Allergic to Everything, Part Two

This post is a response to a few comments I’ve had recently about being allergic to everything. To read the original article, click here: I’m allergic to everything.

Food Allergies

What to do if you can’t eat anything

There is a food trap that some people fall in to where the number of foods that they feel that they can eat slowly dwindles down to almost nothing.

I’m going to suggest to you that this problem doesn’t have to make you crazy and is largely your brain’s fault (or maybe it is better described as your genes fault).

This problem is probably best explained by the book Omnivore’s Dilemma.

Omnivores have a problem that no other type of eater has: deciding what to eat. A cow, for example, never wonders what it is going to put in its’ mouth, the grass it is walking on is always the answer. Likewise, you don’t see lions or sharks contemplating their dinner choices; if it is running or swimming away then it is on the menu.

We omnivores, though, have to test foods to see if they are okay for us. The key to understand why this might be a problem is to understand that omnivores attach how they feel after they eat something with whether the food is good for them or not. This is a handy tool to have: You eat some berries you think are okay to eat and later you get a stomach ache; next time you see that berry, you stay away from it.

The problem is that this omnivore-avoidance-system isn’t very accurate. Studies have shown that people are poor predictors of what might be good or bad for them. Part of the problem also lies in the complexity of the food we eat; many of the meals we eat are a mixture of many different foods. To add to the difficulty deciding what to eat is that we might be feeling bad for other reasons and just think it is the food we are eating.

So, when you are spiraling out of control and unable to find anything to eat, consider that many things you think are not good for you, may be okay.

What to do next?

Let’s say that you have thought about the above and tried to add in more foods, but still find that there are foods that you still cannot eat. Here is a plan for taking your diet to the next level.

  • Testing: Many people want to turn to testing to find out what foods they are allergic to. My experience is that testing generally doesn’t help. Testing done on the skin is silly as the part of the immune system responsible for protecting the skin is different from the immune system in your gut. Blood testing gets you a bit closer, but will only show foods that you are allergic to and not those you have an intolerance to (read the Food Allergy vs Food intolerance part of the previous article). The best testing is removal and reintroducing of foods.
  • Brain/Gut: Your brain is closely tied to your digestive system. Scientists are now calling this the Gut/Brain axis: as you think, so your gut feels. If you are stressed out or anxious, your gut will respond. Many people with digestive problems find that they go away when they are on vacation (and they usually eat worse than they normally do). Consider taking supplements for anxiety such as Kava Kava, GABA, theanine, or others.
  • Digestive Enzymes: Some of your problems may be due to not having enough digestive enzymes. Get a very high quality digestive enzyme and see if that helps.
  • Rebalance Bacteria: The bacteria in your gut may also be part of the problem. Try using a product called Zyflamendthat is used for inflammation, but I have found works wonders on the gut. You can also go on an anti-yeast or anti-parasite program; make sure you take enough of the herbs for itto be successful. I recommend these products:

Some combination of the above will work for you. It is a difficult path to return to normalish eating, but one well worth the journey.

23 comments

  1. I’ve been the “bubble” girl for over 27 years now. My allergies have caused massive attacks on me, from stretching out my intestines to huge blistering hives all over my body. It had been diagnosed as Chronic, Severe, Allergies, Asthma and Anxiety. This means it will never go away, has caused damages that can’t be repaired and that the allergens can cause life threatening Anaphylactic shock, Asthma or Anxiety attacks. I’m finding it hard to find a doctor and allergist who actually listen to me. The norm for them and their Rules from Institutionalized commands is actually more of a Threat to me than being helpful. As far as foods, the rollercoaster is almost never ending as some triggers for me can be located in the last of the ingredients and most times I can tolerate the food. However being allergic to all seafood and fish, even react to the smell, can be a fish oil in a sauce and may cause an alarming reaction. Potatoes in raw form can aggregate just by touching, yet I can eat them cooked with just excess gas being a culprit. I would like to find a doctor who will listen, as well as an allergist who can orchestrate my well being as I know from having a taste of life as I once have done. Prayers and suggestions will be greatly appreciated! Also, I have allergies all year outside, foods, medications, metals, waters, with my highest intolerances being latex and fish.

    1. Tammy, it looks like you have used avoidance fairly well. Have you looked into the book called The Epidemic of Absence? It talks about the role of microorganisms (especially parasites – as crazy as that sounds) in calming down inflammation in the body. I’m not sure it is of much help in an adult, but some people have seen relief.

      Dr. Scott

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