Monthly Archives: August 2011

AIA = Allergy-Induced Asthma (ugh)

Allergy-Induced Asthma is the title for my diagnosis, offered to me some 18 years back and if you think about the name, you may think that the doctors would find out what you were allergic to once they determine that something you’re allergic to is making you unable to breathe. However they would rather give you a chemical inhaler with steroids to reduce the symptom than find the cause.

I am grateful for the inhalers, they make it so I can breathe on days when there are fires, when polution levels are dangerously high, when I wanted to excercise and on and on and on….

One day my doctor said, the inhaler that you’ve been using for years has been changed by the FDA because evidently they are toxic enough to cause the ozone to break down! I was not feeling so good about using the inhaler after that statement but what else could I do? If I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t breathe, so I kept using it. My life was changed – I had to carry it with me or I’d panic!

Looking back I wish that I had thought more about the name of my condition and got some answers instead of just accepting what my doctor offered as a solution. ALLERGY-induced Asthma……..

What am I allergic to? What allergen is making me gasp for breathe? I hope that others learn from my experience and find out what food allergies you may have so that you can stop eating them.

 

I found out that I’m allergic to foods that I never eliminated in my elimination diet – that I in-fact was eating mostly foods that I’m allergic to!

A simple blood test and some self-control and I have only used my inhaler once! Over 2 weeks and only needed it once! I just got back from a 2 mile jog, yes a jog! I didn’t take my inhaler with me and I didn’t even think to use it before I left! My life in only 2 weeks has improved so much that I just want to scream it from the roof-tops so others like me can be free too!


Living with food allergies is a process~

Grocery shopping has changed considerably! Normally, I would be prepared with list-in-hand and rarely referred to it, as I knew what I liked and what foods I should eat. I knew the foods that were healthiest for my diet and was dedicated to being healthy for a few years now. Little did I know, just about all the food that I was accustomed to preparing, were secretly making me ill.

When I say ill, it wasn’t easily identifiable – I didn’t go into Anaphylactic shock or display any outward signs of having a serious allergy. I knew however, that I was not feeling as good as I should based on what I was eating and I was tired of popping a pill just to eat. Sometimes, one pill (antacid) wasn’t enough.

Years before the drug companies released the convenient pills they offer today,  I would frequently spontaneously vomit after eating. Sometimes I wouldn’t reach that level until 2 – 3 am when I’d wake sweating and salivating until I finally just forced myself to regurgitate.

I spoke with my doctor about it and he said to try eliminating foods to determine which ones were making me feel sick. Years of eliminating served me little and I wasted a lot of money on pills, avoided some foods I am not allergic to, I was finally eating so little that I was a complete bore at gatherings where pot luck meals are served. I stared at the spread of food with a fear knowing later that night, I’d be suffering.

Another conversation I had with my doctor was that I wasn’t breathing well, I picked up a pamphlet in his waiting room on asthma and I had all the symptoms listed and after reading it and thinking about it, I realized I’d always had these symptoms. I remember being as young as 8 and feeling as though I had to ‘Think to Breathe” and if I had to give you a number for the times I lost consciousness during my lifetime, it would surely be over 300 times!

I remember thinking this is what was wrong with me all those years! I have asthma! What a relief to understand my problem, but I was mistaken. I did have asthma symptoms but I had what the doctor classified as Allergy Induced Asthma.


Dealing with Allergies – part 2

Acceptance

It doesn’t come easy when all of a sudden you know that you shouldn’t eat all the foods that you like. A friend of mine suggested that I simply take all of the foods I can’t eat any longer and get them out of the house. Of course this is easier if you live alone, for those of you that have a family to deal with, perhaps making the garage fridge yours, or theirs could help.

I listened to the suggestion and looked at myself in the mirror and said, this is a “good thing” you know why you’ve been getting sick. Today is the day you stop feeling sick after you eat! I prepared myself for this task and started to actually get excited at the prospect of not needing to pop a pill to make my stomach settle down after eating. You see, I’ve been dealing with quite a few symptoms from eating these foods that I once considered healthy.

I had been trying my best to do as one doctor had suggested – to eliminate foods to determine which foods you’re allergic to. I can tell you this, that was a waste of time and only made me suffer unnecessarily for over a decade. If you’re only allergic to one food this may be possible but if you’re allergic to garlic like I am, you’ll find it nearly impossible without a blood test. If you want to see just how hard it is to eat food without eating garlic, go into your fridge right now and start reading the labels. You’re going to be shocked at how little is left in your house that doesn’t contain some garlic, including just about all of my salt-free (trying to be healthy) seasonings.

In just over 2 hours, I had an almost empty refrigerator and almost empty cupboards. Keep in mind that garlic is not my only allergy, it’s just 1 of 10.  I sat there on the floor, staring into the shiny glass shelves and pondered about what I would be putting on them now that just about every salad dressing, bread, marinade, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, (even the healthier choice I’d already had been eating) and last but not least sweet pickle relish had been eliminated from my choices.

Once it was all out in my garage fridge, I cried again. I didn’t sob, just a few tears and days of tearing up followed….


How to deal with food allergies – part 1

I started by crying and believe me, I was once again shocked! How could I possibly cry about such a trivial thing? How can being told you can’t eat something make anyone cry? It’s so childish, so immature to act as if not eating something could ever be worth shedding tears over.

In order to understand better, you should know that I love loved making salsa and used it as a condiment for just about every meal. I make made it very well and had been asked to make it by those close to me and all this time, all these many years, I’ve been eating 2 to 3 different foods I’m allergic to practically every day!

Tomatoes – Lemons – Garlic 

I had just completed a large batch of my salsa and it wasn’t hard to find takers for those large jars full of some of my favorite things. I actually didn’t give it away for 4 days, I suppose I was in the denial stage because this was a death – death of food.

If you think I’m silly, think about opening up your refrigerator and looking into it and suddenly you have no idea what to eat, how to make it and realizing that you basically have to learn how to cook all over again!


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