Hello. I was newly diagnosed with over 20 food allergens (ou

Hello. I was newly diagnosed with over 20 food allergens (out of a test of 40). I am a 41 year single working mom. I have been increasingly ill since about May 2018 (it’s is now Dec 2018). Over the summer, my physical stamina became practically nil, I was chronically exhausted and not relieved after sleeping 12 hours straight, I had chronic low-grade headaches, got easily overheated, started putting on weight, particularly on my face and belly (like I was 6 months pregnant). I had muscle and joint aches. I honestly just thought I was working too hard and getting old. By late Sept, several times a week, I was having diarrhea and severe stomach aches, with pain radiating to my back. Unfortunately, everything escalated to become a daily sever problem culminating in my face and throat swelling up, becoming breathless, and breaking out in hives. Yep, anaphylaxis. A trip to an urgent care got me a shot and some antihistamines and a diagnosis that clearly I had an allergic reaction. I followed up w my primary care doc, who did a blood test on me. I was on anti-histamines and my eosinophils and IgE levels were still sky high. This was about 2 weeks ago.
I have an appt w an allergist in a couple days, and he/she can do more testing. In the meantime, even though I have stayed away from the 20+ foods that the blood work showed I was allergic to, I have had two antiphalatic reactions in the past 2 weeks, both to substances that I presumed were OK, since I’ve eaten them before. One was goat cheese and the other was ginger. The ginger reaction was the worst so far that was 4 days ago. I have been on prednisone and antihistamines around the clock since then, but I am still covered in hives and swollen across my whole body.
On a brighter note, during the two weeks time since knowing what foods to avoid. I actually had a couple days there (maybe 5 days) where I honestly felt like myself again for the first time since May! I lost the belly, my face and body remarkably slimmed down (I peed ALOT), and I did normal house chores without having to sit down and take a breather or run to throw up or have diarrhea every 20 minutes. I am honestly amazed at the length of time I just continued to try and push through trying to work and raise my son despite being so ill. How did I allow myself to go on that long without stopping for a second and saying, “Hey something’s seriously wrong. This ISNT just stress and overwork.” Crazy.
Anyway, I’d say the things I’d most like support on are—
1) getting real with myself that these food allergies are not-negotiable. I clearly can’t have a “just a little bite of cake.” I have of course had a bite of cake anyway, and predictable suffer a 10 hour severe gastrointestinal bout that takes a good 3 days to overcome completely. So obviously, I can’t negotiate with these food allergies.
2) I love cake, but I guess I can live without it or find some other sweet substitute. However, my favorite food is pizza, and I’m allergic to every major ingredient. I am literally mourning pizza. I feel so shallow for saying that. I mean, people are starving in the world and I’m grieving pizza. Seriously? Have had deprivation dreams about pizza, cheese, cake, and ice cream. The desperate feelings I had were somewhat relieved when I discovered I am NOT allergic to sheep cheese. Sheep’s cheese, potato chips, and French fries are my methodone. Isn’t that ridiculous? I would really love to hear how others coped with this transition to Multiple Food Allergy Land.
3) I am curious to hear from others whose health also deteriorated markedly over many months, all due to food allergY. My social life, my “extracurricular” activities, my volunteer activities, my outdoor activities, my home upkeep, everything fell into neglect halt because I was in bed fatigued, with headaches, or GI problems. How did I let this go on for so long?
4) How to talk to family and coworkers about this. Everyone seems to have some opinion, as if I’m making a choice to do a ketogenic or paleo diet. I’m not trying to “eat healthier” or lose weight, I literally can’t eat at certain foods without getting really sick! Other people will say, well “I blended that substance so it shouldn’t be hard to digest,” “It’s not spicy, so you shouldn’t get a stomach ache from it,” or “you haven’t had a stomach ache today, so it seems like everything’s all better today (even though Im covered hives with a swollen face.” Anyway, I would love to hear if others have had problems coping with family and coworkers who just don’t can’t seem to wrap therir heads around the fact that allergy is an IMMUNE system issue, not a lifestyle choice.
Wow, I wrote a ton. I guess I really need support! Whew! Just writing this all out feels better! Thanks in advance for any feedback you can offer...
AK

1 Heart

I am glad writing this out helped! you are going to have to come to terms with this. no choice. pizza, you will have to mourn. I only have one food allergy, and mine also came on late in life, but mine is potentially fatal, and so easy to avoid. as far as others, like so many things we discuss here, if they don't experience it, they don't get it. ignore their reactions

I have a ton of food and medicine allergies as well. The anaphylactic reaction to all. I have been to the hospital so many times it’s ridiculous and yes I have epipens everywhere along with Benadryl. The healthy foods I’m allergic too affect me eating healthy. The chocolate and dairy and other sugar food ingredients I mourn as well. I don’t try anything new, and if we eat out I always have to ask a ton of questions. It will eventually become a new way of life, trust me. Once you avoid all your allergy foods, you will feel so much better. Think of it as poisoning yourself. It’s just food and not worth it. If you can, look
Up different ingredients you can use to make some of your favorite foods. Write me anytime. I’ve lived with this since I was 15, now 40.

I've been working with an allergist, and had to eliminate pizza a couple of months ago. It's back on the menu now if I make it myself, but I know how you feel. It's hard to look at something you want so badly that will make you really sick. I keep trying to just take it one day at a time.

I completely understand what you are going through. I myself have numerous food allergies. It's not easy but you have to avoid most foods in a box or can or frozen. I have literally have had every symptom you describe. And yes, I have mourned certain foods and that is quite natural. I take food to every social gathering so I don't feel deprived. I take my own salad dressing to restaurants and potato chips that are cooked in olive oil because I am allergic to corn and sunflower oil. That way I can enjoy salsa and other dips when we go out. It is a lot of adjusting and sometimes depressing. My overall health is so much better now! When I do eat something on purpose or by accident that I am allergic to I suffer with various symptoms so it's just not worth it but, sometimes you just miss those foods tremendously. We have to think of food as nutrients instead and muster up all the will power we have....not always easy. Hang in there and don't get mad at yourself if you slip up once in a while...that's normal.