So I haven’t talked a great deal about this, but enough so that some of you know I’m having some severe allergy issues. And I’m not talking about this for sympathy—just to raise some awareness about a little known condition and also to make you aware of one of the main reasons I cannot travel right now except for short-distance day trips.
The past few months have been challenging, at best. My allergy reactions have been getting worse and more frequent. And they’re becoming more worrisome. I’ve been having frequent breakouts of hives. My lips and nose will start tingling after eating. Or I will start to itch, and I mean drive-you-nuts itch on my face, head, and chest.
My doctor and I are trying to get the reactions under control while we examine the strong possibility that I have a condition called histamine intolerance, which is kind of worse than it sounds in some ways. It’s also a syndrome, and hard to actually diagnose.
What happens is that reactions like the above (along with stomach issues, asthma, all the way to anaphylaxis) are triggered when the body is pushed over its histamine limit. It would explain so many of my symptoms that I have had for years, like being unable to handle hot showers or like sunlight making me itch, as well as the food issues.
Now, everyone has histamine in their body and it’s a necessity for our health, but some people have a very low threshold for histamine before it triggers alarm bells, and that’s when trouble occurs. There are a number of reasons for this, which I’m not going into here because it’s long and convoluted, and while some can be controlled, other issues can only be managed through strict diet and lifestyle choices. When you add my actual allergies into that, it’s a tangled mess.
Until we figure out what Is going on, I am on a very limited diet, and under orders to try to keep my stress down. I’m eating a rotation diet consisting of: elk, buffalo, duck, turkey, lamb, cucumbers, winter squash, sweet potatoes, rice, rice milk, pears and apples. I can have limited amounts of honey and maple, and I use olive oil. I’m taking a histamine blocker with every meal. I can’t have leftovers—everything has to be freshly prepared (the rice can be a day old but that’s pushing it).
I’m probably going to be on this till the end of the year to get the symptoms under control. At worst case, I’ll be on a similar diet for life. Best—I’ll be able to add more foods in as we go, but will probably always have to be cautious. And I have to make sure I always have my Epipens (or equivalent) and Benadryl near. Obviously, this cuts out almost all long-distance travel at this point—my body can’t handle the stress I’m under now. Travel makes it worse.
It’s not fun but my reactions are too numerous and too scary, and I am tired of losing days to Benadryl hazes. I hope we figure this out soon because this is a PITA—in more ways than one. And it’s expensive. The diet and Epipens are not cheap. (warning blatant self promo ahead: Buy my books, peeps!).
And please, no unsolicited medical advice, right now the last thing I want is to try something that adds to my issues…and it’s too dangerous to try something I haven’t had before at this point.