Food Intolerance FAQ   Sustain Health and Wellness

Food Intolerance FAQ Sustain Health and Wellness

I get quite a few questions about my food intolerances and how I figured out what they were. I thought it would be helpful to share my story, as there are probably other people out there with similar questions and experiences.

Here are some of the most common questions I receive, and my eloquent and charming responses.

Q: How did all of this start?

A: I had been dealing with migraines for 18 yrs and they were becoming unbearable. I had an 8 week migraine in 2008. I went to every doctor I could find (my PCP, neurologist, migraine specialist) and they just threw drugs at me. None worked. I think I actually called in tears and begged to be given something stronger. All I got was an “I’m sorry, there’s nothing we can do”.

I also started to get cold sores every two weeks. They would last for 10-12 days with about 2 days of non-cold sore days in between. Went to another doctor for that. And they told me to take a daily medication for a full year before I could even think about going off of it. When I asked about diet, they laughed at me. When I said I was uncomfortable with the medication and the side effects, they said it was my only option.

I was frustrated, but didn’t know where else to turn. New Years was spent with another 5 day migraine. The smallest things were setting them off – including going to the movies and having one drink. Enough was enough. I called for an appointment with an Acupuncturist. I needed to try something else. Anything else.

Q: Why did you choose Acupuncture? Does it hurt?!

A: I talked to friends and family and decided that Acupuncture was the next best option for me. It has been proven in quite a few studies to have a positive impact on pain management, particularly for headaches. And in all honesty, it couldn’t have been any worse than my experience with traditional medicine.

And no, it doesn’t hurt. It occasionally stings. But that’s about it.

Q: How did you figure out that food was the culprit to everything?

A: Chinese medicine focuses on the belief that everything is connected and seeks to find the root cause of problems. It’s not enough to treat the symptoms of the headache; you must figure what is causing the headache in the first place.

During my first appointment with the Acupuncturist, I was asked to complete a comprehensive questionnaire. Based on my answers [dry skin, flushed cheeks, sensitive skin, bloating, fatigue, GI upset, mood swings], he suspected food might be the culprit. He then did a weakness test for various organs in my body and noted a weakness in my spleen; apparently this is related to the gut.

In order to test this theory, I was put on a restrictive diet. I started with the most common food intolerances: soy, wheat, and dairy. When that didn’t get rid of the headaches, I restricted more: corn, citrus, preservatives. Still no relief, and actually became more sensitive. Turns out, I was eating more of the things that I was intolerant to.

I asked if there was an easier way to figure out what is causing me problems and was told about a blood test for intolerances. The blood tests have mixed reviews and in my search, found something called EAV testing. I had a friend that had this testing done and sang it’s praises, so decided to give it a try.

I was tested for close to 200 different foods and environmental triggers and was given a comprehensive readout. The culprits: the nightshade family {tomatoes, peppers, white potatoes, eggplant, tobacco -  including second-hand smoke}, dairy and casein {milk, butter, cheese, whey protien}, cinnamon, and MSG.

Q: It seems like you have a great attitude about everything. Has this been an easy process?

A: I’m not going to lie and say it has been easy. But I am incredibly grateful to know what is causing me to feel this way. I have had two cold sore since I started the restrictive diet, due to accidental contamination, and I discontinued the meds {aka the only option} after one week into the process. It’s been over a year.

My migraines have completely gone away and am learning more about my body’s response to food and external stimuli, including OTC drugs like Ibuprofen {A nightshade. Who knew?}.

For those two reasons, this entire process is worth it to me.

Q: What has been the hardest part about having a food intolerance?

A: The hardest part to-date has been figuring out what restaurants I can eat in safely.  Some of that has to do with Pittsburgh; there are limited organic, vegetarian, vegan, and alternative food choices. Some is due to my particular intolerance {aka the nightshades}.

It has also been challenging to find useful information about my intolerance, including hidden ingredients and medications. And finding good recipes that do not have a contraban ingredient.

If you have a question about my journey, or about food sensitivities in general, please feel free to ask! I am happy to answer what i can.

Contact InformationInterested in taking the first step towards living a healthier, more balanced life?

We can set a time to discuss your unique situation in depth and determine how I can help you reach your personal goals.

13 hours agoas you''re sitting and thinking about what to do today, signing up for the New Year, New You Teleclass should be on your list. #justsayin

13 hours ago@pghjen wednesday, january 19th @ 8pm.

14 hours agoas you''re sitting and thinking about what to do today, signing up for the "New Year, New You" teleclass should be on your list. #justsayin

7 January 2011@melissa_ott you are welcome to join in on the fun! want me to send you the details?

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