09 September 2012

Food Allergies are a Fad Diet?

Are people claiming they have food allergies/intolerance as a new FAD to lose weight or to mask their picky eating?

I have been food allergic for the last 11 years of my life. I have been about the same weight and height since I was 12 (about 67" tall and around  123 lbs.)  The heaviest I've been is 130 and the lightest was 117 (I was very sick).  I wasn't diagnosed with food allergies until I was 22 and it wasn't as a lifestyle choice, it was literally LIFE or DEATH. I mean it, I nearly died a few times.  
I love food. Prior to food allergies, I never said "No" to food. I wanted to try everything at least once in my life. There are many myths about food allergies and many people that don't have them, claiming  "it's all in people's heads," or "those are just picky eaters," or "they do it to try to lose weight." 

Fact: Food allergies are not the CURE for a massive weight loss! 

Opinion: You could be carrying some extra "bloating" if you are eating foods you are allergic or intolerant to and don't know it. 
Let me assure you, you must not plan to eat gluten free/dairy free cookies and then expect to lose weight. Now, if you want to replace cookies and ice cream with avocado, tomato and pepper well then I totally support. Does that mean you should never ever have a piece of whole wheat bread or meat?- NO! Everything in moderation- unless you are seriously allergic to it. Eat well, live well. 

If you want facts on food allergies and food intolerance, just click this link.

Often times people ask me how I knew or how do you find out- keep reading below on the diary of a food allergic.

I am furious with people jumping into the "Gluten Free" bandwagon" just because someone else did it and felt better without knowing all the facts associated with that. I am furious with those that say they have an allergy/intolerance that don't- say you have a dairy allergy and then at the end of your meal order ice cream or ask for butter? Hello??? Not fair to the rest of it. 

Diary of a Food Allergic: 

I've just been through another battle with my food allergies. I was having some "not so great" physical moments for the last few months including an anaphylaxis event in July due to accidental exposure at a restaurant in Santa Monica. I was concerned that I had developed another food allergy. My kidney had started to shut down again and I was carrying this little extra pouch in the front of my stomach (I knew I wasn't pregnant and I'm not a kangaroo), so I kept trying to track and eliminate other possible food items. I nearly stopped eating out all together, because I thought due to the lack of allergy awareness and sensitivity in restaurants, I was getting "accidental" exposure to my already known food allergies. After my very scary July episode,  I finally ended up at the food allergy doctor for more testing. 

Skin Testing for Food Allergies (60 Pricks)

The nurse took me back and had me undress from the waste up, then lay on my stomach so she could give me sixty (60) skin pricks. See all the red spots--------> those indicate an allergic reaction to whatever I was pricked with. The severity of the food allergy is indicated by how inflamed the skin becomes as well as real life testing (meaning see if you can be in a room with walnuts if you have a walnut allergy. Taste a pistachio and see if you go into anaphylaxis shock or if you just start throwing up or maybe you just itch and scratch for 3 days and then have GI issues. (Yes very scientific, right?) 
Within 30 minutes of testing I went into full anaphylaxis shock and was having a seizure like episode. I felt the cold of death sweep through the insides of my body. 
Result: 7 new severe food allergies found.- but as you can see from above, there are many others just not labeled "severe".  

Many adults with late onset food allergies ask this question: " How is it that I have eaten salmon or vanilla for so long and am now "allergic" to it? Or why can't I be allergic to something I don't like? 

My new food allergies are: Salmon, Cranberry, Oranges, Vanilla, Ginger, and Banana. I already knew I was allergic to Tree Nuts, Peanuts, and Dairy. 

I wasn't surprised about banana because it has a high level of potassium which is harmful in (CKD) chronic kidney disease. Salmon has a high level of protein (also not good for kidney). The others still have me a bit perplexed but in new thoughts, a peanut is part of the legume (bean) family and in cross reactive studies, bodies often times process legume as peanut because it falls in the same family. The same issues apply if you are allergic to one nut you might demonstrate allergic reactions with all tree nuts.  

I don't have answers as to WHY we become allergic to food today but I did notice the kangaroo pouch was completely gone in 3 days after avoiding all of those items. So YES- weight loss (of 3 lbs) happened. My body went back to feeling better and looking normal.  
My "Kangaroo Pouch"
A real kangaroo pouch. 

I am a big sushi fan (BTW) and had cooked a huge salmon the week before. I ate salmon everything. Apart from the kangaroo belly pouch, I was having chest pains and feeling light headed for weeks, along with loss of energy, a few wheezing spells and GI issues which I will spare the details of. 

I CANNOT say for sure that once you have identified your food allergies and gotten them all out of your system, you will loose weight.  What I can say is the bloating, stomach swelling, hives, itching, rashes, chest pains will all go away once you avoid the foods you are allergic to.
The only known CURE for food allergies is strict avoidance. 


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