Friday, August 7, 2009

Love a Mystery? (Nah, me neither)

As I mentioned in a previous blog entry, my body recently decided that, as it plummets into middle age, it would be fun to develop a food allergy. For almost two years now I have been scratching my head over the specific ingredient (or combination) that might be causing me to get sick. It often seems to be a baked good that causes a reaction, so I've learned to be wary of anything that appears to contain lots of ingredients. If it's a packaged muffin that contains lots of artificial ingredients and has not been touched by human hands, I seem to be fine. However, if it's made from scratch and contains ingredients actually found in nature, I might be in trouble.

Yesterday I took the kid to a street festival downtown and she wanted a cookie, so I bought one for her. She took one bite, realized it was a "healthy" cookie, and spat out the bits still in her mouth (onto my plate, which I appreciated oh so much). Not wanting it to go to waste, I took a bite myself. Now, I've learned not just to plow into stuff willy-nilly. I take a bite and wait to see what happens. The first bite seemed okay so I took another. I felt the familiar burning on my tongue and immediate abandoned the cookie. It took two plastic cups of white wine to numb my tongue sufficiently. The good news is that the cookie had a label.

Here is the list of ingredients from the cookie-from-hell:
  • organic whole wheat pastry flour
  • organic oats
  • heath bits
  • organic sucanat (suca what?)
  • soy grits (kiss my!)
  • turbinado sugar (I think that's made up)
  • organic soy nuts
  • soy protein
  • flax seed
  • salt
  • baking soda
  • baking powder
I think it is the wheat, as I've also gotten sick from wheat pasta and other products containing wheat. However, I can eat wheat bread just fine. Maybe the wheat flour in most commercial breads has been processed half to death and that's why I don't react to it? What say ye, armchair diagnosticians?

Whatever the case, I do feel like I am getting closer. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to pack for the state fair, where I'll be eating sugar-coated deep-fried sugar on a stick (or something pretty close to it).

5 comments:

Susie said...

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that you're probably safe at the state fair--processed foods rock, and the fair is always full of processed options! I'd hate to think it was wheat causing the problems, but I do know several people who are allergic to all things containing wheat, even just plain old white bread. What I do know about food allergies? They're a pain, and I feel for ya having to deal with that. Good luck on your quest to figure it out, and have a blasty blast of a good time at the fair!

Laurie Green said...

This may sound crazy, but it works wonders for me. Sub-lingual Folic acid 1200 mcg from Trader Joes. Last year I had to have a total hysterectomy and shortly thereafter I started itching like crazy. I would get red bumps and welts at various times that itched and drove me crazy. I got the folic acid for some other reason like my memory and noticed that as soon as I took it the itching stopped. I don't know how or why it works for me, whether it has something to do with histamine regulation or liver function. I don't know if it will work for you, but I just thought I would throw it out there.

PS. Have I ever mentioned how Handsome I think Gideon is?

The Featherstones said...

Do you eat a lot of soy? Soy is often an allergen for people. I hear it is related to milk allergies, too. (If you have a dairy allergy, you can have a soy one, too.) I know it's a stretch, but since you've had dairy allergies in the family... Otherwise, check out what is in the heath bits. Everything else seems pretty benign.

steph said...

I was going to say soy, too, but if you don't react to processed foods (and soy is in EVERYTHING these days, including ink and dyes--great for us folks with soy allergies!!!), then I would say it might be another culprit (although maybe it's not as potent when it's processed.)

My mom's fingers welt reading books with soy ink--we gave her our Sony reader and I instantly became her favorite child (just kidding, but she did read the whole HP series in record time...)

Lisa.Y. said...

I was going to bet on the wheat. I have an uncle that developed wheat allergies as an adult and he had much more trouble with healthy foods than their more processed alternatives.