Let me start my saying that while it seems I’ve been doing very little writing and work on my books, I have been doing research. As most authors will tell you, that’s where we get into trouble. I love doing research as much as I do writing and that why we have deadlines or we’d never be published!
This is a long blog, but stay with me, if might just help you. If you’ve been following me at all, then you know I’ve been dealing with food allergies for a while. I also have dysphagia, which means sometimes food gets stuck in my esophagus.
I’ve been to the regular doctor, gastroenterologist, holistic chiropractor, and acupuncturist. They have all told me something different. One says I have EOE and Schatzki’s ring, another says GERD, and another says maybe mono or Epstein Barr. Quite frankly my head is swimming on what the hell is going on. I do know that the Schatzki’s ring is for real and will need to have it stretched again next week. That’s partially why the food is getting stuck.
However, that doesn’t explain the food allergies, which seem to be getting worse and seemingly random. That’s why I was diagnosed with EOE. However, I’m not convinced. I was having dinner with a friend, whose asked me if I knew what salicylates (SALs) were. Of course I didn’t. He said his father was allergic to them and wondered if I might have the same issue. Sadly, they are in almost all fruits and veggies! Topical products like sunscreen and shampoos have them and it’s also the main ingredient in aspirin. If you have an aspirin allergy, then you probably should look at the list of foods I’ve included at the bottom in a link. SALs are a natural pesticide and is how fruits and veggies protect themselves from being eaten.
I didn’t think anything of it, until yesterday when I had a wicked migraine coming on. The only thing I consumed when that happened was my morning coffee and a cup of organic blackberries. I remembered what my young friend told me and I did some research. That’s when the light bulb came on.
Blackberries are super high in SALs. After some more research I read that 1 tsp. of baking soda in 8 oz water can help with the flare. I did that and it sort of helped. Then my left eye started itching and more research showed taking a Claritin might help. It did. When you look at the laundry list of SALs sensitivity symptoms, I’m the freaking poster child! I avoided any SALs foods last night and woke feeling like I had a hangover. I also have a large welt behind my left ear.
The thing with SALs is that they are cumulative and not everyone flares at the same thing. There is so little research about this too, so it’s really hard. Oftentimes your liver stops purging the toxins and you develop a build up of SALs. Many holistic practitioners say that NAC helps boost the glutathione in your body, which helps your liver. A simple search for NAC will show you what I mean. Milk Thistle is also good for this. I started taking this today.
What seemed so random for me now seems to make perfect sense. I was tested and have no food allergies, which made no sense. Why did I get congested when I ate fresh pineapple? Why does that happen with red wine, guacamole, and other food sometimes? I guess it’s easy for people with a known allergy–you just avoid it.
What I learned yesterday is that the more you consume SALs the more likely you’ll have a flare. After my incident with blackberries yesterday I looked at my food diary. Sure enough, I had eaten many SALs the day before, so the blackberry itself may have been tolerated had I not eaten so many SALs the day before. I also learned that cooking foods and peeling them lowers the SALs.
Once you see the long list of things that contain SALs you’ll wonder what they heck you can eat. But, it’s a good way to link flares and make you take note. It makes total sense to me now. What I thought was random seems very connected. I discovered a procedure that might correct this. It’s NAET and it of course, is controversial. So this Friday I have an appointment with a new acupuncturist who specializes in this. It’s like a desensitizing procedure. I’ll write about that later.
Please note that I am not a doctor and have no medical knowledge that any of this is fact. It’s only based on my own personal experiences and my research. I hope it may help some of you in your own journey.