Friday, December 19, 2014

Allergic to Breathing? Ten Years of Change

I sat in a tight airline seat, my knees killing me.  I mean excruciatingly painful and MANY more hours to fly to Ethiopia.  If I didn't straighten my knees, this always happened.  I'd been experiencing joint pain for years and taking Ibuprofen every night to sleep.

This was one of the many symptoms my husband and I experienced over the course of YEARS due to unknown allergies and sensitives.

I know this blog post may not be the norm for many of you to read, but the last ten years had so much misery (yes, I said misery) go away when we stumbled across the allergies/toxicity.  I meant it when I say stumbled upon.

EVERY.TIME....flat on my face right into it.

This post is going to cover a lot of ground, so be patient with me.  It won't just cover one thing, but THREE. Three instances of allergies (and toxicity) that left us with all of the following symptoms (and I'm pretty sure I forgot some).  I know many people struggle with these without allergies, but I wanted to throw out there the possibilities.
Extreme joint pain
Nightly vomiting of acid (acid reflux)
Pain so severe in the chest and stomach that I almost took my husband to the ER several times.
Extreme fatigue
Brain fogginess
Extreme stomach upset
Constant diarrhea and cramping
Seven years of migraines
High blood pressure
Acne (pretty intense at times)
Skin Eczema

....and many of these we just thought were normal.

About ten years ago I started hearing rumors.  I would sit with my Diet Coke and read articles and links that friends would forward to me and all their family members.  Truthfully, I completely got tired of hearing how everything is bad for you. (I am convinced someone will say breathing is next.)  I pretty much blew it off.

Finally, I had enough.

That is when I had a face first plant into the world of Aspartame toxicity (or poisoning).

(Shoot! Really?)

Ya, apparently it's not that good for you.  I really didn't believe it until I started hearing things about military men and women suffering.  That finally got my attention.  You don't mess with people fighting for our freedom.

Fine, I'd give up my Diet Coke (sulk, sniff, sulk)...just for a little bit though, since obviously everyone was overreacting.

My knee pain reduced by 70% within two weeks of no aspartame.  No more ibuprofen after only two weeks.  Another friend was diagnosed with arthritis and it also went away by about 75%.  Awww man...

Ok, this is good.  Thank goodness I wouldn't have to give up anything else.

Cue a stomach virus about nine years later by a boy named Benjamin.  Now you will see the stumble right into the muck number two...gluten/wheat.  Most of you know about this one, but I can't NOT touch on it.

Ben has Celiacs.  For those of you like me that had no clue, this is an allergy to gluten (derived from wheat). Gluten is a binder used in MANY foods (NO JOKE)  We even found some turkeys containing gluten (while looking for a turkey on Thanksgiving).

We were told that many  people are gluten sensitive.  There are several theories of why this is increasing in the United States.  (When in Ukraine which uses almost no processed foods many have no problem at all.).

Theory One: Many believe it's not really the wheat, but the excessive nature that it is used in EVERYTHING in the United States.  It is overwhelming many bodies and our bodies were not meant to process it.
Theory Two: Genetically Modified Foods-These are banned in many countries and the fear is that the modification (to make it more durable, etc.) is causing it to be harder to break down (or some such).
Theory Three: A combination of theory one and two.

How did I stumble across several in our family being gluten sensitive? (Actually we think my husband probably had Celiacs, but you can't get a test for it after you are already off gluten.)

I decided everyone needed to go off gluten so that I could learn to cook it successfully.  It wasn't purposeful, but it was a gift from God.

Anna using the Rice Cooker (which we use A LOT).

Migraines disappeared withing two weeks
Brain fogginess disappeared
Diarrhea disappeared
Extreme stomach and chest pain disappeared
The worst of the fatigue disappeared
Eczema went away by 50%
A nasty green snotty nose and severe morning allergies went away for our son
Acid Reflux went completely away
Joint pain was reduced just a little bit more


Now I had to give up my Diet Coke AND wheat/gluten.  (Banging Head Repeatedly on Table)
Actually, after I got over the head banging, I found out it was fairly simple to do.  We could still eat a lot.

Then, the final straw happened.

Seriously?  This happened about a little over a week ago.  You see, one of my children has struggled off and on with acne.  We've saved and gone to doctors and bought expensive medicine, to no avail.  We finally tried a home remedy of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar and water as a cleanser.  THAT was awesome.  About 50% cleared up within a couple weeks.  AWESOME! Yet, the rest was still there.

Until we removed sugary snacks (not fruit and such, but candy, ice cream, etc.).

I, the "on board" mother that I am decided I wouldn't eat sugar unless it was a Christmas party (and it was gluten free of course) in sympathy.  I was looking forward to my Hershey's Kiss cookies on Christmas Eve.  I really was.

BUT NO...that would be too easy.

My blood pressure, which I've struggled with for years and have medication for, went down immediately (not cured, but went down).  After just 24 hours I felt calmer.  Not only that, but the remaining pain in my joints is about 90% gone with sugar removed.  Sigh...

Really?  My Hershey's Kisses were gone?  Yup
 (Ok, mostly gone, because occasionally I am willing to have a little hike in blood

So, let's recap...
Extreme joint pain -90% Gone
Nightly vomiting of acid (acid reflux)-Gone
Pain so severe in the chest and stomach that I almost took my husband to the ER several times.-Gone
Extreme fatigue-Gone (only normal  fatigue occasionally now from a lack of sleep or some such)
Brain fogginess-Gone
Extreme stomach upset-Gone
Constant diarrhea and cramping-Gone
Seven years of migraines-GONE
High blood pressure-Lowered (and working on gone!)
Acne (pretty intense at times)-Almost solely during hormone fluctuations or extreme stress 
Allergies-Limited and runny snotty morning nose gone
Skin Eczema-Reduce by 50% guys might see where I'm going with this.  We all have so many more allergies/sensitivities to things than I even think we realize at times.  I think we accept much of what we feel just as "aging".

I wanted to give you a heads up.

If you decided to do an elimination diet (try going off of it for awhile) let me know.  I'd love to cheer you on.
Though I joke and complain, our lives have changed for the better.  They really have.  I don't miss Aspartame.  There are so many new and healthier alternatives now.  I don't miss gluten.  Once I went off of it for a bit (two months is recommended to truly see what the results might be) I stopped craving it 99% of the time.

Now, I try always to be honest....I miss sugar.  I do, but it's not that bad unless I'm stressed (which means it's completely mental).  (No surprise there...)

So friends, this is my throwing it out there.  I'd LOVE to hear about allergies/toxicity/sensitivities changed your life.  If I get enough responses here (and on Facebook) then I may do a post number two with all your stories.

Have a blessed, aspartame free, gluten free, sugar free night! (Shoot, I'm just eating air now, aren't I?  Glad I'm not allergic to breathing.)

1 comment:

  1. Going gluten free changed my life as well. I'm considering giving up or cutting back on dairy at the present time. :-)


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