I used to believe that people who had food intolerances or allergies were people who had not evolved to eat certain foods; so i was told. I now see things very differently…
This initial thinking wasn’t mine, it was taught to me. I used to suffer from chronic hay fever in my teens & twenties and just thought it was my genetics. Then some years later when i found out i was wheat intolerant, i had people in the health and medical industry say things like “Oh you haven’t evolved to eat grains thats such a pity but don’t worry, you can take antihistamines and this will help you tolerate those things better… “. Another more scary idea that came to light recently from a friend, was an injection you could now get to tolerate gluten or wheat!!?? I don’t know anything about this, but the idea scares me! Needless to say, I thought this treatment concept was ok some years ago because i was naive about food and our bodies. So in my teens & twenties i lived on antihistamines not knowing the real reasons. These dampened the symptoms i would get every summer but at a cost. A blocked nose and major drowsiness issues were common for me. I also remember that in my teens i had been diagnosed with mild asthma and it had gone on for sometime. I struggled with breathing when competing in cycling, albeit the cycling races were very demanding. I was a top ranked rider in my province and i would all of a sudden have a race where i would “blow out the back” for no reason. Other riders would ask me what happened and i didn’t have an answer. I had also been given Ventolin tablets at the time and later in my thirties, a puffer for the occasional times i had asthma from recreational sport; then it was Karate. The last doctor i visited in my thirties said if i didn’t use a Pulmicort puffer i would continue to damage the lining on my bronchial tubes.
It wasn’t till i was 39 that i started getting super intense pustules on my legs at the hair follicle point. Deep purple, very very itchy and with a head. I wondered what on earth was going on! I started eliminating food types and obvious intakes of things that might be the cause. At one point i went off dairy, alcohol, caffeine and gluten all in one hit! I did this on my own accord because i couldn’t get straight answers. I re-introduced things each week looking for reactions and it soon dawned on me that bread made these occur. Fortunately i wasn’t a big bread fan and this only happened when i was out or at peoples places. I was nervous about being a Coeliac and in the end i found out that it was just wheat itself. A DNA test someone suggested i do had also confirmed this, which i was skeptical about. This test also raised the issue of “sugar” and the “nightshade family” as something i was also very sensitive too. I tested this and sure enough, this was also true. Nightshades caused me to itch around my kidney area and sometimes shins. And sugar, if i had too much at once, it made me very euphoric and light headed.
The year i stopped eating wheat was relatively easy for me but occasionally hard when eating out. I got very used to it and kind of proud about it because i stopped feeling like a leper and i lost excess weight. I also noticed on occasion when i did ingest wheat without knowledge, i would become bloated and irritable. The next day i would wake up with pustules. The symptoms now became very clear to me and i knew exactly what was going on and how to detect it. After about 9 months, summer approached and one lovely day i was enjoying a drink in the park with friends; it dawned on me after i had sneezed (which went no further), that i had lost my chronic hay-fever issues! So many years of suffering and sitting in exam rooms with hankies stuck up my nose, seeing yellow, being drowsy and feeling faint. Not being able to concentrate during the late spring and summer months no matter what i did was some of the worst memories i have as a child/teenager. All this was now gone. What remained was simply a mild reaction to pollen and some sneezing here and there. I still get itchy eyes occasionally but nothing remotely close to what i had. No wheezing and no Ventolin tablets or Pulmicort puffers anymore.
So onwards and upwards. My diet became pretty much a “Primal” type of diet which i have now improved over the last few years to eliminate regular use of starches and processed foods for improved weight loss and just feeling better. I counteract this of course with the occasional beer (beer is mostly barley, not wheat), some chocolate from time to time and even a GF biscuit. But life in our modern world is a bit like this. We don’t want to avoid ALL the amazing things we as humans have developed because its always bad for us. Having it occasionally is fine i feel, so long as you don’t react to it badly and your on track 80% of the time with your food, your health is likely to stay well in check. Moderation is the hardest thing to achieve today because so many things “pull” at us to be obsessive… namely marketing, fast food places and supermarkets. Obviously we want to avoid these “pulls’ but we can only do this if we are well armed with a ton of good knowledge. If you want motivation with improving your diet or heath, you need to read and educate yourself on the very thing your focusing on. The information needs to be in your head often enough for you to achieve want you desire and so you don’t fall off the wagon.
After having gone through these issues, which are mild compared to some allergy suffers, i am 100% convinced that you are what you eat. It only stands to reason that if our bodies are regenerated in parts, every year, cell by cell; then what you put into it for that to happen must be the foremost contributor to the results you achieve. A muffin and coffee every morning isn’t going to achieve great results lets face it :)
You don’t have to accept what your told or stay where you are. You control your life so take action and take control of it; educate yourself and work out your own path to a better, happier life. If i can do it, you can too.