Have you ever stopped to think of this often quoted phrase, “You are what you eat.” If you think about it, that small phrase really has a lot of truth to it. For example, the main source of any kind of vitamins, minerals, proteins, etc. that ever enter your body will mostly come from the foods we consume.
So if people eat nothing but processed sugar, junk food, & more–doesn’t it make sense that eventually it will start taking a toll on the body. Let’s face it, our bodies weren’t really created to consume the amount & types of foods that are commonly available today.
From grease, hydrogenated oils, preservatives, hormones, chemical additives, food coloring, & that is just the beginning. Sometimes I just think of all the cumulative effects this could have over years & years of eating these things on a daily basis. That is also one of my big motivators to start eating more healthy again.
It is funny how my personal tastes have changed over the years. I remember when I was a kid I couldn’t stand tomatoes or onions in my food. Now, I love them! I am beginning to love all the natural foods, because I realize that every time I eat a juicy tomato, or broccoli, or yellow bell pepper, that I am providing my body with a dose of cancer fighting minerals & anti-aging ingredients.
As you all know, I am trying some diet experiments to see if it helps with my Cholinergic Urticaria symptoms. But I thought I would make a quick post to show some of the effects of food allergies, or other chemicals can have.
UPDATE: 1/18/13 After many years I have now cut my diet options back severly, and now mostly eat fruits, veggies, and lean meat. This has resulted in a sharp decrease in my hives symptoms, to the point where I can live again and avoid medications. You can read more about my cholinergic urticaria diet on this site.
First Chemical: Niacin
Niacin occurs naturally in many of the foods we eat. It can be an important part of a healthy diet. But look at this article I found on wikipedia. It says that for some people, higher amounts of Niacin can actually cause toxicity in the human body, and lead to a range of symptoms such as:
facial flushing and itching
skin rashes including acanthosis nigricans
fulminant hepatic failure
I thought that was strange that just too much of one little chemical can make people start flushing & itching. Weird!
I am NOT trying to say that Niacin is what is causing Cholinergic Urticaria or other heat hives. But I am making the point that if chemicals are out of whack (too much or too little), strange things can occur.
Of course, we also know the symptoms of food allergies as well.
For some people, an allergic reaction to a particular food may be uncomfortable but not serious. For other people, an allergic food reaction can be frightening and even life-threatening. Signs and symptoms of a food allergy usually develop within a few minutes to an hour after eating the offending food.
The most common signs and symptoms of a true food allergy include:
Tingling in the mouth
Hives, itching or eczema
Swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat, or other parts of the body
Wheezing, nasal congestion or trouble breathing
Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
Dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting ”
What does all this mean?
I still don’t know how much diet may have in the role of Cholinergic urticaria or other hives. But I am hoping I will find out on this diet. I SUSPECT, that in some cases, I could have been causing my stomach problems, rashes, and hives by what I was sticking in my mouth on a regular basis!
What can you do?
First, I am not a doctor, expert, or anything else. Most of what I know has been learned from reading websites (like the links above). But here are a few things you can do with your diet:
First-start paying attention to your body. Do you ever get bad stomach cramps after certain foods? Do you notice an increase in hives after certain foods?
If you aren’t sure, maybe you should start keeping a diary of foods you eat on a daily basis. This way, you can learn of foods that may be upsetting you. If you spot a troublesome food, try eliminating it from you diet to see if you feel better.
Allergy testing-there are various allergy tests that can be performed. Usually it involves blood tests to see if you have antibodies to certain food proteins. This can be done by your doctor or allergist. The only problem is this: You can literally be allergic to almost anything. And the tests don’t have EVERY allergy in the world-only the most common ones. Also, you can get false positives/false negatives with the tests. So it can be tricky.
This article is just a simple article showing that foods can mess you up! Does diet/foods/allergies play a role in cholinergic urticaria–I have no idea! But it is something to consider & think about. If nothing else, maybe you will get motivated to start eating a little healthier.