Thursday, March 1, 2012

Egg, Corn, Whey Allergy--Alternative Medicine Update--Part 1

Well friends! We have answers! Blood test answers. That's very good. The answers were really surprising to me too. You may recall that I visited a new alternative medicine doctor about a month ago. Over the course of an hour with her I shared all my medical history and concerns, and one of the main issues I want to work on was my Hashimoto's Disease/Hypothyroidism.
In brief review she had me stop eating gluten as we simultaneously did a thyroid blood test, a 90 point allergy blood test, and an overall health blood test. Gluten, because there is a evidence that autoimmune Hashimoto's Disease walks closely with autoimmune Celiac's Disease.

So the blood test results!

I do not have Celiac's Disease and I am not allergic to wheat or gluten. When I heard this, it was a big relief to me, but also a point of confusion and frustration. Of course it's great to not have to be hyper aware for wheat in obscure foods and it's a relief to be able to bake and enjoy a greater spread of carbs like cupcakes, bread, and pasta. But I was confused because I know something in my body is not right, and I was convinced gluten was the problem since Celiac's runs in my family. So with gluten cleared, what could it be that was causing me health problems?


Eggs. Chicken Eggs, yolks and whites. Test results show that this is the food that I'm most allergic too. On the scale of normal to highly allergic, I'm thankfully only moderately allergic or right in the middle of the scale. So if normal is 0 and highly allergic is a 5, I'm a 2.5. You get the idea.

Me? Baffled. Completely and utterly baffled. I eat eggs at least 3 times a week, sometimes more. I just bought 4 dozen organic eggs at Costco because between Mark and I, we will devour that stash in a month with breakfast and baking/cooking. I honestly never gave an allergy to eggs any thought before that moment because I've always just eaten them. They're a major staple in my diet. I wouldn't even know what a side effect looks or feels like for eggs. Isn't that terrible. I love them so much I dismiss any discomfort as something else. But is it eggs that cause that gurgly feeling I get in my tummy almost every day? Is it the sluggishness? Is it the mucus in my throat? Or the tired feeling? Does it affect me immediately or does it show itself up to 24 hours later? And if I bake with the eggs do I feel the same affect? How are eggs harming my immune system?

After I got my bearings straight, we continued to discuss the list. I learned I'm also moderately allergic to whey/yogurt/cottage cheese. All three showed up on the test. What I failed to ask was whether or not yogurt and cottage cheese were triggered BECAUSE they have whey in them. Does anyone know?  Whey registered as a 1.6 or 1.7 on our little scale of severity.

Sad day again, because the other thing that has become a comfort food and a staple in my life is Greek yogurt. I love the stuff. I snack on it, cook with it, bake with it, and blend it in my smoothies. So it was hard to hear there will be no more yogurt. Oddly enough, milk/hard cheeses/and casein all came up normal on the allergy test. Which is the silver lining because I can't live without my cheddar.

Next on the list was CORN. As in the ingredient that has a thousand different names and is snuck into every processed thing! Yep, that corn.

It's a milder allergen in my body. So on the scale it's like a 1.3 out of 5. This didn't surprise me as much because my dad is allergic to corn. He can't drive by a corn field when the corn is tassling and not get congested. Because he's always been allergic it's caused me to be aware that I get a little stuffy in the head when I eat things like corn tortillas or corn bread.

As I do an elimination diet for 6 weeks, I'll have to cut out as much corn as I can possibly identify without going crazy. Corn is everywhere. It's in most baked goods (corn starch, baking powder). It's in caramel coloring (coke, candy, brown sugar, processed breads). It's in corn sugar or corn syrup (everything sweet that is not purposely labeled "does not contain corn"). It's often in alcohols and vinegars, its known as many different unpronounceables like lecithin, maltodextrin, and polydextrose just to name a few. It's in most vegetable oils as corn oil, used as a binding agent in lots of medicines, and is even used to keep things from sticking together in their packaging like iodized salt and powdered sugar. Here's a bigger list from cornallergens.com if you're curious.

So see? It's everywhere. And my aunt reminded me that if its not organic, it almost guaranteed to be genetically modified or GMO corn.

GREAT.

Where does that leave us? Chicken eggs, whey, and corn.

Also triggered and will be eliminated for 6 weeks are bananas, pineapple, cranberries, amaranth, and lima beans. But these are mild in comparison to the other three, and also easier to eliminate. Except bananas. I'll mourn my banana.

My elimination diet will start when I return from a short vacation next week. I'm vacationing with Mark's family on a ski trip and I won't be doing the cooking or food purchasing, so I think for the sanity of everyone, we're just not going to worry too much and do our best to have lots of fun.

Now you know the allergy test results. I'll be back soon with the other test results. But we're headed in the right direction to find answers to my health and I'm optimistic about learning how to deal with these new food allergies. I'm hoping the adjustment won't be too hard and when we do slowly add them back in to my diet I'm praying for clear answers to my health.
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4 comments:

  1. The symptoms of an allergic response to eggs and a general intolerance to eggs overlaps. The only way to prove immune system involvement is either by one having a severe allergic response or by testing. alternative medicine

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  2. Hi Johnpaul. I'm sorry it took so long to publish this comment. Blogger didn't email me about your comment and I found it in the fine print of the dashboard! I wasn't ignoring you.

    I'm curious to know more about how my body actually responds to the eggs. The elimination diet is almost up, and I meet with the doctor next week, so I'll post soon with updates and also write about how the introduction of eggs back into my diet affect my body.

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  3. I've suffered from nasal/sneezing allergies until my chiropractor said I had a corn and milk intolerance. It was hard at first but now I've learned what to avoid, substitute, and how to choose my cheat. Good luck with your diet. I'm enjoying your blog.

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  4. Rachel, thank you for your comment! Corn and milk are tough. I tried to cut the corn out and it's in everything and has so many different names! Kuddos to you for finding ways to avoid it. I may need to pick your brain on how to tackle that one.

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