Friday, August 23, 2013

How My Unfortunate and Unwelcome Food Allergies Came to Be

Discovering I had food allergies was hard. It took eight weeks of solid misery before we figured it out and after the initial joy, it hit me; my life was over. My favorite foods were popcorn, tortilla chips, pretzels, and noodles. I had at least one serving of gluten and or corn a day, usually a serving a meal.
  My symptoms did not start all at once; for about two years leading up to the discovery, my digestion went seriously down hill. I'd take Tums almost every night to get to sleep, but since it came on slowly I accepted this as normal. 

  In 2012 we moved to a house in the "country". I don't know if it was the stress of the move, the large amounts of fast food we ate leading up to the move, or if my body had just had enough, but I was struggling. For the first 2-3 months of living there I didn't sleep well. There were creepy noises and I was scared. Now I'm a..... cautious person, but this was ridiculous. I was more stressed than normal and was having mood swings. I couldn't concentrate. I found doing homework hard and games that I loved (SET, Blink) were hard to play. One week right around Thanksgiving I'd break down and sob for no apparent reason once a day and was extremely tired. My Mom took me to a naturalist who gave me enzymes. This helped and I was happy (or semi-happy) again. 

 2013 hasn't been my best year; headaches, mood swings, horrible digestive issues; it was discovered I have scoliosis, and my Grandmother died. All this happened by April. After eight weeks I was so miserable I decided to try a one day juice cleanse. This scared me because if I didn't eat every two hours, I got sick and miserable and just ugh. On the other hand, I didn't have enough energy to really eat and when I did it caused painful cramps and bloating. Doing the juice cleanse was awesome and it opened my eyes; food allergies.

 During the time before discovering gluten intolerance, I did find out that corn was making things worse (thank you, food journal). Gluten problems are semi-easy. There are so many flour substitutes and it's the new "in" diet, so you can buy gluten free breads and such everywhere. Corn, however, is not so easy. Corn is the cheapest, thus most common, substitute for everything. Pretty much every pre-made or pre-packaged food has corn. Grated cheese has corn starch to keep it from clumping. Yogurt has corn starch as a thickener. Sweetened applesauce has corn syrup as a sweetener.
 Now I eat a lot of fruits, veggies and meats. But my life is not over, and I know I shall go on living and that in the end I will probably die at the age 100, in my sleep, with no other health problems, because of this new, unavoidable, diet.

 Please, leave a comment and share your story. I know that there are thousands out there struggling with the same problem, trying to find out what's wrong, and that not everyone has the same symptoms I did. In fact, I'm still struggling with things as my body rids itself of toxins or I eat something accidentally, so I'm always scanning the internet for answers.



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