Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Food Allergy Chronicles

Okay, most of you who know me know that I carry Benadryl with me everywhere I go (except for that one time in Long Beach!) The worst part about my food allergy is I don't know when its coming and it has ruined many a good night! FINALLY, four years after the first episode, I've decided to take my mental list and put it on paper (or the interwebs!) and maybe I (or you!) can figure out this mystery. (That, or I can go see an Allergist? Too easy!)

I have had an unexplained allergy that started in the summer of 2007 and over the past 4 years has occured a handful of times randomly. So far, I cannot connect the dots between the different foods I ate, so I thought it would be wise to make a list and maybe the common denominator will jump out at me...or you!

What I ate:

  1. 2007 - Homemade egg sandwich - a fried egg over medium, 100% whole wheat bread, and cheddar cheese.
  2. 2007 - Chicken parmesan at Vienni Vai in San Luis Obispo - menu says "chicken breast with fine cheese and tomato sauce" and a side of pasta, white wine (probably a chardonnay??)
  3. 2008 - Grilled shrimp tacos and turkey chili at Big Sky Cafe in SLO - Tacos: corn tortillas, shrimp, lettuce, lime-cumin vinaigrette, salsa fresca, garlic-lime aioli; Turkey Chili: three kinds of beans, ground turkey, crunchy vegetables, cheddar cheese, scallions; white wine (probably a reisling)
  4. 2009 - Burrito from Taco Loco in Arroyo Grande - beans, rice, cheese, chicken burrito, chips and salsa, corona
  5. 2010 - Chicken Tostada Salad at La Palapa restuarant in Long Beach - Romaine lettuce, cucumber, pico de gallo, avocado, jack & cheddar cheese and refried beans, crispy flour tortilla shell, ranch dressing; white wine (probably a reisling)
  6. 2011 - Homemade burger - hamburger meat, 100% whole wheat thin bun, cheddar cheese, tomato, lettuce, avocado, cilantro, milk. Dessert: vanilla ice cream with Trader Joe's chocolate sauce, caramel topping, and blueberries.
  7. Thanksgiving 2011: Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, brown-and-serve rolls, cranberry sauce, scalloped potatoes, cauliflower, stuffing, reisling.
  8. March 2012 - tasting in Santa Barbara. Municipal tasting room - two reislings, cab/syrah blend, a rhone red, rose.
I know what you're going to say:
  • Cheese! I eat cheese almost every day. All kinds. Mostly cheddar.
  • Wheat or grains! I eat 100% whole wheat bread on sandwiches almost every day. I only use wheat pasta, and eat both corn and flour tortillas on a regular basis

  • Symptoms begin to show about 30-60 minutes after the meal.
  • The first sign is an upset stomach - a unique upset stomach where I know for sure I am having THE allergic reaction
  • Hives on my legs (usually thighs), stomach, and sometimes arms.
  • Wheezing. Sometimes difficult to breathe.
  • Itchy throat, nose, and eyes
  • LOTS of sneezing, sometimes uncontrollably
  • Runny nose - constant blowing and wiping, fun!
  • Swelling of the eyes and lips. This always happens a little but sometimes worse than others where it looks like I was punched in the mouth

  • Toilet
  • Benadryl
  • Sleep
  • Then I am good as new!
AnonymousJuly 21, 2011 at 11:28 AM
I know it sounds blasphemous, but have you tried going veggie/vegan for a week to see what happens? You can develop mild allergies to meat and eggs: (
JaimeJuly 21, 2011 at 1:25 PM
The only problem about trying a new diet for a week, is that the allergy doesn't occur very often. In 4 years, I have only experienced it 6 times. (I could be forgetting 1 or 2 episodes) So I'd have to give up meat (or gluten, or dairy, or whatever) for long time to make a concrete case against it. I think allergy testing is the way to go at this point...But, thanks for the idea and article!! (When I finally do see an allergist, I am going to bring up all of these ideas!)

UPDATE: Getting allergy tested on Halloween!

link to Results!!

UPDATE: March 2012 - I am pretty sure after my last episode that I am allergic to white wine (probably Reisling!). My friend Helya said "you always get this around me, maybe you are allergic to me!" but really, the common denominator with Helya and the allergy is reisling! We almost always have it when we go out to dinner and I was with her during episodes 3, 5, and 8, and had reisling in most of the others! Now to really experiment....argh! Wish me luck!

UPDATE: Food Allergy Strikes Again 2013-03-07

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