Talking Allergies

New to Forum & maybe new to Allergies
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Author:  FANGS [ Sat Nov 19, 2011 10:18 pm ]
Post subject:  New to Forum & maybe new to Allergies

Hello all! My name is Angela and I appreciate being added to this forum. I've read through a lot of posts in the days since I found the site and it already feels good to know I'm not alone.

I was diagnosed as being lactose intolerent as a baby. However, there was always something else. I was very sick up until I was 9 and had my tonsils out. Lots of respritory issues, kidney infections, mumps that went in instead of out, tonsils that would swell up so big they'd cut off my airway plus non-hospitalized illnesses like chicken pox and the measles. I seemed to be healthier for a time, so long as I avoided lactose. Getting sick though was a way of life for me.

I had an incident last year that at the time should have alarmed me greatly, but it didn't. It was only one addition to an otherwise normal phase of being sick often. Enough friends convinced me I needed to talk to my doctor. That started the road I've been taking for the last year and a half. My doctor got me in to a GI specialist who did a colonoscopy. It came back completely clean. I went to an allergist and had the skin prick test and it came back that I was allergic to absolutely nothing. I became very viglilant about cutting out lactose and taking the Lactaid pills and still....I was getting sick. During all of this it was discovered in an ultrasound that I was getting rather large ovarian cysts so eventually I got in to a OB/GYN and was sent for a laprascopy. They found endometriosis. I felt relieved. Finally something to explain how I was feeling. I started a method of controlling the endometriosis and gave it a good 6 months to work. And while I was having less abdonminal pain - significantly less - I still had a daily dull ache and was frequently "renting" what I ate. I was beyond frustrated and was beginning to feel like it was all in my head.

A friend recommended a Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor. I was sceptical, but I was getting desparate. This doctor was wonderful. He spent an hour with me listening to what was going on and taking tons of notes on everything in my history. He said that he was confident I had a milk allergy, not just lactose intolerence. He said that the skin prick tests aren't always effective. By this point I was willing to try anything, so I did as he asked and cut out dairy 100%. I thought it would be easy but in fact some of of the products I had been consumming because they were lactose free weren't dairy free. Things started making sense. Last year I had tried going gluten free for awhile in an effort to figure this out and for awhile I felt better. This also makes sense since so many gluten free products are also dairy free.

Unfortunately, there is still something else. So I went back to the Dr. and we've sent off blood samples to a lab in the US for IGe and IGg testing. I honestly have fears about them coming back as having zero allergies just like the skin prick test did, but I'm trying to remain hopeful that I'll finally have answers. The Dr. also explained Leaky Gut Syndrome to me which he says is a possibility should it come back that I'm allergic to more than 6 things.

I never realized until very recently that the constant inflammation my guts are in isn't just annoying for the short time but in fact very damaging and potentially the cause of a lot of issues I experience. My body is just trying to find a way to make me listen. I'm listening now, body. I promise. I want to find the reason for the GI issues, random rashes, itchy mouth inside and out etc. etc. etc. I'm a little tired of feeling like this is all in my head. I'm tired of the weight gain from being in constant starvation mode. I'm just tired.

I also am allergic to sulfa drugs and asprin. As a child I had an anaphalxsis reaction to asprin and sulfa drugs result in rashes and upper respritory infections.

Thank you all for listening.

Author:  alberta advocate [ Sun Nov 20, 2011 1:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New to Forum & maybe new to Allergies

Welcome FANGS! I hope you find some help here. :thumbsup

Author:  Becky [ Sun Nov 20, 2011 1:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New to Forum & maybe new to Allergies

Welcome, it sounds like you have a good plan for diagnosis, I hope you get some answers soon!

Author:  soccermom [ Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New to Forum & maybe new to Allergies

I sure hope you get some answers soon. I'm wondering if you should ask your doctor about being tested for celiac disease. I'm no expert, but it always shocks me when I read about the average time to diagnosis for celiac is ten years, and how these people suffer so many health problems in the mean time.

In any event, welcome to the forum. There are wonderful people here who always support and inform each other. Wishing you the best,


Author:  _Susan_ [ Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New to Forum & maybe new to Allergies

I second soccermoms advice!
...and welcome! :huggy

Author:  Momtobunches [ Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New to Forum & maybe new to Allergies

Welcome! Sounds like you've had a rough time. I have a good friend who is a DTCM, and she would be the first to tell me that - when it comes to allergies - they are not qualified. You really should go back to an allergist. Allergists are the ONLY health care professionals qualified to diagnose allergies properly, and interpret the testing. Blood IgG testing is acutually - in the words of many allergists - worthless. They should not have to be sent of to the U.S. either, there are plenty of labs here that do the testing. I have been actually approached to "sell" IgG testing to my patients, and I recognized it as a scam pretty quickly. It was presented as a money-maker for me, and generated lists of food allergies that the patients didn't actually have. I understand that it's tempting to go outside mainstream medicine when you don't get the answers you're looking for, believe me, I do. Doctors do not have the time to spend with us that private alternative practitioners do. That's what they do best! But I'd be very, very cautious about spending any further money going in this direction, as the evidence is just not there, particularly when it comes to what might be presented as a cure.

Allergic Living's website has a great summary of food allergy testing here:

Something else you might find useful is the recent guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergies, completed by an expert panel of specialists in food allergy. There is a whole section on cow's milk allergy. This really is the latest and greatest information available right now:

Our allergists have also told us that there is no evidence for what is termed as "leaky gut". One of them actually laughed at me when I asked him about it.

My friend has a very busy practice, but her scope really is limited to pain treated by acupuncture, sports medicine, and general wellness. Anything above and beyond she admits they shouldn't be messing with. (She has the 5-year advanced degree in TCM).

Author:  FANGS [ Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New to Forum & maybe new to Allergies

I have been tested for celiac a couple of times and it came back negative.

I trust this DTCM. He went to med school with a good friend of mine who wouldn't recommend anyone he didn't trust. The allergist pretty much told me there was nothing and don't let the door hit me on the way out. This doctor has been nothing but up front about what he is and isn't. He's also the first doctor whose suggestions have had me getting sick only once a week or less instead of daily. So while I totally understand that there seems to be zero agreement on what allergy testing is proper and what is not, Im willing to give it a shot. Worst case I cut a few foods out and don't feel any better than I do now. Although I'm not entirely sure what to do should that happen since I seem to be out of options. As for where he sent it he told me there were several labs in Canada and the US and I believe they routinely use two. One in BC and one in the US.

Thank you all for the warm welcomes and advice. All of it is appreciated.

Author:  _Susan_ [ Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New to Forum & maybe new to Allergies

FANGS I understand that you have a lot of faith in your DTCM and I think that's great, however you should be followed by an allergist as well. They are the ones who are up to date on the latest research etc.
It sounds like the last one was a dud. That happens in all professions. Please keep searching and find one that you can have a good relationship with. Allergies are strange things and it really is through a detailed history that they are able to get an accurate picture so being followed all along is essential.
Contact local support groups in your area and find out who others like, there are some good ones out there!

Author:  FANGS [ Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New to Forum & maybe new to Allergies

I'm not permanently giving up on conventional medicine. Just trying other sources to try to figure this out.

I'm definitely wondering if eggs are an issue now. I'm thinking of trying to go with basically the paleo diet for a bit and see how it goes. Just eat really fresh and simply and see how I feel. And I'll cut out eggs see what happens.

Because I saw a huge improvement when I started being really vigilant about cutting out dairy I'm finding that its not at all difficult to pass up on stuff I use to love. And oh boy have I been tested this week with goodies at work! But I do admit to having a real hard time with salty snacks which I know I have to get rid of so I think that's up next since I'm past the hard part for cutting out dairy. I'm finding that for whatever reason I get super bloated on salt now and I hate how that feels. Maybe I was always bloated with dairy issues so I didn't notice the salt effect. Who knows. I just know that I'm not loving it so time to get rid of it.

I'm looking forward to having energy and feeling good. I have hope now for the first time for that to happen. Then....time to start working out again! I've got a lot of costumes I'm working on this year that i want to look and feel my best for! 40 is going to be a fantastic year for me! One way or another I'm going to figure out what works!

Thanks again for listening everyone. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it!

Author:  FANGS [ Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New to Forum & maybe new to Allergies

I finally know what I'm allergic to! Yay! Dairy, wheat, spelt, gluten, broccoli, cranberries, bananas and pineapple with a little sensitivity to egg yolks. Now I get why I got so sick even though I had cut out so much. It was the pineapple and cranberries!

I found out last Wednesday and have cut all of these things out and put everything else back in and I haven't been sick even once. Other than the cold I just got....blargh. Other than that I feel pretty darn good. I'm hoping that by Spring (or even sooner) I'll be completely symptom free and with all kinds of energy!

Since I'd already lived gluten free for about 6 months last year, the transition is an easy one, although some of the stuff that I ate before is out due to one of the newer known allergens like bananas being in it. But that's okay.....I feel very lucky that the list didn't include something else major like soy or eggs in it. This is pretty manageable.

I've been doing lots of reading and playing with receipies and I'm excited to start living out my life healthy and happy!

Author:  _Susan_ [ Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: New to Forum & maybe new to Allergies

Yeah! :happydance :thumbsup

Author:  paige H [ Tue Dec 20, 2011 6:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New to Forum & maybe new to Allergies

I am very happy for you. Life is so much easier when you know what you are dealing with.
I hope you feel better for Christmas.

Author:  FANGS [ Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New to Forum & maybe new to Allergies

Thanks everyone!

Things are going quite well actually but I suspect I'm not quite 100% avoiding these items just yet. I'm fairly confident most of the time and certainly feel much, much better but there have been a couple of instances of getting sick and I can't explain why. It could be either ingesting one of them without realizing it was in an item or just that my insides are still so inflammed from years and years of this that they are a little over sensitive. Sometimes it appears to be when I eat the same thing two days in a row. Potentially just a coincidence but nothing else seemed to make sense. Yesterday I felt really unwell after lunch as I did the day before. The day before I attributed it to eating a sorbet the night before that had the "may contain" warning on it but didn't actually contain any of my allergens. But yesterday I couldn't put a finger on it. I did have the same thing for lunch as I had for dinner the day before and it was split pea soup that I made so perhaps the lentils were just a little harder to digest the second time around too close together? Or perhaps just a left over from my adventure in to the land of may contains. But why lunch? Not breakfast and not supper? Weird.

Re-reading my test results I see that I also had very low reactions to egg yolk, plums, peanut, soybean and cabbage. None of those are significantly in my diet the last couple of days so I doubt that's it either. My thought really is that it's just a matter of time and all of this will get sorted out. I'll get better I finding all of their little hidey spots and my insides will get less sensitive to small doses.

Author:  _Susan_ [ Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New to Forum & maybe new to Allergies

If you're reacting to peanuits and soybeans, you may be sensitive to other legumes.
And yes, stay away from may contains-it's like playing russian roulette!

Author:  FANGS [ Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: New to Forum & maybe new to Allergies

A friend of mine who hadn't seen me since November, saw me last week and said he can see the difference in the colour of my face. He said I look less sickly. That's definitely a a good thing!

I'm getting sick less and less. Last night was one of those unfortunate nights though and I spent most of it in the bathroom. I had brussel sprouts for the first time in months at lunch. I guess I didn't really think about them being part of the cabbage family and I might be a little sensitive. But what I didn't know is that is the same family that broccoli is from, which I'm far more allergic to. So I'll be avoiding that family for awhile (including turnip, cauliflower and radish) and see how I do with them later on down the road. I LOVE brussel sprouts and turnip. Love, love love.......bummer. But I certainly looked at them with different eyes as I picked them out of today's lunch. They didn't look as appetizing.

I started keeping notes in my phone about what I can eat at specific restaraunts but I learned the hard way last week that each one doesn't necessarily do it the same way. One Hudson's uses a glaze on their carrots. The other....butter. I only ate a couple before I figured it out but it was enough to make me sick a little later. I was trying to avoid telling the waitress about my allergies but lesson learned. The notes will help steer me, but I have to confirm each time that nothing has changed.

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