FOOD ALLERGIES: THE FOOD – BODY CONNECTION

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This post was written by Guest Author:– Shan Boggs

 

  Food allergies can make you feel like you won the lemon lottery in life.

 

One morning I awoke with red spots on my face.  The spots were on my chin, cheeks and forehead. When I washed my face the spots were very tender.  Just the brush of a washcloth was painful. Had I suddenly developed acne? Contracted some kind of bacterial infection? Eaten something I was allergic to?

Losing ground with the red spots, I went to my personal doctor and was quickly diagnosed with Rosacea.  Rosacea?  I had no idea what this was.  My doctor put me on antibiotics to try to get control of what now was a bright red rash all over my face.

About a month into the program without a lot of success, my doctor switched me to a stronger drug. A gnawing pain developed in my left abdominal area. Working with health professionals in environmental health science education, I was a big believer in cause and effect.  What was going on?

It was at this time that I participated in an onsite visit to a hazardous industrial site with a group of graduate students in public health.  My designated group was the “residents” — physicians completing their medical education.

I began talking to a medical doctor about skin conditions. She looked at my face and immediately knew what I had. She told me that the skin is an organ and the breakout was a significant warning sign that all was not well with my intestines. Intestines? She told me that my diet was the culprit.

I wanted to learn more about the food-body connection, but was hesitant to get off antibiotics. Frankly, I wanted a quick fix.  In another month, however, I had an allergic reaction to my medication and the pain in my gut had become scary. I was forced off antibiotics.

My personal doctor ordered tests. Before long, I was told I might have colitis, a precursor to Crohn’s disease.  Years before, I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome. It had proven to be a food allergy to soy and canola oil.  All symptoms had disappeared once I stopped ingesting these oils. I knew I was sensitive to milk and it sometimes gave me a stomachache, but I could still eat yogurt and cheese.

During the many months of the ordeal, I had made a point of making daily fruit shakes with yogurt to restore my intestinal bacteria. Off antibiotics, I stepped up the yogurt shakes to twice daily, my intestinal pain became constant. Like the medical doctor from the environmental hazards site visit, I began searching the Internet for anything I could find on intestinal bacteria. Based on my symptoms, the research suggested I might have an unusual yeast-based bacterial infection that was actually being fueled by any milk product I ingested. The yogurt fruit shakes  — meant to be healthful and restore my “balance” — were highly suspect as a “trigger” food escalating my condition.

I immediately got off the yogurt shakes and went back to my doctor. She gave me a new prescription to kill intestinal bacteria. Then, I removed myself from all dairy products entirely.  The intestinal pain immediately stopped, my red and rough skin condition cleared up and I lost weight.  It was great!

I have adhered to a diet primarily without cow’s milk products and feel fabulous. 

Much of the world does not eat dairy. According to the Center for Disease Control:

  • after the age of two, sensitivity to dairy products begins to appear and increase in much of the population.
  • by our twenties, 77% of adults worldwide are actually allergic to dairy products as cow’s milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream either through intolerance to lactose or casein (another protein) found in cow’s milk.
  • sensitivity to soy and gluten are also on the rise.  

 

Having lived in the Mediterranean region, both in North Africa andEurope, I returned to the delicious fresh foods I had learned to cook overseas.  I experimented in my kitchen with many of my favorite recipes, in a wonderful adventure to return to my roots. Three healthy gourmet cookbooks resulted, including a diet gourmet.

 

Many of the Fast and Fabulous Gourmet recipes are non-dairy or low-dairy and specify half-and-half (which is lower in lactose) or goat’s milk, and goat cheese over cow cheese. When flour is used, oat flour is most often given. Oat flour can be prepared in a blender. The taste is actually superior to regular processed white or wheat flour – and it is gluten-free.

 

Shan Bogg’s is a writer and editor living in Los Angeles. Her cookbooks are found in Kindle, Nook, iPhone and iBook formats. For quick links visit: http://www.fastandfabulousgourmetcookbooks.com/

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