Well I have now been on the VERY strict allergy elimination diet for 3 days. This diet is very hard (far more difficult than gluten & milk free diets)! Here is what I have eaten the past 3 days: Rice, sliced tomatoes (mixed in the rice), a couple of cucumbers, a green bell pepper and some raw garlic. That is it! I eat as much rice as possible when I start to get hungry. No meat, no snacks, nothing. My cravings are so intense right now. I have never craved food in my life like I do right now. It is even hard writing about good food on this blog!
However, the small rash spot on my face, has cleared up almost 100%. Also, my skin is feeling better. As far as my hives, it is still too early to tell if this elimination diet is having an effect. I have not had a breakout (but at the same time I haven’t been hot, so I can’t tell yet). I do feel a little better. Of course, my stomach feels fantastic with no gas, bloating, etc.
I am counting the days until this diet is over. If I haven’t seen some very positive results by the 2 week mark, I may consider adding more foods. Then, I will probably go back to my normal diet if I can positively rule out cholinergic urticaria. I will avoid milk a lot, but I will eat gluten again eventually. Of course, even if the diet doesn’t help the hives, I still have to watch what I eat due to rashes & stomach problems I get with certain foods.
Then I think to myself, if the diet does work, then I am not sure right now if it is worth it. It will literally be like making the following decision:
1. Have Cholinergic Urticaria but eat all the foods I want.
2. Don’t have cholinergic urticaria, but eat like monk!
That is a tough decision because I hate hives so much, and I just want my normal sweating life back again. But at the same time I have such strong cravings for food right now. So right now (with my intense cravings for pizza, doughnuts, chocolate, etc.), both of those options are looking like a win-lose situation. But of course, that is ONLY if the diet actually does work. That is still unclear whether or not there is a diet connection (at least in my case), but I should have an answer within a few weeks.
UPDATE: My main core diet, which has resolved my symptoms and allowed me to live again, now looks like this:
- Turkey, Chicken, (occasionally red meat–about 1 serving every month or two)
- Lettuce, cucumbers, squash, zuccini, broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, corn (veggies)
- Bananas, blueberries, strawberries, watermelon (fruits)
- water, fruit smoothies (beverages)
- Sunflower oils (note, I rarely use oil, but I’ve found I can tolerate it occassionaly)
- White rice, maple syrup, corn/ popcorn (plain)–for snacks
You can read more about my hives and diet here: Is Cholinergic Urticaria Caused by Diet for some people?