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Diet, alliergies, digestive health


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Hello!

I would like to share a story about something that has been going on with me the whole last year.

I don't know how or why it all started, but last year I started to get some strange health issues, which I will try to describe here. I was going through a lot of stress during the time before, and I got digestive problems, maybe that was the cause, who knows ... anyway, not even the doctor could tell my what was going on, even blood tests for various conditions (thyroid problems, allergies, celiac disease, blood sugar, ...) seemed normal.

When it first started, I didn't really notice it at that time, but sometimes I was really irritable for no reason, and I started to lose trust in some of my friends. Made some really stupid decisions.

And then 'my problem' really hit me in the face .. I was suddenly getting really bad reactions to some foods (e.g. bananas and lots of other stuff), my hay fever was getting so bad that I decided to get medication for it, which also stopped to work after only a week ... it was actually the 'bad foods' that made me 'crazy', I got really mood swings, and it took me some time to realize that.

My typical reaction to something I didn't tolerate anymore was like this: problems concentrating, bad mood and mood swings for no reason, nervousness, irritability, anxiety .... usually it ended with a crying spell, which was, frankly, the 'best' ending of such reactions. After that I was usually just tired. The 'bad endings' were most of the time a result of alcohol consumption, because its effect that I was used to had changed from relaxing and mood-elevating to something unpredictable and just crazy. I did lots of stupid things because of that, I think some people hate me now.

So, this was going on for more than half a year, and it was my 'road back to depression'.

During the last few months I was however able to get it under control. When I think back now, all I can say is that I was never so out of my mind ...

The bottom line of this story is that, at least for me, diet does make a real difference, especially if the digestion is not working properly.

I am currently also investigating the relationship between my diet and my sleeping patterns, because I am recently becoming more aware of it. I think that for some people, food and digestion can definitely cause mental problems, and seeing that it affects my sleep too, it might be worth looking into it as a possible cause for the sleeping patterns associated with depression and/or (hypo)mania.

So, what do you think?

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So, what do you think?

Since you ask, I don't agree. Foods can be allergens, certainly, but what you are describing is not an allergy. The "digestion" stuff ... you know, vague issues with "digestion" are a hallmark of alternative medicine despite the fact that there is no concrete idea of what kind of digestive problem is being referred to, nor any evidence that said problems would have systemic symptoms (rather than symptoms confined to the GI tract.) Personally this whole topic doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but that's just my opinion, of course. What are your "bad foods"?

Moving this to the nutrition/alt. med board since that is what's being discussed.

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Since you asked...

I have a lot of food allergies. Responses are physical - congestion, diffculty breathing, hives, stomach cramps, brutal headaches. Some of this can disrupt sleep as can high sugar, caffeine content. Headaches and lack of sleep can lead to irritability. It basically stops there. Mood is not effected other than as an outgrowth of feeling like crap. That's different than depression and mood swings. As you said, allergy meds stopped working. That strongly suggests that allergies were not the cause. It sounds to me like you are confusing allergic reactions with mental health issues. I can understand that. It's possible to have both.

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So, what do you think?

Since you ask, I don't agree. Foods can be allergens, certainly, but what you are describing is not an allergy. The "digestion" stuff ... you know, vague issues with "digestion" are a hallmark of alternative medicine despite the fact that there is no concrete idea of what kind of digestive problem is being referred to, nor any evidence that said problems would have systemic symptoms (rather than symptoms confined to the GI tract.) Personally this whole topic doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but that's just my opinion, of course. What are your "bad foods"?

Moving this to the nutrition/alt. med board since that is what's being discussed.

Yes, probably fits better here, sorry.

Personally this whole topic doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me

vague issues with "digestion" are a hallmark of alternative medicine

I am used to getting weird looks when telling people about stuff like this, but I am sure it does make sense to some people. I actually found guys on other forums with similar symptoms.

Actually, you should consider yourself lucky that it doesn't make sense to you .. you are probably not experiencing anything like this, which is a good sign IMO.

I also don't care if it sounds like alternative medicine -- this problem is f****** reality for me.

what you are describing is not an allergy.

Well I don't know what it is, neither does the doctor. Blood tests indeed showed no signs of allergy. But there is definitely something going wrong. On the other hand, hay fever is an allergic reaction, and that got worse too after eating foods I didn't tolerate well anymore.

What are your "bad foods"?

Bananas, kiwis, salami and bacon, are probably the only 'real' foods that always cause minor problems, I have to eat much of them to feel a difference. I guess there are more since I didn't try every food on earth yet, and those that cause problems only in larger quantities are especially hard to identify.

Other than that, there are some things that cause major problems (a LOT more intense, in less than about 30 minutes) that I haven't been able to clearly identify. My guess is that these are probably some artificial food colorings and/or other chemical stuff or whatever, might also be some spice, I really don't know, it's hard to find out.

Also, no one could tell my why drinking one cup of milk a day makes my hay fever go away completely. This works 100% of the time, better than the medication I got from the doctor. 'Conventional' medicine simply failed.

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Some of this can disrupt sleep

I also can't sleep sometimes when having such a reaction, along all the other symptoms. I get physical reactions too: runny nose, freezing, itching, pimples, and I fart badly, doh.

It sounds to me like you are confusing allergic reactions with mental health issues.

No. It was definitely reactions to food that made me feel like a crazy idiot. When I stay away from these foods, nothing happens. It does not come out of nowhere.

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I can't really think of what could be wrong with you unless you have some really rare intolerance to something, and that affects your neurological functioning.

Are you sure you don't have celiac? It's possible to have it without testing positive for the antibodies. I could imagine that your mood could be affected by the physically feeling crappy and by the nutrient deficiencies that celiac can cause...

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  • 4 months later...

I hope you see this response even though your post is from February!

Just so you know, No1, I have the exact same food reaction issues and no one understands my explanations either. My known food issues are to wheat, dairy, soy, peanuts, and beef. When I eat wheat I feel out of control of my mood, angry, I get acne, I sometimes have a lot of suicidal thoughts, I get exhausted, my stomach bloats up, I get bowel problems, I feel confused. Milk makes me regurgitate my meal and feel exhausted and sad. Body organs are not isolated. They all work together. It totally makes sense that digestion can effect brain chemical activity, metabolic processes, hormones, and all other functions. Let's talk more about this if you ever end up reading this response ;)

With reassurance and support,

-Amanda

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  • 4 months later...

I would suggest if you can afford it to get some IGG food sensitivity testing done. You can get an immediate response to things (such as hives etc) which affect IGE. IGG allergies is when it has a more subtle but longer lasting affect to your gut (and therefore the rest of your body). Google it.

Also different pathologies do different detailed tests. I had many tests done with my GP for parasites (because I was convinced I had one!) and they constantly came up negative. I went to a different doctor who did a wayyy more specialised detailed test (which also was more expensive), and showed I had two bad parasites in my gut as well as a massive candida overgrowth.

Food for thought.

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I love yogurt, it makes my digestion healthier.:rolleyes:

Yogurt is not just a delicious snack with fruits on the bottom, it has great health benefits. It is an excellent source of protein, calcium, riboflavin and vitamin B 12. When yogurt is compared to milk, yogurt contains more calcium and protein because of the added cultures in the yogurt.

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I would suggest if you can afford it to get some IGG food sensitivity testing done. You can get an immediate response to things (such as hives etc) which affect IGE. IGG allergies is when it has a more subtle but longer lasting affect to your gut (and therefore the rest of your body). Google it.

On one hand, there have been some studies that have found some correlation between IgG antibody results and a few things like IBS symptoms, if the specific foods are eliminated from the diet. On the other hand, many of the IgG tests have been found to be very inconsistent (giving very different results for multiple samples taken from the same patient at the same time), and the results themselves, even when consistent, are not reliably predictive. Last I heard, they're generally recommended against by most major health and immunological organizations in at least the US, UK and Australia, and a supervised elimination diet is suggested instead for testing suspected foods. It is a lot more work, but it does at least give much better results and works for stuff the standard IgE tests (like everyone's favorite skin prick ones) aren't useful for. It's entirely possible that a consistent, reliable, predictive test for non-IgE reactions will be developed (which a lot of people would be thrilled by, including me), but there doesn't seem to be one quite yet (not that that stops people from trying stuff like ELISA and hoping for the best, despite it being rather hit-or-miss).

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Heh...I read, somewhere, and can't remember where the study was done, on the use of (I believe) pig whipworm eggs as a treatment for IBS-with stunning success.

Pig whipworm eggs in a capsule. The whipworms really don't do well in the human intestine-so they hatch and die within a few weeks, but while there they seem to somehow cause the inflammation to go away and stay away.

For some reason this reminds me of the Futurama episode where Fry ate an egg sandwich and was subsequently improved by intelligent worms...

Failing a batch of cleaned pig whipworm eggs, maybe turmeric, and/or ginger would be helpful. Both are anti-inflammatory edibles...although how reputable the studies done proving their efficacy were, I dunno.

I do know ginger makes me poop and helps my sinuses drain-I'm taking a quarter cup of raw root here, btw. Turmeric is supposed to improve the cellular membrane regularity, and so decrease inflammation. Cinnamon might help too, by virtue of being this sort of gooey substance... as might flax oil.

OOOH! I just remembered another herbal remedy I heard for IBS...peppermint essential oil! Supposed to be really effective, and I also can't think of why it wouldn't be safe, unless somebody has an allergy to peppermint...

We are talking essential oil, though-NOT perfume oil, which might be cut with anything.

My suggestion for consumption of said essential oil: put about 6-8 drops in a glass of water or an herbal tea a few times a day. That will be aggressively minty, and will also likely help any sore throat you might have on the way down. Give you impressively good breath, too.

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maybe turmeric, and/or ginger would be helpful.

[...]

I just remembered another herbal remedy I heard for IBS...peppermint essential oil!

Ginger and peppermint are definitely both very common folk remedies that have been used for a while for various stomach/GI problems, and a lot of people do find them helpful. I've never personally noticed any huge, dramatic effect from either one, but a lot of people swear by them for nausea/upset stomach/other mild GI issues, and in reasonable amounts, the absolute worst either has done to me is just failed to help. With too much at once, though, particularly ginger, I often end up feeling worse than if I'd had nothing at all (which is a shame, because I like using it in food and have to try not to go overboard with it).

Turmeric is a very interesting one that I don't have any personal experience with (other than eating it), but it's been used for a whole crapload of stuff for millennia. More recently, it's been found that curcumin is the most active/important compound in it, and it potentially does a bunch of different things. However, most study results so far are either only in vitro or from animal tests, so it's hard to say how much of it will translate into being useful in real, living people. It's looking like at least some of it will pan out, but I couldn't guess which parts. It does have some pretty significant problems with absorption, though, and you can choke down huge amounts of it while still ending up with a completely trivial amount making it into your system, but it sounds like that's also being worked on (hard to study the effects of something without a good delivery method, after all).

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