Wednesday, February 16, 2011

24 hrs Wheat Free

So I've been wheat free for 24 hrs and I'm already feeling better. I ate a banana this morning on my Rice Chex for second breakfast (first breakfast was at 5am, steel cut oats with brown sugar & raisins so I needed a 2nd at about 9:30). The banana was a mistake. It wasn't on my test panel so I wasn't tested for an allergy to banana but it tore me up. No more bananas for me. I've also decided to avoid eggs as I was tested only for egg whites (negative), not yolks and I believe I have had a reaction to eggs. It could be that I typically eat eggs with toast but to be safe I'm avoiding them and after a month or so I'll see if it was the eggs or just the toast.

I already feel better. For those on the fence get tested. It took me less than an hour of my time and $35 out of pocket.

24 hours wheat free and while not 100% right, my gut is far less painful. My bottom is not itchy. I'm tired but not nearly as fatigued. I read today that many of my seasonal allergy symptoms (confirmed for me with skin prick in 2002) could also be wheat allergy symptoms so I'm hoping to see a decrease in those things as well.

I wish I could remember some of the websites I visited but here are the wheat allergy symptoms I remember:
  • Swelling, itching or irritation of the mouth or throat
  • Hives, itchy rash or swelling of the skin
  • Nasal congestion
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Cramps, nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Anaphylaxis
I have all of the above minus the anaphylaxis but attributed the first five to seasonal allergies. Which may be correct but might not be. Or maybe those symptoms won't be as ridiculous.

I'm relieved that I know what's bothering me. I had suspicions about certain foods but now that it's "official" I feel confidant in eliminating them and calling them for what they are: allergies. Rather than just feeling sick every time I ate today I was fine (minus the banana but I knew what it was right away b/c I tested negative for rice and milk, the only two things I ate with the banana). Yesterday I experience nausea all day. Same with all the days prior.

Not everyone has the same symptoms to the same allergies. Get tested. I should have done it 18 months ago when I had my original suspicions. All of my reasons for waiting seem like silly excuses now.

PS Don't expect your regular physician to recommend food allergy testing. It's an under-diagnosed problem that even allergy clinics are hesitant to recommend. I see an asthma/allergy specialist every 6 months for my asthma & seasonal allergies and when I requested a food allergy test she grilled me on what would make me think I would need one. I didn't mention wheat (ever hopeful) but talked about how I sometimes felt after eating eggs, avocados & iceberg lettuce (tested negative for egg whites, avocados & lettuce go figure). Even if I didn't have anything specific to talk about I would have pushed for a test due to general malaise. When David requested his allergy test the Doctor all but laughed at him. Especially when he got to the symptom of heartburn. Yet, he ran the basic panel (10 foods I think) and said "Wow, that's interesting" when he saw the huge reaction to corn. You have to be your own advocate and take control of your own health care.

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