Allergy Avoid Tradeoff

Last week I blogged that my seasonal allergies and my food allergy to chocolate disappeared after several years on the BTD. I wasn’t expecting that result, so I wasn’t watching for a change. I just realized one day that I had gotten past August and September without a sore throat. I could be around freshly cut Christmas trees without my nose running and my eyes watering.

At first I didn’t give credit to the BTD. Perhaps the year had been too hot/too cold, too rainy/too dry for my allergens to propagate. But as more years went by, I realized that I had really changed. I took antihistamines so seldom that I had to throw away bottles that were past their expiration date.

The reason that I took the chance I described in my previous bog and tried unsweetened chocolate, was because my seasonal allergies had vanished. To my delight that allergy was also gone.

Yet while my allergies got better on the BTD, my sensitivity to avoids has gotten worse. Especially sensitivity to dairy and wheat.

Once my stomach pain and GERD vanished – which took about two weeks of going cold turkey on the BTD – I found that I could eat an occasional avoid without any ill effects. If I ate wheat, I would put on some water weight, but it very predictably went away in three days. If I ate cheese three times in a week, my stomach pain would return, but I could eat cheese once in a while with no noticeable change.

This year I have noticed that if I completely avoid wheat, I don’t miss it. But if I eat something with wheat in it, as I did once last week, I crave more of it. I’m talking about a relentless, mentally distracting hunger. Usually to get past the craving, I wind up eating too much of a beneficial or neutral food – like walnuts or almonds or sweet potatoes. Sometimes L-glutamine helps, but not always.

Last week our Bible Study had a pot luck supper. I made chicken fajita pasta with Tinkyada noodles. (I posted the recipe in 2013). I always take something to pot luck dinners that I know I can eat. Usually there is a variety of salads and vegetables, so I can make a balanced meal for myself. On this particular occasion – everyone decided to make pasta, and of course everyone used regular wheat pasta. There were some deviled eggs, but literally that was the only other food that was free of avoids.

I took a big portion of my own dish and two deviled eggs. I took a small amount of two casseroles made with meat, cheese and large noodles, thinking I would eat the filling and not eat the noodles. All of the desserts were cookies except for one pudding made with dairy. I took a little of the pudding.

Before the evening was over, I could feel my stomach making unhappy noises, and I could feel my esophagus starting to burn. That small amount of dairy would not have fazed me five or even three years ago.

When I used to eat chocolate, I would go home and take antihistamine. In a similar way, when we got home from the pot luck supper, I took bladderwrack and ginger. I was almost fine by bedtime, and back to normal by morning.

Clearly I have changed. I am less tolerant of avoids. There are times when avoids are unavoidable. I never want to reach a point where I am a persnickety guest whose fault finding becomes obnoxious. But the few times I eat avoids, are about to become fewer.

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