So, I really did a number on myself. Apparently, I’ve been poisoning myself for months. And I deliberately use that word because I need to remember, that’s essentially what it is. Foods that are safe for others, can easily be toxic for me.

I had a major reaction last night–a long, red weal appeared on my back, whole body began to itch, chest and back flushed, nose tingling, lips tingling, felt so rough I just curled in a ball on the bed. So what happened? I thought I ate pretty ‘clean’ yesterday. But something triggered the thought, look up Zevia’s ingredients again.

Now, I’ve been drinking Zevia cola and Dr. Zevia for months—it’s a stevia sweetened soft drink without dyes in it. I had checked the ingredients on their site, couldn’t see anything to …I checked the ingredients–couldn’t see anything beyond a couple things like citric acid that could produce any problems. I’m fine with stevia. But it was that old bugaboo of ‘natural flavorings’…

I looked on the website again, nope…but then I happened to look on Amazon where they sell, and Amazon had a more thorough listing. Both Zevia cola and Dr. Zevia have: lime oil, lemon oil, nutmeg oil, and Dr. Zevia has clove oil. ALL of those are VERY problematic for MCAS and HIT.

Which means it’s been building up in my system for months–not enough each day to trigger (though it would explain some of my ‘unexplained’ reactions) but finally, threw me into overload. My body feels pummeled this morning, and after I even out a bit, it’s going to take awhile to shed it from of my body, because some of these oils store in the body fat.

I’ve got an interesting few months ahead getting back to an even keel. And it’s back to water with mint in it for drinking, and a few herbal teas that are okay for me (like a raspberry tea I have, and a blackberry).Yummy drink pitcher

I suppose the moral of this is that if you have any allergies or conditions like MCAS or Histamine Intolerance, you need to beware of ‘natural flavorings’…now, I know this but somehow, I overlooked it here. Maybe I subconsciously wanted to overlook it because I just wanted something to drink that I like without worrying. Maybe I just spaced it. But given the severity of my reaction last night, I can no longer give myself the leeway of that.

(And please, no suggestions of things that might ‘help’ my conditions. Seriously, it’s a very complex issue and I’m working with my doctor to find a good treatment plan).

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When You Realize You’ve Been Poisoning Yourself…
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7 thoughts on “When You Realize You’ve Been Poisoning Yourself…

  • 05/19/2024 at 11:21 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this. I also have food intolerances and started drinking Zevia Cola last week. I don’t react to stevia, but I also had the full body reaction a few days in. I wouldn’t have suspected it was this!

    Cutting it out today and hoping for quick rebound.

  • 11/29/2022 at 8:56 pm

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I’ve been dealing with hives for 7 months now and have many triggers. I removed almost everything, but thought my daily ‘treat’ of a can of Zevia was okay. I was so wrong. Since I removed it a few days ago, my hives have almost stopped. I still have triggers but this hidden culprit wasn’t helping me. Best of luck with your healing journey ❤️

  • 11/18/2022 at 10:00 pm

    Thank you so much for printing this article.
    Low histamine diet is new to me I got Covid and following Covid began having a lot of very strange symptoms and realized Covid somehow initiated MCAS in me. How frustrating! I am really dealing with severe internal vibrations tonight and the only thing I introduced was zevia rootbeer that I had. And I would definitely welcome ideas on how to calm these down.

  • 09/17/2019 at 11:10 am

    Wow! I can’t even begin to imagine what a pain this is for you. I’m glad you found the culprit. Hope you are feeling better.

  • 09/16/2019 at 4:59 pm

    Totally understand. It completely sucks when they hide things beyond generic names or in so many ingredients that you miss it in the shuffle. Personally, I can’t eat poultry meat or broths. They hide it in so many things or list it so far into the ingredients lists that you can’t even be certain you saw it. Sad day when one can’t trust the foods they eat.

  • 09/15/2019 at 4:45 pm

    I get it. You try to treat your body well, but you can’t trust any food product. I remember the days when I used to try to eat movie popcorn and soda and then I’d have what felt like a near-death experience in the theater.
    Most people are concerned about artificial ingredients, but I try to avoid anything that has “natural flavors.” It can mean anything, including the infamous beaver “butt gland.”
    I try to buy something as simple as “100% juice” online and then the label says it contains “natural flavors- ingredient not found in regular juice.” That could mean plant, animal or mineral, which is just as scary to me as synthetic chemicals. Why the mystery? Even if you grow your food, you can’t trust the water or soil to not be contaminated.

  • 09/15/2019 at 12:12 pm

    I’m so sorry that you have to be concerned about what you eat and drink.


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