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Intolerant, allergic, sensitive or addicted?

 

There are quite a few terms to describe how one reacts to food. It's such a common symptom of environmental illness yet the causes and manifestation of symptoms vary greatly from person to person.

I've had many fun experiences with food over the years I have been ill. Sugar and refined carb addiction was the first to strike and an upbringing of processed flavours from sauces, marinades and dressings. I rarely was able to eat any sort of food, whether it was salad, vegetables, or meat without ketchup, salad cream, brown sauce or similar. These two dietary faux pa's I believe blunted my natural repsonse to flavour from food.

When I became ill, dairy was very high in my diet. As a source of protein and fat it served a purpose to smooth out my blood sugar response in the early stages of hypoglycemia, and is still widely promoted as a safe blood sugar balancer. Peanut butter is another and I found myself eating these throughout the day in ever more generous portions. It did serve to control my blood sugar, but they progressively became the most addictive componants to my diet. I was eating maybe half a block of cheddar a day, a cube with my first meal, drizzled over chicken for my next 2 meals, and then as part of an omelette later on. The longer this went on the more I craved it and the worse my symptoms became.

It was clear I was becomming or revealing a dairy intolerance. When I cut out refined carbs due to the prevailance of hypoglycemia my high dairy consumption continued, unbeknownst to me it's a common allergen and generally unhealthy, particularly in processed form.

So dairy went. Next up was nuts.

This again seemed progressive. I had a heavy reliance on nuts for a period of time and they were my only real fat source. I was beginning to gain knowledge around this time about allergies/food intolerance/leaky gut etc and went on a partial rotation diet, rotating a different type of nut each day. Consumption was still extremely high and I once again developed an addiction, digestive trouble and other symptoms such as increased anxiety and insomnia. This encompassed every type - pecan, walnut, macadamia, pine, almond and brazil.

And so they went.

I then had to consider my reaction to gluten. A home gluten test kit can out negative and an IgG food intolerance test came out as mild/rotate. Neither I believe are 100% accurate but it follows that I would have some difficulty with gluten if I suffer from some sort of gut dysbiosis. Again a tendancy to overload on carbs, a hangup from hypoglycemic days, was more strongly felt with the glutenous grains - spelt, kamut, wheat and rye. 

As I gained more knowledge, other things were removed. Yeast, tomatos and mushrooms, plus all the starchy veg that was swinging my blood sugar. 

Which pretty much leaves me where I'm at now with my current diet. I eat about 20 different vegetables over the course of 4 days, mostly rotated, along with meats, oils, certain grains (quinoa and millet) and seeds (flax, sunflower, pumpkin, linseed).

Most recently I've been trying to gauge my reaction to certain foods or combinations of foods, and wondering whether it's more psycological, or due to changes in immune function, changes to my environment such as stress and sleep, all impacting my 'tolerance level'.

Apple cider vinegar is a prime example of one of the unknown foods. I don't get any of the symptoms such as increased anxiety, insomnia or anything gut related, but I do feel i crave it somewhat. Most of my meals are bland and ACV really gives it a kick. You'll be hard pushed to find any negatives with ACV on the web. It seems to work very well for many.

so I still have some investigative work to do, but I have to be careful it doesn't border on paranoia.

Rather than the food simply being the cause I'm more open to the possibility of environmental factors increasing or decreasing my sensitivity. This does make the job significantly harder unfortunately.