Food Sensitivity Journey

I have suffered from migraines for over a decade. I started seeing a chiropractor almost 10 years ago. It made such a difference! I went frequently in the beginning and now go monthly for maintenance and keep ahead of my body. In 2013 I got pregnant with kiddo #3 and in June I started getting terrible migraines again. My chiropractor said he was taking care of everything he could and that it was being triggered something else. My OB thought it was hormonal. That summer I had a migraine 6 out of 7 days for 3 months before I was able to see a neurologist. We found a way to mostly control it, but I was still extremely light sensitive.

We lived in the dark until June of 2016, then one day I discovered I could enjoy the sun again! Fast forward one month. I got pregnant and the migraines came back. I was not as extreme as the first time, but still no fun. After giving birth the migraines went away more quickly and I was not stuck with the light sensitivity even after they were gone. For the most part I was migraine free but when I did get one, it was a 3 day one.

Thanksgiving 2016 I hosted Thanksgiving and made many dishes that used milk. I had a 3 day migraine. I had talked about doing a elimination diet right before I got pregnant, so I decided it was time to really do it. I cut out most dairy, and quite a bit of gluten in December and started collecting recipes so that I could cut out dairy, gluten, corn, soy, processed foods, and artificial sugar successfully.

The first couple weeks in January were amazing. I did not realize that even though I did not have major migraines, I still had minor headaches all the time. I was so use to that type of pain, I just blocked it out. I also noticed I was no longer as tired or foggy brain feeling. Wether it was cutting carbs or related to the migraines, I was happy to feel like a normal person! Then the headache and foggy brain came back. I had talked to someone who suffered from migraines and had a blood sensitivity test done and found out chicken triggered her migraines.

In March I decided it was time to find out what my body was sensitive to do. I went to a local chiropractor and he uses Alletess Medical Laboratory to test blood to discover food sensitives. It checks a specific antibody, Immunoglobuil G (IgG), which is a delayed reaction. I can get a migraine up to 72 hours after eating a food . IgE blood or skin test is for allergies, which is an immediate reaction. It does not test that. I get instant migraines from smelling or eating raw onions, so though we did not test for an allergy, I likely have one. I discovered there were quite a few common things I was still eating that were causing me trouble. I have cut them out and in 8 to 12 weeks I will try adding them back into my diet to see if they still trigger migraines. By avoiding eating the foods I am sensitive to, I can “reset” by body. Allergies can not be reset. You might get stuck with a sensitivity and need to cut it out even longer, but that does not make it an allergy.

I am coming up on week 4 of cutting my list of foods out. The small headaches and foggy brain was gone within a week, though I struggled with working out because I was feeling weak and Zumba would deplete my energy in a major way. A huge part of the problem was that the test gives you a 4 day rotation diet. You can only eat a particular protein, veggie and spice ONCE every FOUR days. I was finding I could not make any recipes because spices, and other ingredients, carried over to different meals. I am one of those people who when something does not taste good, I just don’t feel like eating. Then combine that with the fact that I was eating low fat proteins (chicken, shrimp, salmon, and tuna) and veggies, so even when I ate until I felt like exploding, I was not getting a ton of calories.

After 2 weeks I decided since most of my sensitivities were low, I was not as likely to be at risk for developing new sensitivities, so I decided to skip the rotation diet. I had an instant energy boost and really started to feel amazing again.

My list:

  1. banana
  2. Basil
  3. beef
  4. black pepper
  5. carrot
  6. chia seed
  7. cinnamon
  8. clam
  9. Kola (soda/pop and kola oil)
  10. ginger
  11. green pea
  12. malt
  13. cow milk
    1. Although I did not test positive for cheeses, I’ve cut cow cheese out and only do goat or sheep cheese 1 or 2 times a week. No butter either.
  14. mushroom
  15. safflower
  16. sesame
  17. soy
  18. yeast (baker and brewer)
    1. I also have to cut out foods that can cause yeast to grow in my stomach, including all forms of sugar (allowed 2 low sugar fruits- but NOT dates, grapes, watermelon), simple carbs, alcohol, and aged cheeses)

When I started adding food back in, I discovered large amounts of soy gave me a 3 day migraine. Yeast did not give me a full blown migraine, but I did get those dull/slight headaches for 4 days. After that I started playing with the amount of sugar I could eat. For health reasons, I like to stick with less than 100g a day, but I’m ok with a special treat here or there.

I have tried bananas, beef, and black pepper. All of which did not trigger a migraine nor the headache, foggy feeling.

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