i didnt care how i felt, literally noone would! noone cares about me except me you know? i mean really. there are maybe a dozen people who really give a shit about me as a person, and they arent going to be there for me if i have joint pain so badly that i cant even go up the stairs. they have their own shit to do you know, and i have to go to work regardless, no matter how bad i feel, and medicine isnt going to have any answers either, and will probably make everything worse with side effects, addiction etc. best to try to figure it out yourself.

anyway, there are really only a precious few foods that are minimally likely to get a reaction, and those (as far as i know) are it. those are the ones i had luck with, and i am extremely sensitive, and react to many foods, even fruits and veggies. good luck figuring it out, and i hope you feel better!

factcheckme - June 12, 2010

also, you can make soups with the above ingredients that are really good! especially if you can eat dairy, you can make wonderful cream soups with homemade chicken stock and heavy cream…cream of broccoli is one of my faves, even cream of chicken, cream of squash (YUM!) and good old dairy-free chicken vegetable, or chicken and rice, are very good too. lunches are the most difficult for me because i have to take all my own food with me to work, and i dont have a fridge or a microwave! so i am still trying to perfect that, and sometimes i get it wrong. i start feeling sick or having swelling or joint pain, then have to start from square one again. so far, brown rice and canned tuna work, sometimes with a dab of cheese sauce or even some cooked squash or broccoli. its pretty good too, and filling. i just have to ignore all the other peeps eating footlong hoagies everywhere i look, cause they are fucking delicious and i know it. i wasnt always obviously allergic to these foods, and i know how good they taste.

16. joy - June 13, 2010

I’m glad you’ve worked out a few things that go well with you, and thanks for the advice!

My body does all right with most fruits (other than, oddly, blueberries), but only some vegetables — asparagus, baby broccoli, onions, beets. And only if cooked or marinated, too. As you know, it’s not easy to carry around, say, a baggie of pickled beets.

Sometimes, too, I just really want to sink my teeth into something, like a fried chicken drumstick. Or my favorite vegan lasagna — full of stuff like soy (vegan cheese), nuts (cashew cream), wheat (noodles), tomatoes …
Tonight I had that, and it actually did me quite well. If I had it again tomorrow, though, it would start to cause problems.

I guess we are all truly strange and different creatures. But indeed, people shouldn’t eat much if any wheat. Or any corn. There is a ton of research into why corn is not good people-food. Corn and soy are livestock feed that get fed to people because it’s cheap.
Mm, feudalism. I’d love a bowl of lead-based paint to go with my corn-and-soy porridge.

17. factcheckme - June 13, 2010

hmm. well, if you handle cooked veggies ok, maybe you need a low-residue diet for awhile? my mom had to do this, due to having some ulcerations and atrophy in her gi tract. fiber doesnt allow these things to heal because they are too rough. so, homemade chicken-stock, chicken, white rice, and overcooked or canned veggies worked for her. she felt worlds better after doing this for a month, then avoiding the big-8 and latex cross-reactors thereafter.

18. joy - June 13, 2010

That sounds like a plan, FCM.

We’re always told that fiber is the A-#1 thing for all of us to eat, because apparently most Americans don’t get enough. I dunno, I’ve been a hippie (avoiding high-fructose corn syrup and processed foods other than, you know, tofu, which is actually one of the most processed foods that humans eat) for seven years, so I think my problem is less ‘I’m a dumb American*’ and more ‘I have unknown amounts of damage done to my insides from decades of living in patriarchy, but no one, especially doctors, will tell me what to actually do about that.’

This has truly been News I Can Use.

* Not that anyone who regularly comments here IS a dumb American. But that is how all the ads are framed in the ol’ US of A. “You poor stupid man-child (or, actually, woman-child, because men are too fucking dumb to be expected to put down the red meat) … did you not KNOW that the food you eat is bad for you? (Even after all those diet ads?) Keep eating it, of course, especially diet foods that are laden with chemicals and are nutritionally bereft — but also make sure to buy fiber supplements! Otherwise you will get fat.”

Also, I live in NYC, where the infamous “soda makes you fat” ads ran. Oh, you mean, Ad Council — drinking colored, flavored, chemical sugar water is unhealthy and unnecessary? Oh. Well. That ad says I should still buy it, so I will, but I guess I should also go to the gym! Or … uh … I can’t figure it out, I’m stupid.

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