Symptomatic relief: Usually good! Tips/tricks for food allergy symptoms
Symptomatic relief for food allergies - list of tricks, the best trick is at the end of the post.
Date: 11/12/2005 2:46:02 PM ( 15 y ) ... viewed 3016 times
The best trick of today is at the bottom of this post. If you don’t have time to read all this, do skip down to the last paragraph.
Readers of this blog know what I mean by the phrase “hermit land”. Loosely described as the isolation a person would have to live in to avoid all of his/her food allergens when there are more than just a few to avoid. In future weeks of this blog, I’ll delve further into progress experimenting with ways to actually get rid of food allergies (I hope), but in the meantime, there are tips that can help survive and get through the weeks.
Last blog entry, I mentioned that I’d be talking about tips and tricks in the kitchen. I’ll actually focus on those kitchen tricks more in the next few entries, and instead today I’ll talk about tips and tricks to just survive and get through the day. After all, it’s tough to think about being creative in the kitchen when we haven’t even been able to alleviate enough symptoms to get out of bed that afternoon.
I’ll call this next section: Ways to compromise with food allergies when we can’t avoid all of said foods. It might be possible to gradually feel somewhat (not nearly all the way, but a little) better if using these two compromises over the course of weeks, having more energy and a clearer head at the end of those weeks, enough to the point of then being able to consider making other changes in one’s life. Changes that we can’t even consider when we are flat out exhausted every afternoon, with slammer headaches, during the worst days of allergy reactions.
First, combine two things:
1. Avoid the large quantities of each problem food (ie, avoid bread if allergic to wheat), but not the lesser quantities of that food when it is an ingredient in a dish (ie, eating the soup at the friend’s house even though it has wheat in it as a lesser ingredient.) I know, I know, you’re all going to tell me something I already know: even just a little of a problem food can bring on symptoms. But hear me out. I used to interpret this information as meaning that it was all or nothing. Maybe for some people it is, but if you have food allergies and have never tested this out – absolutely do try the following little experiment. For a few weeks, avoid only the large quantity, obvious sources of your problem foods. Avoid corn chips if corn is one of your problems, but don’t bother avoiding dishes with small bits of corn in them. Stay away from tofu if soy is something you can’t handle, but don’t avoid soy isolate, soy oil, or other minor ingredients made from soy. And so forth. Do keep track a bit, do read labels and cook yourself if you have to, to keep the quantities low. But every day let small bits of those problem foods into your diet. Then, see if those two weeks are as miserable for you as they would have been had you eaten large, bulk quantities of the problem foods.
Those test days were not as bad for me – they were still pretty awful, with headaches and other symptoms, but they were about 30% less bad. Only 30% or so less as far as severity of symptoms – discouraging? Not as much as it would be if that was the only trick that I have for you today. Read on:
2. In addition to employing the trick of ignoring minor quantities of problem foods, start using “symptomatic relief tricks”. Here are some. These are for quick relief of the symptom of the moment, not necessarily for prevention of future problems, although some can help with that too. Some may be controversial. Obviously, if you are sure that you are outright allergic to any of the below substances, then don’t use them.
a. For headache that won’t respond to aspirin or other pills, or if you can’t take pills to begin with: Use caffeine, an unhealthy substance, but one that I’m not actually allergic to, and that many people aren’t. A combination of caffeine and an ice pack on my head will clear an allergic withdrawal headache that aspirin can’t touch. AND THE NEXT FEW DAYS OF REDUCING THE CAFFEINE ARE LESS SYMPTOMATIC THAN THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN HAD I INDULGED IN ALLERGENIC FOODS TO CLEAR THE HEADACHE RATHER THAN USING CAFFEINE! Sorry to shout. Indulging in one’s allergenic foods is a famous way to get rid of a withdrawal headhache, but sets you up for the next headache when your body next goes through withdrawal from that food, etc.etc.etc. Caffeine can be a way off of this merry-go-round if you are ready to limit that food in future days, and want to avoid the worst of the withdrawal headaches. Then when you have reduced the quantities of intake of that food for several days, start to reduce your caffeine intake. One more shout: GETTING OFF OF CAFFEINE IS EASIER FOR MANY PEOPLE THAN GETTING OFF OF THEIR ALLERGENIC FOODS IS! Ok enough. Yes this can be controversial, but it helps me.
b. Also for headaches, for some people: Suck on a piece of ice (does the reverse of the “ice cream headache” effect for some people), making sure the ice is pressed firmly to the roof of your mouth. Give that a shot.
c. Drink carbonated water. There is something about the bubbles. Sometimes it really helps.
d. Buy and try some “Alka Seltzer Gold”, (if you can’t take aspirin), or regular “Alka Seltzer” if you can. Does not work for me, but some people it does.
e. Take cod liver oil, a few kelp capsules, some dessicated liver tablets, and some vitamin C all at once. 20 minutes later, I often feel better, and feel less tempted to then eat more problem foods (for a few hours, anyway).
f. Take a heaping spoon if Sodium Ascorbate (a form of vitamin C).
g. Drink straight lemon juice (I use fresh, not pasteurized). Use a straw to protect your teeth, and try the juice of at least 2 lemons, more if this agrees with you. If this helps – don’t forget about it just because it’s a pain to keep squeezing lemons! Get an electric squeezer, squeeze dozens of lemons, and freeze in small containers, so you have some available always.
h. Give yourself an enema. Tons of info on curezone on how, and even on other ingredients to add besides plain water. Point is, sometimes getting cleaned out can suddenly alleviate hangover from eating the wrong foods.
i. Put your head in hot water – as in under a shower, then dump cold water over it.
j. If fatigue is the reaction symptom of the day: try rubbing diluted peppermint oil (essential oil from the health food store) all over. For some reason, this perks me up when fatigue has set in from yesterday’s allergenic food intake.
k. Get mucous in your throat from eating badly? I do when I eat grains too much. The drinking of lemon juice helps, but so does swishing a drop of oregano oil in water in my mouth for a minute, then taking another drop of the oregano oil (also diluted) internally by swallowing with water.
l. Feeling chilly? (I’ve heard that the wrong foods can irritate the thyroid. In any case, food allergic people are sometimes prone to feeling chilly). Put some cayenne pepper in water and drink it down. “_Bob” of curezone has this in his famous story. Helps the body temperature.
m. When you are having symptoms, does a certain spot along your spine sometimes feel tight? A spot that does not feel tight all the time (which would indicate a need to visit a chiropractor), but a spot that only feels tight at the same time that you are experiencing some reactions from foods from the last day or so? If so, buy some strong essential oil at the health food store – the stronger smell the better (smell the tester to see if you are allergic to it first). I use Thyme oil. It smells incredibly strong, yet I’m not allergice to it. Rub it on that spot on your spine each time that you have that particular tightness there. I feel better within the next hour.
Putting 1) and parts of 2) from above together makes living a little easier for me.
Be aware – if you aren’t already: the phenomenon of experiencing sudden relief of a symptom upon eating something can happen instantly if you eat the allergenic food that your body is going through withdrawal from. So, if you are going through withdrawal from wheat, eating wheat will make you feel better right away – and never let you off of the merry-go-round, so this form of “symptomatic relief” is clearly not a good idea! But this is the only case that I’m aware of when using symptomatic relief isn’t a good idea, in my opinion.
The most helpful thing I have come up with from over 10 years of dealing with this: Make your breakfast (from rising all the way until lunch time) perfect. Don’t eat a speck of your allergens during these hours, and also don’t eat foods that are bad for your blood type if you know anything about the blood type diet, during these hours. Promise yourself that when you make it to lunch time, you can have a few no-nos. But live perfectly during these morning hours, and it seems like the body needs less of the no-nos for the rest of the day to feel good, craves a little less of those no-nos, and just generally feels better than if you made say lunch your “perfect meal”. The one exception I make to this is coffee/other caffeine, which when I’m coming off of days of being bad, I allow myself to have in the mornings. This trick, which I’ve just determined works for me in the past month or so, means the following for me: in the mornings, I don’t eat any grains (even though there are some I’m not allergic to, my blood type says grains aren’t all that good for me). In the mornings, I also don’t eat any of my many allergenic foods, and I don’t even eat any fruit except very sour ones, because sweeter ones seems to aggravate my blood sugar problems. Getting through the first few days was not as hard as I thought it would be doing this, because lunch from the previous days did include some grains and a few no-no’s, and I’m not really going through severe withdrawal symptoms since I recently had some of those foods. But each day I follow this “morning trick”, my blood sugar is much steadier all morning, and I find myself not craving as much of the bad stuff when lunch time does come. And rather than try to live in “hermit land” all day, just living there in the mornings is doable.
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