Monday, May 17, 2010

My Story

My name is Chris and as of the date of this post and the start of this blog, I am 39 years old. I started really showing symptoms of food sensitivities in early 2009. I am like Sam in that if I eat something too often I can become sensitive to it, too. I also get hives from foods I'm sensitive to.

I've been sensitive to certain forms of soy for quite a while now. I mainly react to soy sauce and hydrogenated soybean oil. I can have an occasional soy latte or eat edamame a few times a month and not react.

I'm also sensitive to rice, especially rice flour. This happened during the time when Sam was reacting to wheat and I cut it out of our diet for a while, so I ate too much rice flour in baked goods. I was also drinking rice milk at the time. These days I can eat rice 2x per week with my supper without any problems.

I developed sensitivities to tomatoes, onions, and garlic last year from eating salsa and hummus too often, and eating too many onions during the week with my meals. I can eat tomatoes, onions, and garlic in very small amounts when we eat out now, but I usually order food without them.

I am also sensitive to yeast. This happened during a bread-making period I went through a couple of years ago. I eat regular bread when we go out, but I only eat flatbread at home now.

The main symptoms I get when I eat things I shouldn't are bad eczema and hives on my right hand by my middle finger and down by my thumb. Sometimes I get bumps in my mouth, my face gets red and breaks out more than normal, and I get a runny nose. I'll also get hives on my trunk if I don't cut out the offending food in time.

Because of my sensitivities, I very rarely cook with tomatoes, and I've stopped cooking with onions and garlic altogether. Cabbage and celery are the new onions for me. I've found over the last year that I can add flavor to food without onions and garlic just fine.

Update 7/27/10:

I recently realized I'm slightly sensitive to broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and canola oil (they're all from the same family). I've been having the eczema and hives on my hands lately, after going through a short period of perfect skin on my hands, and it is noticeable and itchy after I eat those things. I think the main offender causing my reaction is the canola oil because I do all of my baking with it and have it on a daily basis. I'm going to buy safflower oil next time I grocery shop and start baking our wheat goods with the safflower oil and see how that goes.

Update 10/20/10:

I've been baking with safflower oil for a while now and it's working out perfectly for me. I still use canola oil when I bake Sam's rice flour baked goods, but I use the safflower oil for any baked goods I eat.

Update 11/18/10:

I've been symptom-free for a while now and thought it was OK to bring tomatoes back into my diet. It seemed to go well for a few weeks, but as of yesterday, I'm getting hives on my hand again. Thinking back, I'm pretty sure I've overdone the tomatoes - I can't help it - I love tomatoes. So I have to take them out of my diet again for a while and next time I bring them back, I need to be more careful about figuring out what my threshold is.

Update 1/14/12:

Whenever I eat brussels sprouts or cauliflower I still get tiny, itchy hives all over my right hand. Extra virgin olive oil now also causes the same reaction. So I have to limit these things in order to keep my hand from breaking out. I'm currently doing OK with tomatoes as long as I eat them very sparingly.

Update 4/30/12:

I'm able to drink soy milk 3x/week without any problems, so that form of soy seems to be OK with me. As long as I keep onions and garlic out of my diet at home, I can eat them every now and then when we eat out and I won't react. My hand has been free of rashes and I haven't had hives for a while now, so I must have everything in the right balance.

Update 5/29/12:

I have several large hives as of today. I'm pretty sure I've been eating too much rice lately and that's what caused them. I'll cut out rice for a couple of weeks and hopefully I'll get back to normal again. Hives are the worst!

Update 9/2/14:

It's been quite a while since I've had rashes or hives from eating onions, garlic, tomatoes or rice, thank goodness.  They still get me if I overdo them, so I've learned over the years that I can cook with tomatoes and  rice sparingly (once a week or so), and can consume stray onions or garlic in restaurant foods occasionally, and I'll be fine.  I also use safflower oil regularly, and take it easy on eating broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts.  It's just a lifestyle now and I'm OK with it.  There are so many good things to eat in this world, and I'm having a wonderful time discovering ways to put them together and make great meals for me and my family.

Update 3/11/17:

Again, it's been a long time since I've updated what my current sensitivities are.  They are growing as I get older, and I realize that I am just like Sam now in that if I eat too much of one thing, I become sensitive to it.  Peppers and avocados are my newest food sensitivities.  I am also sensitive to sunscreen in lip balm now.  I can't use any lip balm with sunscreen in it because if I do, my lips swell up and sting.  Avocados give me both hives and a rash just underneath my lower lip, so that's pretty annoying and worth avoiding.  I love Mexican food, and now I can't eat any avocados or hot chili sauce on any of it, so I've been relying on sour cream to flavor my tacos, etc.  Thank goodness I can still do dairy!  As long as I eat tomatoes, garlic, onions, rice, and all the rest of the things I'm sensitive to very sparingly, I'm good.  I'll get back to avocados and chili peppers again some day, but for now, they are on my avoid list.

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