Tag Archives: food intolerances

Should the Color Cops Shut Up?

On colorings“Mom, they ran out of water, so Dad let us have grape soda pop!”

I didn’t blink an eye, hugged them all, and said WHAT a wonderful treat that was. . .

Within an hour, my husband was at the end of his parenting rope, looking at me, frustrated, as one of my daughters pummeled him and threw a verbal tirade. Before he said anything rash that he’d regret, I pulled the miniature Incredible Hulk off of him and simply said, “Red dye plus blue dye equals purple soda pop. . .”

[And wouldn’t that be a great post for another day! Knowing that your child is acting out because of the food they were fed—yet still requiring discipline—how do you balance that?]

. . .I’d like to say I walk this whole, real alternative food path out of sheer integrity, but in all honesty, I walk it because certain foods make my family uncomfortable or sick. I seek to understand why, and share what I learn with others along the way. Red 40 food dye gives my family problems. So let’s look at life after 40. . .

(I’ve written another Molly Green Magazine article! Click this link to be taken to the page, and then click on “open article” on the upper left of the “magazine” to get it big enough to read! It looks lovely with the awesome graphics. The article covers a little personal experience with food dye, historical aspects of food dyes, what research shows on food dyes, bad food dye reactions, and why some people react to food dyes and others don’t–which could involve gut bacteria for you microbiome lovers. I’ve continued with snippets below for you to get an idea of the content.)

What About Copper Pickles?

. . . Believe it or not, you’ve about always needed a science degree to meal-plan for your family. Food colorings used throughout ancient and modern history have been sketchy and often downright lethal. The food colorings we use today look mild in comparison.

First of all, why use color at all? Food coloring is 100 percent unnecessary, but the color of food is intrinsic to human attraction. Ever bite into some anticipated tangy lemon pudding, only to realize it was banana? Ever eat a green blueberry? Remember clear cola? Color speaks, and we know the ancient Egyptians and Romans relied on saffron, carrots, henna, and alum (a form of aluminum) to color their feasts.

In the Middle Ages, things darkened a bit—or, maybe I should say, lightened. . .

(Read on for more about mercury candy and lethal copper pickles . . .)

Kid with candy

Washout after a Weekend at Granny’s House

. . . Do your kids get a little grace period and washout time after a weekend with the grandparents? Mine do. Whether it’s the lack of sleep, extra sugar, or artificial food dyes, I don’t know. . .

(Read on for more about research on colorings . . .)

Blue Deaths

. . . Blue 1 caused big concerns in hospitals about twelve years ago when tube-fed patients received Blue 1-tinted liquid food formulations. Serious outcomes of death, dramatic pH changes, refractory low blood pressure, and tinted organs were noted in critically ill patients. . .

(Read on if you’d like to read more about the risks from the different colors.)

Nutrition Counts When It Comes to Colors

. . .Bacteria in our digestive tracts are exceptionally important to us. . .

(Read on to learn how gut bacteria and genes could play a role in how a person’s body deals with food dyes)

The Color Cops

. . .The good news is that the artificial color cops have put so much pressure on manufacturers that many corporations either have or will be eliminating food dyes from their food formulations. . .

So let’s keep pushing forward for our kids and families and finish what King Edward’s generation started. . .


I couldn’t sell a red Ferrari for a dollar, so you’ll notice I have no ads on my site. I’ll never invite you to a Norwex, Pampered Chef, or essential oil party (I’ll come to yours if I can, though!), but I do want to tell you that I write “for free” for Molly Green Magazine and encourage you to check out their other articles. (The photos for this blog post came from their design for my article in their magazine.) I appreciate having another platform there to share my message that we need to get back to eating and feeding our kids real food. The research is BEYOND clear. In order to get back to health, processed foods HAVE to GO.

If you haven’t cut artificial colors out of your diet, START today! It’s a great step! It’ll get rid of lots of junk right up front!


The Difference A Mind Makes

Okay.  Here we go.  Hold onto your logical, little scientific brain like you’re about to lose it.  Because you just might.  I promise you; I have not.  Although I have decided even healthy minds need some remodeling to keep up with the different times of life.  Life changes, so must my mind.

Anyhow, I was talking about Dr.  John Sarno’s Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS) (here and here).  I decided to try his techniques mostly, but not exclusively, to manage headaches related to food sensitivities I have to common, healthy foods I’d like to add back into my diet.  I’m pleased with my success.

Dr. Sarno feels many, many symptoms and described medical syndromes are related to our subconscious beliefs.  His books are just averagely long, and the treatment description takes up, oh I don’t know, maybe a mere, simple five pages of the book.

Sarno, Terri-style

I’m going to show how I interpreted and used his recommendations.  This is MY interpretation of his treatment plan.  You’d better read the book to get your own take.

1.   Mandatory:  I must accept that TMS is causing my symptoms as a diversion from unconscious beliefs/thoughts.  I don’t really know about this requirement.  TMS?  I get a headache from eggs as a diversion from deep repression?  But if I don’t eat eggs, I’m okay?  I just don’t know about this… HOWEVER,  I can totally accept that my brain is capable of shutting down the headaches that cause me problems AND that repressed emotions will create a chemical interference that blocks optimal, ideal physiology.  So I tell myself that “TMS” is just a name for my brain not doing what it’s capable of doing for me.  Or overdoing what it is capable of.  In this way, I agree I have TMS.  Check.  I’ll go with it.

2.  Talk to my brain and tell it I don’t need the physically distracting diversion(s) anymore.  (Herein lies the chuckle for you.)  Tell it I’m onto its strategy.  For example, when I’ve been getting a headache, I’ve literally been talking aloud to my brain like this, often in the shower while distracted by shaving or while doing dishes.  (Apparently low-grade distraction times are good times to talk to your deep brain.)

“Oh, brain.  Why are you doing this?  This headache and fog are simply diversions for something deep in there that’s bothering you.  I don’t need this diversion.  It’s worse than dealing with whatever is deep in that limbic system and amygdala emotionally!  I’m old enough, mature enough, and I’ve got a great support network to help me through anything troubling.  STOP THIS.”

And if it doesn’t stop, seriously, I get a little louder and firmer in my talking aloud.

“This is RIDICULOUS.  I’m strong.  I’m healthy.  My body is sound.  STOP this nonsense and show me the problem.  Even if you won’t stop,  you MUST STOP this pain.  There’s nothing wrong with me.  It’s not the eggs.  It’s not the nuts.  It’s YOU.  And I’M TIRED OF IT.  You can heal up the problem and you’d better get on it ASAP.  Yeah.  Parts of life sucked.  I’m mad.  I’m angry about that.  Sure I am.  There’s deep, dark secrets in there.  Sure there are.  Being a mom is stressful.  Absolutely.  But none of this needs to cause these symptoms.  We’ll work on it together.”

Right.  That’s what I do.  (You still with me?)  And you know what?  Usually over the last two months, that’s been enough to talk down a headache.  Weird.  Next step.

3.  Journal all “stressors” from throughout all of your life, past and present.  Both internal and external. (Internal stressors refer to personality traits you have that seem to cause conflict in your life.)  I know.  You want to see mine.  We all want to know others have deeper trash piles than we do.  Well, I’ll share some.  Not all.

  • Homeschooling right now is not going the way I want it to go.
  • The house is messier than I like it.
  • It feels like I always have work to do which I can’t escape because I live in it.
  • I’m a perfectionist in just about all areas of my life.  And sorry, when perfection is the expectation, failure is your reality.
  • I like everybody to be happy and comfortable yet I’m very truthful.
  • Writing publicly exposes me more than I feel comfortable with and I’m afraid.
  • My toddler demands nearly 100% attention, making cleaning, doing school, sleeping, talking/being with my husband, cooking, running errands, and even thinking exceptionally difficult.
  • I like time adequate alone to collect my thoughts and recharge.  In a family of six, this is a near impossibility.
  • I am ALWAYS interrupted.  I hate being interrupted.
  • My parents and in-laws are aging and requiring significant health interventions.
  • I hate to ask for help yet am finding I need help more and more.
  • Friends have hurt me.  Family members have hurt me.  Life has given me some bad eggs to deal with along the way.  I’ve hurt friends.  I’ve hurt family.  I’ve given out some bad eggs for people to deal with along the way.

I guess that’s enough stuff to keep the adrenaline and serotonin and acetylcholine in constant flux daily, not allowing the brain to function to control other symptoms.  (I dare you to make your list.)

4.  After you write your present, past, internal, and external stressors, you continue to elaborate and expand on them and walk through them in your journal daily.  He suggests somewhere in there about doing this for around a month.  Just journal all you can about them.  I’m to the point when I flare, I just write any stressors going on around the time.  If one stressor seems to get lots of lines in the tablet, then I know that’s where my money is.

5.  Start to recognize the repeated thoughts, phrases, and physical actions that cover for uncomfortable emotions that you don’t handle well.

  • Chuckling, laughing, or smiling kind of inappropriately.  Like when you laugh about something your husband does that drives you crazy.  Really you’re mad, but you “laugh it off.”
  • “Well, that’s just the way it is.”
  • “I don’t like it, but it’s okay.”
  • “I might be a little mad at ________ for doing that.”
  • “Someday I’ll get to do it.”
  • “Overall, things are fine.”
  • “I just can’t do this.”
  • “I think I’m going crazy.”
  • “If only…”
  • “This person is irritating me.”
  •  Running to the bathroom to get away from your kids.

Do you say or do any of these?  These are clues to what we are repressing or clues to limiting beliefs we have.  (After Sarno, I have kept reading more on how to recognize these thoughts, intercept them, and retrain them.  Sarno is great, but I want “TMS” gone.  Once I realized how badly I was pushing down lots of thoughts, I decided I needed more knowledge in this area.  I needed/need my mind working FOR me.)

6.  Read Sarno’s books daily.  Pay attention to passages that describe you.  Remind yourself his techniques helped many, many people, and you’re not crazy.  My brain likes to tell me I’m crazy.  I know I have a fear of being crazy.  So the fact that thousands and thousands of patients have really, truly, honestly also gotten relief helps me feel validation.  I’ve moved beyond Sarno’s writings to discover more on what he introduced psychology-wise.  Invaluable.

7.  Start giving up the limitations that helped you control your physical ailments.  For me, that means bringing back in foods.  So far, I have been able to do this.  Yes, several times I’ve gotten headaches.  But they always have backed down either immediately or within an hour or two of doing all this stuff above, instead of lasting a few days like before.

8.  When the symptoms flare, try to do all these things.  Even though it feels hard.  Even though you don’t have time.  And if your symptoms move around, call it TMS (after you make sure to get medically cleared!!!!!!) and get down and dirty again to see if something is hanging in that deep mind that’s doing you no good.

Where does God fit into this?

When you move into discussing the subconscious, it makes people uncomfortable.  Especially Christians.  I fit under the label of Christian.  For me to have given up white flour, gained a truly healthier grip on food, and write questionable stuff on the internet,  I know God is in charge here.  For me to explore my anger, fear, sadness, and shame and how they relate to my physical body and brain which serve Him, well God is in that too.  I know He delights in my drawing nearer to Him as I peel off the layers that separate us.  So do I.  I move forward confidently in this realm; my beliefs are only illuminated by what I am learning.  But on Sarno step number 2, when I’m supposed to talk to my brain, sometimes I feel like throwing in a full gospel “I rebuke you in the name of Jesus Christ.”—- and a bonk on my head with my palm to make it more Christian-like.  Right.


Well, that’s my introduction to mind-body medicine.  I’ve added a few more books to my mind-body reading list thanks to the live studio audience.  Thank you!  This series was a little scary for me.  But, so is writing on constipation (which Sarno didn’t help, although he mentions that a patient of his did cure his constipation–and I am trying some other mind-body stuff for my slow GI but still on magnesium).  It’s one thing to tell your husband and best friends and family; it’s another to share it with the world.  My hope is it maybe benefitted someone.  If not, writing keeps me motivated, and that’s the important thing to me.  Health matters.  Go get it.  And don’t be afraid to ask your mind for some help.

Sorry for the length.  Hope you were on a laptop.  If not, that’s impressive that you’re still reading!  Questions and comments always welcomed.


What’s Eating Up My Blogging Time?


Photo kindly from Molly Green Magazine, as part of a membership.

I wanted to tell here, at The Homeschooling Doctor, my story.  What is my story?  Well, it’s about a woman leaving behind an ordinary medical doctor career to stay home and homeschool her children.  It’s a story about her leaving behind expected medical doctor ideas to unearth new ideas (new to her anyhow) for health and healing.  And it’s a story of a struggle to align expectations with a gracious acceptance of reality.

I haven’t written for at least a couple of weeks for two reasons.  One, I’ve been following a new, interesting experiment to help put an end to my search for “complete health.”  You see, I’m pretty darn healthy.  But over the years, I’ve had intermittent headaches, foggy brain, vertigo, strange joint pains and swelling, abdominal distention/bloating, and chronic constipation.  I’m diligent, and I’ve visited the appropriate doctors.  The work-ups are really, overall, quite unremarkable.  So, I’ve chalked it up to stress or food or wear-and-tear and I’ve simply moved on, trying not to ruminate for too long on any of it–although I keep reading and reading because I love to learn and think about how this stuff may help myself or others.

By self-experimenting, I’ve found that if I eat a certain way, which coincidentally aligns fairly well with a vegetable-rich autoimmune Paleo diet, I can control about all my symptoms.  But to eat this way for life as a mother of four young kids who loves to travel, well, it’s pretty discouraging.  So, although I haven’t had time to write on it, over the last couple of years, I’ve been trying to budge off of “my diet.”  I mean, eliminating grains, nuts/seeds, dairy, eggs, legumes, chicken, and coconut is, in my own words, about stupid.  I’m not saying I’m stupid.  Or you’re stupid.  I guess I’m just saying that to eat that way long-term is almost, not quite, impossible.  Which means for people who have to follow this way of eating, makes feeling good day-in and day-out about impossible.  I’ve tried many of the leaky gut protocols.  I’ve considered Lymes and heavy metals.  I’ve fasted.  I’ve done broths.  Meditation and yoga.  I’ve sent love and acceptance to my gut and body.  Probably my first mistake was to pray about it–I think God thought it would be good for this run-of-the-mill, proud medical doctor to get shaken up a little.  Anyhow, I think the autoimmune diet protocols are awesome at controlling symptoms quickly, but somehow I can’t keep wondering if some of us who follow these protocols can’t move on.

(Please remember, this is all my story.  My opinions.  My thoughts.  I haven’t even organized my thoughts well in my own head.  So anything you read here, you need to read about more and ask your doctor about anything that you may want to try.)

Well, my blog posting and reading has been replaced since my last post here with reading a medical doctor’s work by the last name of Sarno on a syndrome he calls tension myositis syndrome and trying his techniques.  He suggests that lots of symptoms and syndromes in medicine are able to be overcome by some pretty simple processes involving reading his books, daily journaling, and daily introspective thinking.  He writes a lot about back pain and other musculoskeletal disorders (carpal tunnel, tendonitises, herniated disks, etc.), but I’ve decided to apply his techniques to my food sensitivities, which commonly cause me headaches, fogginess in my head, and bloating.  I cannot yet give a definitive answer to how it’s going, but I am broadening my diet.  I do not suggest that you try Sarno until you’ve hit the wall and tried “everything” or unless you’re a very open-minded person.  (And of course after you checked with your doctor about whether or not it’s safe to eat these foods or do these activities you avoid!  I’m not talking anaphylactic allergies here!!!!)  I’m open-minded, but I would not have even considered this man’s work at all when I started this journey in 2012.  His explanations seem bizarre to us doctors trained to look at X-rays, MRIs, and use known science to explain pain.  I’m early on in trying his techniques, but I think that the brain can override most processes in the body:  vascular, gastrointestinal, immunological, pain sensation, and so on.  Perhaps his methods are one way to achieve this end.  Bottom-line–I just wanted to let you know that the extra reading and journaling that are required daily have eaten up my blogging time lately.

The second thing that has cut into researching and writing for my blog is the time-constraints placed on a mom by, hmm, how should I say this–being a mom.  Ha!  I had completely forgotten how time and mom-consuming toddlers are!  I keep playing with our schedule and routine to find a way to write more, but success keeps eluding me.  I enjoy reading, summarizing this health stuff, and encouraging others so much, though, that I plan to persist on finding a way to keep in the game.  This week, we’re going to try having my daughters each pick meals to cook to see if I can’t decrease my kitchen responsibilities.  Maybe this will open up some more writing time.

That’s what’s been happenin’ here lately.  I didn’t link to Sarno’s work.  I figure if you’re at the point to try him, you’ll open a new tab and type his name in.  And I want to make it clear I don’t agree with all I read in his book, but so far with his methods, I’ve been able to abort most headaches, fogginess, and inappropriate tiredness as I move off of my autoimmune-style diet.  The methods stir up a lot of emotions and past family trash–so fair warning.

Happy Monday.  The day where we leave our rest and go find some good work to do.

And thank you, Molly Green Magazine Membership, for the lovely photo and quote to use at the beginning of this post.


Routinely Not Feeling Well?

Just Feeling Bad


I have been conducting a self-experiment here on myself for the last year.  What brought me to this self-experimentation was my lifelong, stubborn GI tract. But aside from my chronic constipation, for the last 3-5 years I remember feeling very tired, achy, and tight in my shoulders and jaw. Typical “mommy” stuff. Tension headaches. Stuffy nose all the time. Exhausted by 7:30 in the evening. Irritable. Moody. Swooshy in the head. Nothing serious, you know. Just feeling bad. When my headaches were at their worst, I told my husband, “I see why people do acupuncture. If these headaches don’t get better, I’ll be trying acupressure, acupuncture, yoga–whatever it takes! I refuse to have to live this way!”

Feeling bad came on so insidiously over the years, I didn’t even notice how much was going on. And for Pete’s sake, when it was at its worst, I wasn’t even working! I wasn’t even stressed!  When I went into early retirement from doctor to homeschool mom, I made time to read about my main issue, and food kept coming up over and over again.

Food is Like a Drug

I have learned that food can be like any drug I prescribe. Along with food’s nutrients and wpid-IMAG0552.jpgbeneficial effects can come side effects. As a pharmacist and doctor, I learned that medicines really do cause many, many different bizarre effects in different people. I learned to listen and not judge patients’ reports based on what I was taught “should” and “should not” happen with a medicine.  But it’s still so hard for me to accept that food, in myself, can cause tension headaches, brain fog, and a dysthymic type of mood.  I can just see my mom and my medical school preceptors shaking their heads.  For shame.  For shame.

Why food, an ingested substance, should be considered free of effects is beyond me.  In pharmacy school, medical school, and residency, the diverse, complicated, often detrimental effects of food was [ALMOST] NEVER touched on.  It took my own experience and my continued own experiments on myself to even consider this possibility. I am following the diet called “GAPS” (similar to the SCD), although I’ve had to make modifications along the way. The whole goal of GAPS and SCD is to make the gastrointestinal (GI) lining function properly again so that you can eventually branch out a bit and eat some grain, run-of-the-mill dairy, and foods that you may have been sensitive to before (like eggs, nuts, or fruits). Unlike Paleo, GAPS and SCD are not meant to exclude certain foods “for good.”

The Wacky

So I’m now in the despised ranks of, “I can’t eat that.” Even though my meal preparation is as simple as meat and a veggie, I’m still that challenging dinner guest. Hmmmm. I wonder if that’s probably why we haven’t had a dinner invitation since I started this “voodoo” diet a year ago! I still think I’m wacky for it!  I don’t want to be a wacky.  You can’t reach people and convince people if you’re a wacky.  Or if you’ve got something to sell. But I am here writing this blog to share my belief that food plays a huge role in how we feel and function. I wouldn’t have believed it a year ago. I would have smiled at you very nicely and lumped you in the neurotic category. I’m sorry. Life’s about learning.


I am going to list all the food related conditions I have learned about as I have sorted through nutrition to try to take care of my feeling “BAD” (tiredness, headaches, brain fog, dry mouth/dry eyes, bloating, severe constipation, constant stuffy nose, and a few other symptoms).  Before I go further, I want you to know that I really want all people to seek medical attention for their symptoms to make sure there’s no serious illness.  Bad things happen in the body, and they could be happening in yours.  If you seek medical attention, and your symptoms change or a new symptom creeps up, you need to go back.  Sometimes conditions are developing “in there”, but the one sign or symptom we need for diagnosis hasn’t manifested yet.  Once I’d seen my doctors, got my tests, and knew my medical comrades were going to be of no help, I journeyed on, going back occasionally for a new, concerning symptom.  Here with this blog, I’m not trying to diagnose anybody or offer advice, but I do feel obligated to share my story.  The neglected story of food from the point of an MD.

Identifying Food Intolerances is No Easy Task

Determining if diet is the source of your “BADNESS” is no easy task.  My food reactions are not IgE mediated, and my allergy tests showed nothing.  My allergist still supported the fact I was intolerant to food in non-IgE mediated ways, but he didn’t help me navigate those waters.  A great, knowledgable, forward thinking nutritionist would have been a great right hand man to have.  Finding sensitivities takes a lot of documenting, progressing, backtracking, eliminating, pushing forward, failing, backsliding, and regrouping to finally see trends and patterns.  It also takes a lot of reading and sorting fact from fiction.  Did I mention backsliding and failing, too?  I would venture to say 95% or more people will fail and give up, saying, “Oh.  I tried changing my diet, and it didn’t work.”

Effective change takes seeing food in A WHOLE NEW LIGHT.  It takes eating food FOR HEALTH, NOT FOR PLEASURE.  It takes dumping THE FOOD PYRAMID IN THE GARBAGE.  It takes feeling BAD one too many times and knowing it came from food, and finally deciding–I DON’T WANT TO GO THERE.  The following list I’m about to present is long and overwhelming, but with time and  close observation, it IS possible to figure out how much of a role, if any at all, each entity is playing in your body.

I am not going to tell many facts about each process, but if you’re not feeling well despite being Paleo, GAPS, SCD, Primal, Whole 30, or gluten-free/dairy-free, looking up and reading about each of these issues may provide some insight.  I’ll share my story if I have any personal experience with the process.

Diet doesn’t do everything.  I mean, I haven’t grown wings and my knees still ache when I play volleyball…

It’s Not All About Food and Everybody Will Have Their Own “Best” Diet Which May Even Change Over Time

Any good nutritional intervention program not only takes out certain foods, but it also asks for certain nutrients to be put in (either by food source or supplementation).  Put in certain things.  Take out certain things.  Minimize stress.  Maximize sleep.  Ask yourself how you’re feeling.  Regroup.  The coconut oil that went well for three months may be giving you that headache now.  The eggs that you tanked up on in the beginning may be a culprit.  Maybe you tanked up on chicken, and your body is saying, “Enough of that.”

Once I’ve sorted through the food side of it, which in and of itself looks like it’s going to take me about 1 and 1/2 to 2 years to sort through, I’ll see where I stand and if I need to delve further into the “voodoo.”  Hopefully food will take care of it for me.  I can’t take any more crazy ideas.  (That’s an invitation for God right there!)  Seriously, probiotics and food are deep enough for this MD!  I don’t really want to have to look at heavy metals and all that jazz!

Food Issues to Learn About if “All is Well”, But You’re Not Feeling Well

These are not to be confused with true food allergy.  They are intolerances…sensitivities.  As you scan the list, please remember my goal for each entity was not to provide complete information, but to provide a list of conditions to check out and explore.

Gluten sensitivity:  When I dropped gluten and dairy, I immediately shed brain fog, headaches, dry eyes and mouth, fatigue, and my chronic, stuffy, Flonase-dependent nose.  Alessio Fasano, MD is the director of the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research, and here is an interview transcript with him about gluten sensitivity:  Interview with Dr. Alessio Fasano.

Dairy sensitivity:  When I dropped dairy, I also dropped gluten, and I got a resolution of the symptoms mentioned above.  The GAPS/SCD diet that I’m on allows fermented dairy and high fat dairy.  I tried to figure out if it was the lactose, the casein, the whey, the milkfat, or processed milk we buy in stores.  However, whenever I introduce dairy, any dairy, I still have problems, even with ghee, goat’s milk, and whey.

  • Lactose intolerance:  Generally associated with GI symptoms, diarrhea, cramps, and bloating.
  • Casein intolerance:  A protein in milk products, but it is used in many, many processed foods.  I found it in pre-minced garlic once.  Had to trash the whole darn tube.  It can cause GI symptoms but I’ve read reports of aches, pains, headaches, constipation, brain fog, irritability, and so on.  You may read of people not tolerating the A 1 beta-casein prominent in our typical cow’s milk supply–but tolerating A 2 beta-casein predominant milk (more prominent in goat, sheep, and ancient breeds of cattle). 
  • Whey protein intolerance:  I highly suspect whey causes a reaction in me.  Shortly before starting this nutrition road, I kindly (as in, sucker) bought some protein shakes from a friend who was selling them.  I remember getting diarrhea, and I was so excited, thinking, “Wow!  Maybe my constipation problems are solved!”  Two or three protein shakes a day in a cold glass of milk and a couple of weeks later, my constipation was at its absolute worst.  Alarming.  The shakes were designed for weight maintenance and weight loss, but I was gaining weight.  My friend and her advisor couldn’t understand how I could be gaining weight.  Well, not pooping for two weeks has to be good for 5 pounds, I guess.  Anyhow, it could have been the soy component, too, but since the GAPS dairy introduction protocol caused the same effect…

Soy intolerance:  About 10% of people with dairy intolerance will also have soy intolerance.  That protein shake I mentioned was composed of whey and soy proteins, so I don’t really know which protein was causing my symptoms.  Plus, I was mixing the shake in milk.

Phytic acid (phytate) sensitivity:  High in nuts, grains, and legumes (soy included).  From Chris Kresser, Another reason you shouldn’t go nuts on nutsI don’t really see much in the way of sensitivity reports, just malabsorption issues.  So, I don’t know.  Maybe

Lectin sensitivity:  High in nuts, grains, and legumes, but also present in eggs, dairy, and wpid-IMAG0553.jpgnightshades.  I don’t do well with any of these products, but I’m not sure if it’s lectins or what.  The Lectin Story by Krispin Sullivan and Mark’s Daily Apple, The Lowdown on Lectins

Salicylate Sensitivity:  This is the first food sensitivity issue I stumbled across when I started reading a year ago.  Salicylates are found in plant products (highest in certain fruits, nightshades, almonds, and olive oil are examples of higher salicylate foods) and function to protect the plant (think aspirin, which is a salicylate we’ve manipulated to benefit us–but which also has significant side effects).  The Failsafe Diet works to eliminate salicylates.  I didn’t find salicylates to be too problematic for me or my children.  However, it looks as if some people claim to get great effect from following the low salicylate diet.  From Paleo Mom,  What is Salicylate Sensitivity/Intolerance?

Histamine/amine sensitivity:  Common in meats and fish that aren’t fresh, as well as red wine, aged cheeses, sauerkraut, spinach, and citrus.  An abstract for the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Histamine and histamine intolerance.

Oxalates and oxalate spilling:  Oxalates are in some fruits, veggies, and nuts in varying levels.  Spinach and almonds are high.  Here is an article written by an English physician about her own experience with oxalates:  The GP who gave up fruit and veg to cure her aches and pains.

wpid-IMAG0554.jpgFODMAP (Fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols) intolerance:  Prevalent in irritable bowel patients (IBS).  Although FODMAP intolerance usually causes diarrhea, it can cause constipation.  Basically, certain sugars in the carbohydrates a person eats aren’t absorbed well, and the bacteria metabolize the sugars, causing symptoms.  Examples of sugars include fructose, lactose, fructans, galactans, and polyols.  These sugars are in many fruits, vegetables, and dairy products.  A low FODMAP diet may benefit 70% of IBS patients.  I personally see a huge difference in my bloating when I avoid most FODMAP foods.  As you play with these foods enough, you learn which ones you tolerate and how much.  FODMAPS diet on WebMD gives an overview and containing more medical information and terminology, A FODMAP Diet Update:  Craze or Credible?

SIBO (small intestinal bowel overgrowth):  In a nutshell, this is where bacteria from the colon sneak up into the small intestine in overabundant numbers.  Since they’re up further than they should be, they get to work on food while in the wrong place, causing many problems such as bloating, cramping, flatulence, and IBS type symptoms (including constipation).  Personally, I think FODMAP and SIBO go hand in hand.  Treating SIBO through diet and/or drugs may help IBS.  I took rifaximin, neomycin, and erythromycin about a year ago when I started GAPS.  The bloating did lesson for about a month, but it has slowly come back.  I will not repeat the antibiotics, but I will keep driving my carbohydrate intake down.  SIBO-Small intestinal bowel overgrowth site by Dr. Allison Siebecker.

Food sensitivity aside from reasons listed above:  Nearly any food can cause a sensitivity in a person.  A common sensitivity is coconut  I used to love smoothies with coconut oil, but I started getting these headaches after doing so well.  I started withdrawing foods, and eventually discovered it was the coconut.  I love coconut, but it messes with my head.  It also now causes diarrhea.  Yeah!  My husband always gets an upset stomach after eating salmon but no other fish or meat!  These are just two examples.  There are countless others out there.  Avocado is also a biggie for some people.

Sensitivity to food preservatives:  Sodium benzoate and BHT are just a couple off the top of my head.  One of my daughters does great with fresh apple cider, but add those preservatives in there and here comes a tummy ache.

Sensitivity to food colors:  Why do they do this?  Why do marshmallows have blue dye?  Why do maraschino cherries have to have red dye?  Why dye?

Glutamate sensitivity:  Obviously MSG is a glutamate that we know causes symptoms in some people, but I learned about glutamates with regard to long-boiled bone broths.  I was feeling bad for a period, and the only thing I could link it back to was the chicken broth itself, or glutamates from long boiling.  Still haven’t sorted this one out, but I’m doing well the way I’m eating now so I’ll take my time sorting it out.

Nightshade sensitivity:  The nightshade family includes tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and peppers.  How Deadly are Nightshades? by Georgia Ede, MD.

Nitrite/nitrate sensitivity:  Usually in cured meats, but also in something as simple as celery and beets.  From a LiveStrong post:  Nitrite and Nitrate Allergies.

Sulfite sensitivity:  Found in preservatives, beer, wine, and dried fruits.  Asthma symptoms seem to be a biggie here and GI symptoms.  Sulfites:  Separating Fact from Fiction from University of Florida IFAS extension.

Tannin sensitivity:  Tannins are common in tea, coffee, and red wine.  A person with tannin sensitivity might have migraines, joint pain, poor mood, and GI issues.

What did I leave out?