For awhile, I’ve suspected I’ve had food intolerances. Specifically, certain highly refined soy products have come to cause severe GI distress. I’ve stayed away from tofu, soy dogs, and Bamboo Garden for quite some time – at least if I plan on being social the next 36 hours.
More recently though, I have suspected other intolerances. For instance, I have to clear my throat of what I call the “mucus plug” when I have dairy products. When I gave up wheat for a month, I noticed how bloated it made me when I ate it. It also does wacky things to my alertness.
With greater education on digestive issues in the last year, I’ve become increasingly aware of how poorly my own digestion is (and has been for many, many years). I finally buckled down and decided to get tested. I chose Enterolab as the research validity of stool testing has impressed me and it was not necessary to convince a doctor to let me get tested. One of the problems of allergy testing is accuracy. Even blood tests are only about 50% accurate. The theory of stool sampling is that you find inflammation right at the source and before the gut is so damaged that the inflammatory immunoglobins leak into the bloodstream.
I received my test results a few weeks ago. Unsurprisingly, my immune system is reacting to gluten (which means wheat, rye, spelt, kamut, barley, and most oats), soy, and dairy. I tested negative for eggs and yeast.
Initially, I have to say I feel blessed. My clients have taught me so much about intolerances and in helping them cope I have learned a great deal about what is available. Were it not for them, I would have been in an absolute panic.
When I started reading labels, I began getting a little cranky. When I realized my major seasoning – tamari – was no longer an option, I got a little more cranky. So I had my old-standby college meal – whole wheat macaroni and cheese with soy hot dogs.
Hey – I never said I was above emotional eating!
With my naturopath, we have devised a plan of action. For the next month, I’m following a strict elimination diet to see what improvements can be made. She recommended this first to more accurately determine how food is causing dysfunction without the variables of supplements and probiotics. Then we will delve into an extensive gut repair regimen to facilitate tissue repair and recolonize with friendly bacteria. I will also be experimenting with NAET, an allergy elimination technique which has been touted to remove allergies and cure asthma. I don’t know much about it yet, but am excited to learn what it has to offer and see how it works for me.
I will likely be wary of gluten, soy, and dairy for the rest of my life, but I am hoping to be able to come across the every once in awhile without negative consequences. I feel confident that with some time and attention this is entirely reasonable. The human body has incredible capacities to heal and rejuvenate when given the chance.
Stay tuned for more developments!