Adverse Food Reactions

Is it Beneficial?

Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial. 1 Corinthians 10:23 CSB

Perhaps you have heard that statement before.  It comes from one of the all-time most read books ever written.  When I think of this verse, it makes me think of a motto of the American Dietetic Association (now Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) from when I was in school.  (And vice versa, when I hear that motto, I think of this verse.)

What is that motto?  “All foods can fit.”  It was the mantra of the 2000s.  American Dietetic Association position papers from 2002 and 2007 on “communicating food and nutrition information” both promote this idea.

beneficial, apple, Cheetos, chips
U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Grace Lee

No Guilt, No Shame

On the one hand, it is a great concept.  It is not my job to make anyone feel guilty about their food choices.  I eat Fritos.  I even made some amazing sugar cookies that I will share with you someday.  There are also political reasons for taking this stance, but I will choose to not talk about that right now.

Another great reason to take that position is that nutrition is a baby science.  People have been studying physics and chemistry for centuries.  We have only been studying nutrition for about 200 years.  (I know, that sounds like a long time.  But other sciences have been studies 5 times as long.)

Cause and effect are very hard to study, and it is even harder to isolate it to a single food or nutrient.  And this is why one day eggs (or butter, coffee, chocolate…) are bad, and the next they are good.  (By the way, if you don’t mind hearing profanity, you should check out John Oliver explaining science.)

Allowed vs. Beneficial

But, just because something is “allowed,” does that make it beneficial?  Let’s start out with something fairly easy: chocolate.  Chocolate comes from cocoa.  It has some phytochemicals that provide health benefits.  If you Google it, there are varying answers to how much will lead to health benefits.  However, when I did my Mediator Release Test, I was moderately reactive – chocolate could be causing me migraines.  The horror!

beneficial, mint, peppermint, migraine, headache, painAnother one to consider is peppermint.  Google it, and you can find a whole list of conditions for which peppermint is beneficial (including headaches and migraine).  But is it beneficial for me?  Absolutely not!  It was one of two things that I am highly reactive to.  After eliminating it for a few months, I used some regular toothpaste one time.  Boom – migraine.

So, while many will still tell you that all foods can fit, I will tell you that you can choose whatever you want, but not all foods are beneficial.

You’re a Pain in My…

What is “normal,” anyway?

Like several of my previous posts, I originally wrote this two years ago:

I don’t know about you, but I have lived my life surrounded by people who do not understand pain.  Sure, people have occasionally hurt themselves or gotten a headache, and then they take some aspirin or ibuprofen and it goes away.  They have no concept of chronic pain.

One of the medications that a doctor gave me for my headaches turned me into a zombie.  I was exhausted.  I had no energy to do anything.  I made it through my eight-hour work day, but I was too tired for a social life.  One of my friends was complaining, because apparently I was impacting her ability to enjoy life.  There was no consideration for how the situation was impacting my life!

alone, isolated, lonely, social, headache, migraine, pain

Now, fast forward many years.  I have been married for seven years and a mom for four.  My husband is getting tired of my headaches.  I know that he loves me very much and would really like the pain to go away.  Some days, though, when he asks me why my head is hurting, it seems like he thinks that I could control it if I wanted to.  As if I am choosing to have a headache.  When I have several severe headache days in a row (I literally have a headache every day, I have just learned how to go on with life most of the time), he loses compassion.  He gets tired of me not being able to do things like normal.  So, he forces me back into making decisions and taking care of him and our daughter.  I know he is at a loss as to how to deal with my headaches.  I am was, too.  But sometimes people who do not live with chronic pain just don’t understand what it is like.

My daughter is super sweet – most of the time.  I have had so many headache days that she will just come up to me and day, “I know you don’t feel well, mommy.”  No four-year-old should have to deal with a “sick” mommy as often as she does.  This is why I want to improve my health as much as I can in the areas that I can impact.

A new normal

Thankfully, this year I was talking with a colleague who suggested that I look into the LEAP/ MRT food sensitivity testing and protocol.  I am not completely headache-free.  Some days I do not have total control over the foods that I eat, so I still end up dizzy, lightheaded, or with a headache.  Sometimes there are other things – like hormone changes – that lead to a headache.  However, most days I feel much better than before.  I can go enjoy activities and feel like a human.  No more zombie life for this girl!

First Do No Harm

They Just Don’t Get It

As a sufferer of chronic pain, I know we have all been to doctors who just don’t understand.

do no harm

When my daughter was about three months old, I was fed up with my headaches and made a doctor’s appointment (I had to take Tylenol with codeine daily for over two months just to survive pregnancy).  My appointment was with a nurse practitioner who had a student.  The student spent an hour asking me every question in the book about every body system, and then the real nurse practitioner came in, spent two minutes with me, and told me to keep doing what I was doing (Excedrin and Zantac).  During those two minutes, I actually asked the nurse practitioner about gluten and headaches, and she blew me off like it was the most ridiculous thing she had heard.  (Six years later, I got tested and have a wheat allergy.)

So, in case you missed the main points of the story, here they are again: I hadn’t slept in three months, my headaches were bad enough for me to schedule a doctor’s appointment, and I just spent an hour in a doctor’s office only to be told, “keep doing what you’re doing.”

medication

My favorite, though, was my next doctor (I never returned to the previous office – which I am sure is shocking).  My main concern was getting my headaches under control.  My doctor’s main concern was my weight.  He only wanted to talk about my weight and get me to do things to lose weight.  He never really cared about getting my pain under control (although he did put me on a very questionable drug).

I get it.  Really, I do.  Weight status does impact health in a lot of ways (and it was measurable for the doctor).  What I also understand – that the doctor apparently didn’t – is that when you are in that much pain, other aspects of self-care are all but impossible.

Finding a Better Way

I want to help people improve their overall health.  I also want to do it in a way that is different from many doctors, personal trainers and coaches.  I am sensitive to the concerns of people with chronic pain.  I also want to help people expand past self-imposed limitations.  I can’t take away the pain for you, but I have found something (completely legal) that can help most people with certain types of pain. It’s not the easy road, but then again, neither is living in pain.  If you are tired of living in pain and are willing to do whatever it takes to get better, why not see if the foods you are eating are contributing to your pain and other health issues.  We would love to help you find a healthier you!  Schedule a pre-package consult with us, and we will find out if and how we can help you live a life with less pain.

If you are still not completely sure that the foods you eat are tied to your health, check out the book Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis.

 

**Please note that it is safe to assume that links in our website are affiliate links and we would earn a commission at no additional cost to you should you click through and make a purchase. We only promote things that we strongly believe will add value to people’s lives and which reflect our values.

My Shoulder Pain

 The Saga Continues

Much like how the discussion of my headaches was written two years ago, the following was as well:

I am blessed with headaches as not my only source of pain.  I injured my shoulder, and generally speaking, it doesn’t hurt as often as my head, but when it flares up, it is pretty intense.

Back in college, swing dancing became popular – especially my senior year.  Several years later I made a new friend who is a good dancer, and she and I would go out to a ballroom for swing dancing.  I am not a good dancer, so the guys who were really good didn’t want to dance with me.  As a result, I was dancing one night with a guy who was not a good lead, and I was not a good follower.  I ended up severely straining or spraining my shoulder (I don’t know which) at a time when I had no health insurance.

shoulder
Photo from WikiMedia Commons

Fast forward nine years, and periodically I get a huge knot and intense pain in my shoulder.  Like right now.  I have been trying acupressure to release the knot.  I also put essential oils on it.  I need to ice it right now.

And Now…

Two more years later, and my shoulder was still hurting.  I honestly never imagined that foods may be leading to the flare up of pain.  I started the LEAP protocol in the hopes of reducing or eliminating my headaches.  About a week into my first eating plan I realized that my shoulder had not been hurting for a few days.  And it kept not hurting.  What a pleasant surprise!  I have also found that if I go off my eating plan, whether that means “cheating” or adding new foods while following the protocol, my shoulder pain comes back.  As much as I may want to eat a brownie, the shoulder pain just is not worth it.  (Although getting a massage might be nice!)

shoulder
Photo from Pixabay

My Headache Story

Long Ago in a Land Far Away

Actually, I wrote this two years ago about 24 miles from where I currently live.  But this story starts at least 25 years ago and about over 1400 miles away…

headache
Photo by Gonzalo Malpartida, licensed vy CC BY-SA 2.0

I have had headaches for a long time.  I know I have had them since high school.  I cannot remember if I had them before that.  When I was a sophomore in high school, my doctor decided to order a CT scan.  He was searching for a tumor (there wasn’t one).

Much Pain, No Gain

Since that time, no one has been able to find a reason for my headaches or find a way to fix them.  I have tried all kinds of medications, with varying results.  Some medications turned me into a zombie, but didn’t take away the pain.  One medication gave me chest pain and tightness, making me feel like I was having a heart attack.  Other medications took away the headache – but only for a while.  Eventually all of the medications that “worked” stopped working.

I have also tried a lot of other ways to deal with my headaches.  I have done chiropractic, massage, and acupuncture.  None of these made a noticeable difference in my headaches.  I have also used essential oils (which I love, by the way, but they don’t always help my headache) and herbal supplements.

I do not have the answers.  I have not found a way to cure my headaches.  I wish I had.  I have decided to thrive despite the pain.  I am actively looking for (healthy) ways to reduce the pain.   But I am also going to work toward ways to improve my health within my current capabilities.

Fast Forward To 2017

Earlier this year I was meeting with a colleague about something completely different.  She also has a functional nutrition practice in Phoenix.  I asked her about the doctors that she works with, because I was very interested in finding a doctor who would do more than just prescribe me drugs.  I wanted an answer.  She gave me the names of two doctors, and then recommended that I look into the LEAP food sensitivity testing before seeing one of them.  She had done some research herself, but had not had time yet to do their training.

After looking into the program and talking to one of the mentors, I enrolled in the training program and ordered my own food sensitivity test.  After getting my results, I started eliminating the foods that my body reacted to.  As a result, my headaches have greatly improved – and so have some other symptoms that I was having.  I am so excited to share this program with others and help others adjust their eating to reduce or eliminate their pain!

 

Want to see if the foods you are eating are making you sick?