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Dani

ADMIN NOTE Also see Elimination or exclusion diets for reactions to food (food intolerance)

 

Histamine food intolerance

 

Eating as an activating factor (increasing anxiety or symptoms)

 

Digestive problems: Nausea, Diarrhea, Bloating, GERD

 


 

Hello All...

Has anyone gone through any food allergies or sensitivities that developed during withdrawal & then disappeared? Or is anyone experiencing it now?

 

 

I started having seasonal allergies in the spring of 2005 (ironically just a couple months after starting antidepressants) after never having them all of my life. Well, fast forward to around December 2012, i started to become intolerant to anything vitamin C related. I'm not sure if it is because i had to take 500mg of vitamin C for 3 months after my surgery or what. So now i can't drink orange juice, eat oranges, anything with lemon etc. I can't drink any type of juice...apple, grape, tropical..etc. I only drink water & milk now...bummer. i also can't eat any veggies high in vitamin C, which is dang near everything. I cannot eat tomatoes, salad dressing, pancake syrup, bbq sauce etc. I can't even take a multivitamin b/c it has vitamin C or citric acid. When i eat these things, the outside of my mouth gets irritated & my face gets really shiny & my pores open up. The only way i can describe it is the feeling you have when you wear a mask over your mouth.

I kinda thought it could be my nerves/stress levels because i was taking care of my mother & she passed away this past May.

 

I saw an allergist & told her everything and she practically yelled at me!! She said it couldn't be my nerves & told me the fact that i took vitamin C for months had no effect on what's going on. She definitely didn't believe the withdrawal thing either. I did blood work & it said I'm not allergic to the big things like soy, eggs, milk etc but i am allergic to hazelnuts & a miniscule allergy to peanuts. I'm also allergic to cherries, which i always knew, but now I'm allergic to apples!?! What in the world??? She also did a skin test & it showed I'm highly allergic to trees...which may explain my seasonal allergies. She thinks the tree allergy is crossing over and causing what she called Oral Allergy Syndrome or a fresh fruit allergy.

I'm totally devastated because i love eating healthy but i can't eat fresh fruit or veggies. Last night i had cauliflower & carrots & my nose got so itchy & almost burning.

The allergist basically dismissed me & told me to take allegra daily. I asked about an epi-pen & she said i don't need it according to my labs. I told her about my withdrawal and how allegra is really close to antidepressants...but her response in so many words was that withdrawal doesn't exist. Whatever.

 

I guess my issue is this: since withdrawal, I've had a host of new symptoms come & go...symptoms that have effected my entire body...my vision, breathing, swallowing, throat, skin, stomach, legs, nerves, brain, thoughts, etc. I'm wondering if this could be another symptom of withdrawal. Has anyone else experienced this? Should i take allegra? I can't take zyrtec b/c it makes me feel lethargic.

 

Help...I'm hungry :( and i don't want to eat junk...but i feel like that's all i can tolerate. That's bad in itself.

I just want to be "normal" again...

Edited by Altostrata
Added admin note

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GiaK

you might want to explore an underlying histamine issue...and yes, I've been going through it for many years now..triggered by the withdrawal...

 

 

A mini histamine intolerance round-up

http://beyondmeds.com/2013/02/25/a-mini-histamine-intolerance/

 

in that post are lots of links for additional info...

 

allegra isn't the best way to go...

 

quercetin, vitamin C and certain histamine degrading digestive enzymes are what have been best for me...pharmaceuticals go south and badly...

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Dani

you might want to explore an underlying histamine issue...and yes, I've been going through it for many years now..triggered by the A mini histamine intolerance round-uphttp://beyondmeds.com/2013/02/25/a-mini-histamine-intolerance/in that post are lots of links for additional info...allegra isn't the best way to go...quercetin, vitamin C and certain histamine degrading digestive enzymes are what have been best for me...pharmaceuticals go south and badly...

Thank you very much. I'll look into the link. I can't tolerate any vitamin c or any product that contains citric acid....which is in nearly every product. It's very hard. I just lost my mom & as crazy as it seems, food is my comfort. Even tho I'm only 120 pounds, i turn to food as my comfort. *sigh* So the fact that i can't eat hardly anything is depressing

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GiaK

I use a vitamin c that is made with palm...no citric acid...because I'm allergic too.

 

twinlab makes it

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Dani

I use a vitamin c that is made with palm...no citric acid...because I'm allergic too.twinlab makes it

Good grief...I really hope this isn't permanent. I can't live on just sunshine & air. I need food :(

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GiaK

if you eliminate hard core and get things quieted down the body can tolerate more foods and reactions get less intense and you learn to tolerate them if they're not extreme...it's not a pleasant process but I am eating a large variety of foods...just different foods then perhaps I used to eat...

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UnfoldingSky

Dani, regarding the cherry/apple allergy, apples are in the same plant family (Rose family) as cherries.  If you are now allergic to apples it could be because they are closely related.

 

I had a number of food intolerances crop up during withdrawal.  They were not true allergies.  I now can eat pretty well everything I could before.  Some of it doesn't make me feel great (I can't eat pounds and pounds of sugar without feeling at least a little bit anxious) but the problems are nowhere near what they used to be.

 

The only possible exception is alcohol.  I won't try it, don't need it and don't really want to feel spaced out from it as I spent years feeling like that from drugs. 

 

I hope you are able to find some foods you can handle.  It's quite a pickle to be in.

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Dani

Thanks so much for your input!! The labs said i'm not allergic to oranges, melons, kiwi etc but when i eat them, I can't tolerate it. I'm not allergic to tomatoes either but eating them makes me so irritated. It's crazy how every single element of our bodies are being effected from withdrawal.

 

The doctors hand these drugs out like candy. Just a shame.

 

I'm optimistic that one day we'll be close to normal again

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GiaK

histamine intolerance is not food allergy in the classic sense...you are not allergic to foods per se...it's a threshold issue...all food...even the process of digestion releases histamine...so it's a question of eating foods that are less likely to put you over threshold...

 

with histamine intolerance you can have no actual "true" allergy...that doesn't mean you can't have anaphylactic shock and die from eating foods that raise histamine however...so it remains very serious...saying it's not a true allergy can suggest it's not serious...but it can be just as serious and even deadly in worst case scenarios...

 

we need to take this stuff seriously...

 

it passes for a lot of people...but certainly not all of them do all the time either. 

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UnfoldingSky

I'm very confused...I confess I know little about histamine intolerance. 

Would I qualify as being histamine intolerant?  The problems foods were anything containing caffeine, white sugar, alcohol, spicy foods, casein, gluten (which I did not have a true intolerance to; I was tested for it.  However, I was told by the practitioner who tested me that I could still have issues with it even if I didn't test positive for the intolerance.) I also steered clear of processed foods.  Even fruit was a problem for a while.  I later realized if I had sugars though with protein, that the problems I had as a result were not as bad as if I ate them on their own.  So I surmised it had something to do with blood sugar.   I also found somewhere that this was a diet used for people with adrenal burnout.  So I thought it was an adrenal issue (though true burnout I think is more severe even then what happened to me, if what I read is correct; I never had it found on tests.)

 

So is that a histamine problem?  No one tested me for these, but the agitation some of these foods caused was horrible, and worse if I ate them at certain times (when it was hot outside, when I was under stress, etc...)  I never had any trouble with breathing though or hives or anything I would associate with an allergy.  A while after this period I could have trouble breathing while exercising but I later found out I had a mild iron deficiency, which causes trouble breathing.

 

By the way I didn't mean to say that Dani doesn't have allergies, just that I was not shown to have allergies. 

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UnfoldingSky

Just to be really clear, as this has me worried now, I am not suggesting people treat food intolerances in a trivial way.  I never did, I ate a very restricted diet for over three years.  Also if you have been diagnosed with allergies, this is not something to ignore. 

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GiaK

I have no idea...food intolerances are caused by many things...I had to eliminate high histamine foods before it became clear that was a factor for me...

 

I have other intolerances that likely have nothing to do with histamine. 

 

I am not assuming that Devi has it either...just sounds like a possibility given the types of reactions she is having and since it sounded like an anti-histamine was helping (although it's not clear that is the case...she just said she wondered if she should take allegra)

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GiaK

but there are some tests that reveal genetic mutations that affect the way we deal with histamine...I know lots of folks who've had those done...

 

I did get tested also by an orthomolecular doctor a long time ago and also tested high histamine (not the genetic test)...but she didn't actually know anything about how to treat it appropriately because she didn't understand all the things I've since learned...so at the time I did nothing about it (after doing a trial of supplements she recommended that made me far worse) 

 

in any case I remembered the test when I discovered the issue in this recovery process.

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GiaK

if you want a larger degree of detail I suggest you visit some of the sites I've linked to in the pieces I've written on histamine...I'm not terrible fluent in the finer details of the science behind this stuff...but some of the sites I link to are excellent. 

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Dani

My allergist told me that biggest allergy i have is to hazelnuts. My labs came back high & it scared me since i nearly bought Nutella a couple months before i initially saw the doctor. She said if I'm ever asked if i have an allergy to something, i must say hazelnuts. The labs on cherries & apples came back nowhere near the levels as hazelnuts but it showed something. She said the levels are low. When i eat those things, my ears & throat get really hot & itchy. It almost feels like my throat is going to close but it clears up after a while. I also feel like that when i eat plums & sometimes peaches.

 

Anyway, she said try to cook them or buy frozen ones because i have Oral Allergy Syndrome. It's when you can't eat certain fresh fruit. It's caused by hayfever or seasonal allergies. When my allergist said to freeze them it sort of makes sense because I can eat cherry/vanilla ice cream with no problems. The labs for peanuts came back even lower than cherries & apples but it was something. I never had a reaction to peanuts but now I'm scared to eat anything with peanuts.

 

She said my oral allergy syndrome is being caused from my seasonal allergies. I have a birch tree allergy...which is a Spring allergy. Ragweed is an Autumn allergy but i don't have that. My seasonal allergies started ironically just a couple months after starting Zoloft. I never had them before 2005.

 

When i eat/drink other things like oranges, tomatoes/ketchup, tomato sauce, bbq sauce, melons, watermelon, any fruit juices, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, orange juice, peas, fresh spinach etc, my face and skin around my mouth gets really irritated....yet the labs show no allergy or even an intolerance or sensitivity to those things. When i ate the cauliflower on Sunday, my nose started to itch really bad. Anything high in vitamin C i can't even deal with.

 

When they did labs for eggs, soy, wheat, milk, seafood etc, it showed no allergy. Yet, i can't tolerate soy sauce and some milks.

 

It makes me nervous because I'm not sure what i can eat anymore. After eliminating dang near everything but water and air, there is nothing left for me to eat except junk. I'm unemployed & can't afford much as many things are quite expensive. I feel like I'm caught between a rock and a hard place. I also feel like I'm not getting the proper nutrients b/c I'm hardly eating.

 

That's why i was wondering if anyone went through anything similar & it eventually cleared up. Withdrawal has caused so many crazy symptoms/reactions in every single inch of my body that have developed, stayed for quite a while and "disappeared". We are all too familiar with waves :( They come and go...came back again... with less intensity...and leave again. I am in no shape or form taking this lightly. I am a nervous wreck because to me this is very VERY serious.

 

I have not taken Allegra but my doctor kinda dismissed it as i should be okay if i take a daily dose of Allegra. I told her about my antidepressant withdrawal & she dismissed that too. For seasonal allergies, i used a humidifier & i take a teaspoon of honey with very warm water daily. It helps somewhat.

 

Sorry for any mistakes. I'm using my smart phone but it's acting really stupid.

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UnfoldingSky

if you want a larger degree of detail I suggest you visit some of the sites I've linked to in the pieces I've written on histamine...I'm not terrible fluent in the finer details of the science behind this stuff...but some of the sites I link to are excellent. 

 

Thank you, I will take a look at those.

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UnfoldingSky

Dani,  I looked up Oral Allergy Syndrome and read a bit on wikipedia (I'd have read a different site but for some odd reason my search engine is only bringing up really obscure pages when I look something up, plus wikipedia.  I don't know what's going on with that...but I'll spare you what the back pages of the forever 21 website had to say about oral allergies.)  If what they are writing is true it looks like there's a sub group of foods that also *might* cause problems outside of the birch group.  So, assuming what they say is true, this list:

 

might explain the problems with grapes and citrus.  And the peanuts.  But what is going on with cauliflower and broccoli (both members of the brassica family of plants) and some of the other things you list?  Did you eat the cauliflower, broccoli and carrots raw?

 

Now that I think about it, I ate all my veggies cooked when I reacted to the drugs.  I had trouble digesting some of them, so I took a guess and thought it might be best to cook them, since that would make them easier to digest.  It helped.  Reading the wiki link if I understand correctly it seems there are different causes of intolerances.  Some of mine might have been from digestive problems which would be different if I understand this correctly than what you are reporting.  Then the sugar issue I had was probably something to do with blood sugar.

 

This issue is pretty complicated.  I'd like to understand more about it though. 

 

What do soy and milk do, do they cause the same reactions?  What kind of milks are the problem?  I think I read soy was hard to break down.

 

I'm trying to think of some other foods you could eat that are healthy. What about beets? Cabbage? Jerusalem artichokes?  Hemp hearts? Sunflower seeds? Onions?  I guess this is getting obscure, but that's a fairly comprehensive list.  Mushrooms maybe? 

 

Is there an alternative practitioner you trust that could help with this?  One that might believe in withdrawal? 

 

I remember a friend and I used to joke about the "seven foods you can actually eat diet", we had to restrict so much for a time.  He was in a similar position as I was, and had some of the same problems.  For a time though and because of different issues than I had (from different drugs I never took), which it sounds like you also thankfully don't have, he was restricted to mostly junk foods.  Sugar was a big one he could eat, as he was having a super hard time breaking down a long list of foods.  Definitely was not an allergy (he knew the cause of his problems).  I also had a blood pressure issue (too low) from a drug used to treat akathisia, so I had to eat a ton of salt.  One of my main food groups was potato chips.  It was obscene how many I had to eat just to function.  I literally used to take a big bag of chips with me everywhere I went--just me and my big bag of kettle chips hanging out 'round town...Boy did I get some strange looks.  But when I got hungry if I didn't eat I rapidly felt very agitated.  And dizzy because of the low BP.

 

But your diet sounds even more complicated.  It's hard avoiding sugar, but at least it's pretty straightforward what you do about that.  A lot harder to memorize a group of foods which on the surface seem to have nothing in common really and make sure you don't eat them a certain way. 

 

The fun of SSRIs never ends does it? 

 

 

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Dani

I guess I can assume that not many people have gone through what I'm now experiencing...

 

On Sunday, I steamed the cauliflower/carrots for over 3 hours... purposely. I don't eat any veggies raw. I usually boil them down or steam them for hours.  

 

When I ate the soy sauce, my mouth (inside and outside) became very irritated and felt that way for 3 days, so I totally avoid it now. I kinda think that was my fault though. I tried to make beef teriyaki...without the teriyaki sauce. So i used soy as an alternative. HUGE MISTAKE! I think it was too strong...probably for any normal person as well. I just avoid it now due to sheer nervousness.

 

I can't drink regular milk (and haven't for about 15 years) so I drink Lactaid, but I seem to be having some issues with the 2% Lactaid so I switched to the whole milk version. My face and chest break out in very small bumps, but they don't itch at all. Just looks unpleasant. It clears up after a while.

 

I can't eat beets. I was told to eat them last year after surgery to build my blood back up, so I ate some canned ones and I woke up in the middle of the night with hives on my wrists. So, that's a no-no. I haven't tried cabbage, but I will try that. 

 

I had sunflower seeds during the summer so I think I can eat that.  Onions isn't a problem and I actually love them in my food. As far as mushrooms, I never liked them, but at this point, I am open to try them again.

 

I guess my heart is longing for the things I used to eat. Veggie pizza or home fries. *sigh* I've never been a junk food person. Even as a child. My type of snack consisted of a bowl of strawberries or a fruit salad...maybe even a tangerine or a homemade fruit smoothie. Never candy or junk food.

 

Its funny you mention walking around with a bag of chips everywhere. I'm dealing with similar issues currently. If I don't eat every 2-3 hours, I feel very strange. My energy levels get so low and it almost feels like I'm having an hypoglycemic attack. Of course, I've gone to the doctor to check my thyroid and everything else including blood work and everything comes back fine. I dealt with this same issue in April of 2012 and it resolved itself...only to show back up in July of 2013....but less intense this time around. I can only assume it will resolve itself momentarily...like many of the other strange issues I'm dealing with...and possibly come back with less intensity.

 

I'm looking into the histamine links. It does, however, make me confused.  

I am also looking into an alternative practitioner, but it's hard when you are dealing with only a certain type of insurance and many doctors who completely doubt the stuggles I am going through. I don't have the money to pay out of pocket.  

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GiaK

soy is one of the most common problematic foods out there...I've not eaten soy for years now...and milk too...

 

getting rid of common food intolerances is a good idea in my mind if you have any issues with sensitivities at all...at least for a good long while...until one can figure out what the heck is going on

 

so those would be gluten, soy, dairy, (maybe eggs), corn, peanuts...

 

there are probably a few more...but simply eliminating gluten, dairy and soy is a good place to start and then of course any foods you know you are reacting to

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dekiru

I was intolerant to gluten and diary before I started experiencing withdrawal from Zoloft. Now I can't tolerate anything with sugar or sweeteners, or that is too acidic. My Naturopathic doctor says I have candida overgrowth in my gut, and that when I eat sugary things the candida grows more and that causes an increase in my symptoms - headaches, stomach pains, bad digestion, upset stomach, hypoglycemia, sweating when weather not hot, skin itchy, tiredness etc. So now I'm taking some enzymes to break down the candida and probiotics consisting of Saccharomyces boulardii (a good yeast) to clear the overgrowth. The symptoms of candida die-back can also be horrible, so I'm doing this slowly so as the limit the effects.

I did some research and ssri's mess up the gut flora so I think the overgrowth caused by ssris. When I was first in withdrawal, I wasn't concerned so much about my stomach issues as had no appetite as so panicky all the time.

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Dani

I can't believe how much damage these pills have caused all of us. I hope there is light at the end of the withdrawal tunnel...whenever that will be.  I feel so hopeless...and hungry.

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GiaK

we're not the only ones going through this...I think I would have had some of these issues anyway...now that I've learned so much about how these problems come to be...

 

I learn most in various chronic illness circles and this stuff happens to lots of people who've never been on psych meds.

 

for me the foundational insult, clearly, were lots and lots of courses of antibiotics in childhood...the psych drugs surely exacerbated everything as well as causing additional problems, but alone may not have been enough to cause the severity of my issues...likely would not have been enough. 

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Dani

I'm not sure of i would have had these problems without antidepressants. I can't say, but many things, in my opinion, are coincidental.

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Dani

you might want to explore an underlying histamine issue...and yes, I've been going through it for many years now..triggered by the withdrawal...A mini histamine intolerance round-uphttp://beyondmeds.com/2013/02/25/a-mini-histamine-intolerance/in that post are lots of links for additional info...allegra isn't the best way to go...quercetin, vitamin C and certain histamine degrading digestive enzymes are what have been best for me...pharmaceuticals go south and badly...

I'm thinking of having blood work done to determine whether my histamine levels are higher than normal. Have you have blood work done? If so, how should i go about this?

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GiaK

actually histamine blood levels won't really tell you anything particularly meaningful and can be misinterpreted very easily...it's better to just eliminate the foods and see how you do...it will become glaringly obvious within a week or two.

 

all the lab work that can be done for this condition really isn't terribly definitive...and then you have doctors in the mix who will likely start shoving drugs in your face too...I'd spare myself, frankly. 

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GiaK

and yes, I've had blood work done and spent time in circles with people who've had extensive testing done and this is my experienced opinion...some folks still like to get all sorts of tests done, but I see it as being high risk for misinterpretation etc...and I've watched what happens to folks who go on wild goose chases as a result of their doctors recommendations...(myself included)

 

this is not something that is easily cared for with drugs...the fix is dietary and it takes lots of tweaking and paying attn...

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Dani

I'm trying to eliminate foods...and have been since December 2012 but still can't seem to figure it out. I stopped eating things that aggravate me but to eliminate eggs, milk, corn & other things leaves me with absolutely nothing left to eat...and it's making me quite depressed...literally because I'm barely eating now. I really want to give up now. I've been crying all week cause i feel very lost.

I just lost my mom & I'm feeling really alone & depressed.

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GiaK

I'm sorry Dani...sounds like a really seriously rough patch.

 

Losing your mother is a massively big deal...I'm so sorry.

 

Maybe you should give yourself a little time before dealing with the food issue intensely...maybe just do what you're doing now and when you feel more ready you can start up again...this is very hard work...

 

There is a histamine intolerance group on Facebook where you can get support if you feel that is a direction you want to go in when you're ready...it's a really great group...you can just lurk and learn for a while if you want and see if you think you're in the right place.

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/429743787086171/

 

for now maybe see if you can take it easy and give yourself time to grieve...

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Dani

Thank you...it's been a really rough time :(

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UnfoldingSky

Dani, sorry about your Mom too, it sounds like you are in a very difficult position.   I hope you'll keep posting since you are in a bad spot. 

 

Also re the food, like Gia says I wouldn't worry about eliminating more things, just eat what agrees with you.  Sometimes we have to make do with what we are given...like me with the chips. 

 

I tried to think of a few more foods to add to your list of tolerable foods, so in case you haven't tried them perhaps squash, cucumbers and coconuts might be tolerable.  If I come up with more I'll add them here.

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Dani

Thank you...i think I'll continue to figure out this dilemma in a week or two

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Meimeiquest

Dani, I don't know where the loss of your mom occurred in all this, but I have had friends who had food issues that were noted when they were very stressed, but resolved afterwards. I really hope this happens to you, as you move through the grieving process.

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Dani

Dani, I don't know where the loss of your mom occurred in all this, but I have had friends who had food issues that were noted when they were very stressed, but resolved afterwards. I really hope this happens to you, as you move through the grieving process.

Thank you very much. I'd been caring for my mother since Jan 2011. She passed away May 2013. The food issues started in December...possibly right when she started going down hill even more. The entire 2.5 years was emotional & very stressful. Imagine seeing someone you love with all your heart deteriorate before your eyes. Just very emotional & scary. I'm seeing someone for grief to help me. It's hard mourning AND going through withdrawal. Then add food issues & unemployment & all these changes in life...ugh..

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mammaP

Dani I just want to say how sorry I am that you lost your mum. That is a lot of trauma you are dealing with

and there is no wonder you are feeling bad. I hope you find what foods are the problem for you so you can 

start to feel physically better at least. 

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Dani

Dani I just want to say how sorry I am that you lost your mum. That is a lot of trauma you are dealing withand there is no wonder you are feeling bad. I hope you find what foods are the problem for you so you can start to feel physically better at least.

Thank you.

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