food allergies

Some of you know that I’ve been having some nagging little health issues for the last year or so.

(in this paragraph: I made a list of them but feel like a hypochondriac naming them all. Sickness is not a weakness, yet it embarrasses me like it was a personal flaw! silly. Anyway, I deleted. Let’s just say most are small, and inconsequential, except the exhaustion and headaches which interfere with my life on a regular basis. If you suspect issues in yourself and want a full, comprehensive list of my ailments, just email me. I will draw upon my inner Granny and give you a detailed list of my symptoms)

Nothing major, and I ignored them for a long time (fear of blood drawn plus no health insurance make that easy!) but finally started pursuing a solution. When I found out about my hypothyroidism last August, I thought “a-ha! mystery solved.” and I am still on daily meds for that, and do feel better than how I felt last year. But a month ago or so, I started feeling much, much worse…back to the Dr. I see a naturopath, and she is wonderful. She is really concerned about getting to the root of WHY you are sick, and not just treating symptoms. So blood was drawn (5 vials! eek!) and my thyroid and all kinds of things were checked, plus food allergies “just in case” because i was certain that I had none. Maybe gluten, since Caleb is intolerant and I feel so much better when I eat low carb, but no reactions to anything else (I thought) She does a full check up and we wait for the blood results and we embark on this mystery to see just WHY I feel so terrible:

–my thyroid levels are fine, meds don’t need increasing

–I have Epstein Barr virus but not currently sick from it  (I figure out when I had mononucleosis and I think it was a period back when Sam was a baby and I couldn’t function from exhaustion and sore throat, for months. Dr offered to run a test for mono then but I passed, because I hate blood drawn!) Interesting that having the EBV virus has been linked to later getting hypothyroidism.

–I am really anemic, (explaining the hair loss and exhaustion that I thought the thyroid was causing) so the Dr. started me on iron right away.

–I have a skipped pulse/heartbeat. Dr. wants me to get an EKG to see if it’s regularly irregular but i am not $185 worth of worried, yet. She suggests no heavy exercise until we know, but I am 3 days back into Boot camp and feeling fine. Just being careful-so when I feel dizzy or the room spins a little, I slow down now, instead of pushing it.

–I am allergic to wheat/gluten. and eggs. and dairy. and peanuts. and almonds. Like I said, I only suspected wheat. And maybe dairy, as it makes my nose stuffy at times but life without yogurt or cheese or cream in my coffee? whoa. I start looking online to see if this blood test is legitimate?! I don’t want to give all these up, unnecessarily! (Looks like the test is reliable, darn.) It’s kind of cool. Instead of the old fashioned scratch test, which tells you what you are immediately reactive to, this  blood test shows foods that you have a delayed reaction to. So even if you aren’t FEELING ill after eating them, your body is still fighting, still creating antibodies and worst of all? Getting inflamed. So being in a constant state of inflammation causes–surprise!–the many nagging symptoms I have been dealing with.

Here is info on the blood test:

(man, this post is long but so many have said “What? How are you allergic suddenly?!” etc)

  I just wanted to let you all know what is up…

 I have been thinking about Caleb, and how it felt when we decided to take him off all gluten “just to see”. How it seemed impossible! That boy ONLY wanted gluten, at every meal, and he was so picky

 (which proves how our bodies often crave the items we are most allergic to. My favorite breakfast, day after day? Whole wheat toast with almond butter slathered thick, pre workout, and afterwards a whey (milk) protein shake with a raw egg tossed in it! I thought those were so healthy, and it turned out to be 4 out of my 5 allergic foods, to start my day off)

I don’t know if I will feel 100% different or better? It’s a 2 month elimination diet, to see. I know that once Caleb started on this path, we saw almost DAILY improvement. Today he is a different child, and we can see now just how miserable he must have been, before, but only the “major” symptoms stood out to us, then.

Because we adapt so well, as humans. We all just get used to whatever it is we deal with on a daily basis and (especially as a Mom), you just “handle it” when you don’t feel healthy. But eventually the body has its say and starts to shut down and we are forced to take it seriously…

 I’ve been reading that allergies often lie dormant in us, our body handling the inflammation and issues fine until, one day, our immune system wears down and “she just can’t take anymore, Captain!” and then we start reacting badly. This can happen at age 3 or age 83, and to anyone! I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I had a 2 month long bout of bronchitis and sinus infection through March and April…

I went shopping for food. Spent an hour reading labels and mourning over how little I can eat. Then I squared up my shoulders and put on my big girl pants…there are much worse things in life, that people have to deal with. I can get creative in the kitchen. I live in a town that has lots of alternative foods and restaurants. I get to eat all the fruits/veggies and meats that I love, plus oats, corn, potatoes and rice-that’s a lot! and Caleb has a gluten free buddy in the house, and that makes him feel less alone I think. Best news is that Coffeemate liquid creamer is 100% dairy free and I still get my one cup of java a day! The world looked much sunnier after I found that…

 My plan is: I will eliminate those reactive foods, and keep taking my supplements and iron, and keep exercising daily, and keep the caffeine to one cup a day, and keep drinking the water and green tea instead of the diet soda I love that is so bad for me…basically? I will keep “fighting” to be healthy.  My husband and my kids need me. I have stuff to do, on this earth, and I can’t do it with a migraine!

Our pastor (Hi, Neil!) said something a few months ago that really struck me. He was talking about caring for our physical bodies because they are temples of the Holy Spirit, and he made this observation: That our bodies are ALREADY so limited: in that we each need food, and water, and sleep, and oxygen on a continual basis, or we die–but also by cancer, by virus, by just living in a sin sick world and being affected by death and disease–so WHY would we choose to limit ourselves even further, by choice? How does the love of Jesus get expressed through me, if not through my physical hands helping others, my mouth sharing His gospel, my feet going where He leads? This body, and its care, MATTER.

Abuse and neglect of it by overeating, or cigarettes, or too much alcohol, or not exercising, or running on no sleep,

(or refusing to see a Dr. because you are a chicken, or drinking copious amounts of coffee, or ignoring food allergies because you sososo love almond butter on toast?)

 That would be wrong.

Anyone, then, who knows the good she ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.”

James 4:17

About sparrowjourney

Christian homeschooling mom to three boys, married to my best friend, John, for over 20 years. I love gardening without gloves, learning history with my kids, cooking with lots of butter, serving others, great books, rich coffee, studying the Bible, camping outdoors, scrapbooking, vintage home decor, the smell of rain and cut grass, authentic people, poetry, laughing until your sides hurt, and babies. oh and black licorice is pretty awesome.
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