Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My crazy, random food sensitivities

The night last week when me and the kids were going to meet up with James at the park after work, I decided to feed myself and the kids before we left so I would only have James’ dinner to bring with us.  I did, however, decide to make a fruit salad to bring as a dessert treat for all of us to share.  For the first time in year and years, I had bought 2 kiwis, and decided to add one to the mix of fruit I was bringing.  I rarely buy them because, truth be told, they’re just not my favourite fruit in the world, but I saw them there at the store and they seemed summery to me so I thought I’d get a few for a change, and to try them out on the kids.

I sliced up one whole kiwi, and snuck a taste - literally I cut a slice in half and ate the one little half.  I both liked it and didn’t, I mean I didn’t mind it but it’s not something I’d miss eating if I couldn’t any more - which it turns out is a bit of a blessing in disguise!

Within probably 2 minutes of eating that sliver of kiwi, my entire mouth and throat were indescribably ITCHY.  I couldn’t stand it and it just felt like it was getting itchier and itchier each minute.  It came on suddenly but at the same time it was such a bizarre feeling that at first I didn’t associate it with the fruit.  I have an intolerance to a few foods, but never have I experienced an itchy mouth and throat from eating something, usually it would make itself known with a really terrible stomach ache.  This reaction was just so weird.  I was trying to eat dinner and I felt like I couldn’t because the food was making my mouth even itchier, and my tongue was starting to feel a bit swollen.  I started to get a sort of panicky feeling that’s also hard to describe, I guess because I’d never had anything like that happen before and it made me worry that something really bad was happening to me.

I decided to look up ‘kiwi allergy’ to see if it’s an actual thing, because it seemed so random!  But as it turns out, while it’s not hugely common, it’s not entire uncommon either.  So I am officially (self diagnosed) allergic to kiwi fruit.  I’m just thanking my lucky stars that it’s not something I felt inclined to devour a huge amount of, because honestly if I got the reaction I did from essentially one bite, I can’t even think what would have happened if I’d eaten even a half of the fruit, and it’s crazy because it’s not like it’s a big fruit! The allergy can be so severe it can cause anaphylactic shock, and I feel like I now understand what that means, because I was heading in that direction for sure (if I'd have eaten more...) It's pretty scary. Apparently once you've had the symptoms I had from eating kiwi, the likelihood of the symptoms being significantly worse the next time are quite high. I definitely don't want to take that risk.

As it happens, I have a major intolerance to avocados and have since I was about 16 (or at least that’s when I realized it).  The symptoms are completely different, where I end up with a wretchedly horribly stomach ache that feels like my stomach is being eaten away from the inside out and I literally wish I was dead when I get it.  (I will NEVER EVER risk even one bite of an avocado again in my life if I can help it, my last reaction was so bad). I did end up with a slight stomach ache from the kiwi, too, but the itchy mouth was way more prominent.  It turns out that people with kiwi allergies are more prone to having issues with avocados, as well as I think it said bananas and latex?  Other than occasionally causing some heartburn, I eat bananas without issue, and I’ve never eaten latex (!) but I don’t have an issue with wearing gloves or being around balloons or anything, like I know some people do.  So, yeah.  I do have issues with pineapple that cause basically the same problems for me as avocados do, not sure if that's generally associated.

To top it off, around 3 months ago, after having viscous stomach aches every single day (just about) for months on end, I decided to cut out drinking milk (only having it in tea or coffee or if it’s baked into something, but never drinking a glass of milk, or having a bowl of cereal or anything like that), and I cut out eggs (again, unless they’re in something where you can’t decipher the egg on its own), and yogurt.  I can still eat cheese without any trouble for some reason, but largely cutting out dairy I’ve been able to reduce the stomach aches I was having by at least 95%!  So I’ve obviously developed some sort of sensitivity to dairy that I didn’t have before.

I know I’m going to have to get to the doctor sometime to get this stuff checked out properly.  I think it would be good at this point to have a proper allergy test to see if we can get to the bottom of all I’m allergic to and see what I might be able to do about it, aside from just avoiding the foods altogether.  In some ways I’m ok with the dairy intolerance in that in a perfect world I’d be vegan, or as close to it as possible, and consuming less dairly is therefore a good thing to me but at the same time having horrendous feelings of my gut rotting isn’t necessarily how I want to be reminded that dairy is bad!  It also seems odd that all of a sudden I can’t drink milk or eat yogurt when for my whole life up to several months ago, I had no issues with it. (I've always had occasionally issues with eggs, but now it's severe to the point that two bites could potentially cause the stomach ache - and it can last for HOURS).

I am actually considering doing a cleanse, maybe a juice cleanse? at some point soon to see if I can sort of jump start my metabolism and reprogram my body to some degree.  Not saying a few days of a cleanse would change intolerances to foods, but I feel like I need to do something ‘extreme’ (and yes, a 3 day cleanse seems totally extreme to me!) in order to change my eating in a big way, which is something I STILL NEED TO WORK ON IN A BIG WAY...sigh!

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