In the spring and summer of 2014, I suddenly became allergic to many foods. I was not feeling well in general, was losing weight, and had sporadic diarrhea. My blood-work all looked normal. The previous fall I had went to see an allergist who conducted skin test allergy testing. I was found to be somewhat allergic to egg (level 3). I eliminated egg from my diet but my health continued to deteriorate.
I went back to my allergist, who ran a second skin allergy test. Just 7 months between my first allergy skin test and my second, I was found to have 16 more food allergies! This time corn was high (level 4); and I had quite a few level 3 allergies: tree nuts: Brazil, hazelnut, pecan, pistachio, crab, salmon, trout, pork, coconut, raspberry, avocado, onion, spinach, casein, and oat grain.
From this list my allergist also suspected a sulfite allergy. To test his theory, he had me make one glass of lemonade from one tsp Real Lemon juice (you know the one, the green glass bottle in the non-refrigerated section of the grocery store). Apparently ‘Real Lemon’ lemon juice is full of preservatives. Drinking the ‘lemonade’ did cause gastrointestinal distress. My allergist declared me allergic to sulfites, along with the other foods on my list, and did not think my situation was unusual. I knew something weird was going on…17 food allergies and a sulfite allergy developed in under a year’s time! (As a side note, if you can your own tomatoes, do NOT use “Real Lemon” brand lemon juice as the acid!)
It get’s worse! Soon after the second skin test, I started to become allergic to just about everything, even things that were not reactive on my skin allergy test. Things like banana, bell peppers, all milk products, chamomile and coffee! From meal to meal I was afraid to eat, afraid of what I would become allergic to next. My reaction was either intestinal or in my ears and neck (stuffed up ears, like when you get a bad cold). Though I know many people also get hives or a rash, or even anaphylaxis as a reaction.
My journey since then has been a hard one, and I’ll write about that in another post. But for now let me skip to my situation at the present time.
By eating all organic foods (eliminating preservatives, pesticides and other chemicals), and by taking an antihistamine every morning (formulated at a pharmacy, with just the active ingredient in an olive oil base – to avoid fillers, colors, etc.), and by temporarily eliminating foods that are naturally high in histamine or sulfite, I have settled my system back down and am regaining my health.
I have found that I am not actually allergic to any of the food items on the skin test. For example, I can now eat organic corn without any problem at all. However, a small amount of corn starch (which is heavily preserved) will make me very ill. I have determined that I may have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome – MCAS (or sometimes called Mast Cell Activation Disorder – MCAD); In very simple terms, my mast cells, which release histamine, are overactive. My triggers for this are preservatives, especially sulfites, and also foods with naturally occurring sulfites, and foods that are high in histamine.
My situation has made me wonder if any of the many people being diagnosed with multiple food allergies are actually truly allergic to the foods themselves, or if their systems are just reacting to toxins in our foods and environment, such as sulfites? And are our bodies reacting to a lack of nutrition from eating non-organic foods?
In my own case, I found that when I removed foods with preservatives, colorings, flavorings, hormones, antibiotics, and GMOs from my diet, replaced by high nutrient organic foods, my food allergies began to clear up. I no longer react to the foods on my skin allergy list, such as egg, corn, nuts, casein, etc.
I still get a bad “allergic” reaction when I accidentally have sulfites (it’s like getting the flu within 10 minutes), but I can eat all of the foods that previously I was ‘allergic’ to. Please note that sulfites can be in municipal water sources, as it is used to bind up excess chlorine. I am fine drinking well water but had a problem with city water, and do not drink it anymore. If you have city water and find you are sensitive to sulfites, you may have to get a purification system or use bottled water for drinking and cooking. Even if you are not sensitive to sulfites, but have other allergy-type problems, it may be worth looking into purified water. Like sulfites, chlorine and fluoride are not good for us either.
In summary, I believe changing to an all organic foods diet, along with drinking and cooking with clean, chemical free water are the most important things we can do for our health. If you are having food allergy issues, or irritable bowel syndrome or other similar issues, and you implement these changes, please let us know your results.
Please share your own story. Let’s help each other return to good health!