Food intolerance versus food allergy...

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CharmCityLady
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 245
   Posted 6/12/2013 5:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all,

I'm not sure how often food is discussed on this subforum, but I wanted to discuss experiences or thoughts distinguishing food allergies from food sensitives.

Since early childhood, I have had a confirmed classic food allergy to sesame seed and sesame oil which results in the classic anaphylactic shock symptoms.

(symptoms-itchy tongue, mouth, lips, facial hives, tongue feels like sandpaper, possibly eventual stomach ache and chest pain)

But in the last 6 years I have developed food intolerance and sensitivities to a variety of foods which affect my body in different ways than the allergy.

(symptoms - eye pressure, headache, vertigo, brain-fog, mood changes, irritability, sudden desire to yawn incessantly, sudden overwhelming fatigue, raised pimply blotches on cheeks that remains for days and looks like rosaea [differing from hives], terrible insomnia and disturbed sleep phases)

I feel that my immune system may be involved with both my allergy and my sensitivities, but in different ways. I'm confused about what is going on, and yet I feel hesitant to call my sensitivity to food an allergy given that it doesn't really resemble my allergic reaction.

Furthermore, I don't know what doctor to go to about my food intolerance issue. I don't know if an allergist would be knowledgeable on these issues. It really feels as if my body is fighting the foods I put it in, and then it ends up fighting itself, and wrecking me and my health organs in the process. The worst thing is that it affects my cognitive function and brain process such as sleep.

I'm not sure what direction to go in. Should I see an allergist? A nutritionalist? A naturopath? A neurologist? I wish I had more answers. :/

Also, I have fibromyalgia, and the food intolerances began at the onset of that health issue. One has seemed to have caused the other. Not sure which is the catalyst.

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4946
   Posted 6/13/2013 6:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Charm,

It sounds like you have classic allergy symptoms to some foods, maybe "just" sensitivities to others. Maybe Razzle will chime in about the allergy stuff.

Skin blotches counts as allergy, like hives.

A really good, experienced allergist should be able to help. I wouldn't go to anyone else. Mine had me keep a "food log" or "food diary" which helped a bunch figuring out what my allergens were. After I had a big list of foods, she had me do "challenge testing" to see which ingredients were the actual culprits. Since you have true allergy symptoms with anaphylaxis, you should only do this under guidance of your allergist. Look up the " " terms in the search box at the top of the page for many, many detailed posts.

I have fibro too, but I don't think it has anything to do with the allergies/intolerances. I think the fibro does contribute to my insomnia.

If you have regular allergies your allergist can put you on shots. I take them weekly and they get rid of my dust and pollen symptoms. The only way I know to get rid of food allergy symptoms though, is through avoidance. An allergist can tell you better.

An allergist can prescribe blood tests to check for (and rule out) immune problems.

SmurfyShadow
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Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2386
   Posted 6/13/2013 9:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Charm,
I almost wonder if there is a hidden allergy in the foods. Sounds funny, but I happen to be allergic to asprin. Did you know there is natural forms of asprin in lots of fruits, veggies, and even willow bark? I agree with Alcie, that the fibromites can cause the insomnia, tiredness. I do agree, you need to be monitored by a doctor. An allergiest or your rheumy, sounds in order to check in with.
~Moderator - Allergies & Asthma , Alzheimer's~
"The Walking Medical Mystery"/~Medical Caregiver and Doctors Worse Nightmare~/ And Doctor's Worse Nightmare DX: Lactose Intolerance, Gluten Sensitive, ADD, Fibromyalgia, Carpel Tunnel, Arthritis, Clasterphobia, Anxiety, Diabetes Type II, Grave's Disease, Tachycardia, GERD, PCOS, Migraines, UARS, Anterior Scleritis, Orbital Tumor

Razzle
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4401
   Posted 6/13/2013 2:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Actually, most Allergists know very little about food sensitivities vs. food allergies. An Environmental Medicine specialist may be more suited to helping figure this out for you, as they deal in the more nebulous realm of sensitivities (chemical or environmental sensitivities, food sensitivities, etc.).
-Razzle

Chronic Lyme, Bart., Gluten & Sulfite Sensitivity, Many Food/Inhalant/Medication/Chemical Allergies & Intolerances, Asthma, Gut dysmotility & non-specific inflammation, Lupus, Osteoporosis, etc.; G-Tube
Meds: Flagyl, Domperidone, Zofran, Claritin, Andrographis & other herbs, homeopathy, supplements, etc.

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 4946
   Posted 6/13/2013 5:50 PM (GMT -7)   
I must have caught a real prize allergist then. Of course, the first one I went to said I had no food allergies.

Gastro docs know less. I have had to explain it to 2 who still didn't believe me. My cardiologist didn't know anything about my sulfite sensitivity causing tachycardia, but he did give me a medicine to take which helps most of the time. I have seen a few ER docs when my sulfite-induced tachycardia wouldn't quit after hours of all the remedies I know.

I've talked to nutritionists and a Naturopath, none of whom I would ever see again. Then there was the quacko who holds up the bottles to tell me if I am allergic to the contents.

CharmCityLady
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 245
   Posted 6/15/2013 10:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Alcie, Smurf, and Razzle.

Razzle... Where might I find a environmental medicine specialist?? I'm not sure where to look for that.

I have been dealing with a bizarre body for 5 years and when I try to explain what my body does after I eat or am exposed to certain chemicals, most doctors look at me like I have 3 eyes! But I know that my body reacts so oddly to food these days... But doctors don't seem to understand what I'm going through at all. The only one that ever remotely understood was a rheumy who first diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia.. he said chemical sensitivity was normal for those patients, and finally I didn't feel crazy. It was relieving to be validated.


My recent trouble: I've been getting bad headaches ever since I ate Monosodium Glutamate two months ago when I gave in and ate a ton of cheese puffs. (I usually avoid MSG on account of headaches) The headache hit hard and fast as soon as I ate them and I've had vertigo, eye pressure, and head pain since. I am planning to go to a neurologist, but I really need a doc that understands how badly my body reacts to all meds, and would be willing to work with me. My body flips out when I take almost any med at all... When I say flip out, I mean possibly going nights at a time without sleep, awful horrific nightmares that make me feel almost disoriented, awful horrific thoughts, and feeling a terrible dismal 'mood' that makes me want to check myself into a psych ward... And all from an antibiotic! My neurological system does not react well to half of all foods and pretty much all meds. This makes treating me as a patient very difficult.

I wish there were someone who could understand me... And not look at me like I'm making this stuff up. Its so scary to eat and then have my brain, mood, cognition, and neurological system affected by food. My main issue is food. Why on earth is my body going berserk after I eat? There are so many things I'm sensitive to. Sorry! I'm just frustrated.

Oh yeah, and @smurf.. yes! My boyfriend recently became allergic to aspirin and had to go to the ER!! I didn't realize its in foods, too.

Post Edited (CharmCityLady) : 6/15/2013 11:05:21 PM (GMT-6)


Razzle
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4401
   Posted 6/18/2013 5:08 AM (GMT -7)   
This link aaemonline.org/community.html has a search on the left side of the page - can look for Environ. Med. MD's or DO's.
-Razzle

Chronic Lyme, Bart., Gluten & Sulfite Sensitivity, Many Food/Inhalant/Medication/Chemical Allergies & Intolerances, Asthma, Gut dysmotility & non-specific inflammation, Lupus, Osteoporosis, etc.; G-Tube
Meds: Flagyl, Domperidone, Zofran, Claritin, Andrographis & other herbs, homeopathy, supplements, etc.

CharmCityLady
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 245
   Posted 6/18/2013 12:30 PM (GMT -7)   
awesome Razzle... thanks so much! This looks like a good avenue to pursue...
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