Saturday, November 17, 2012

Food Additives, Allergies and Sensitivities-How they contribute to Migraine Disease.


I was fortunate enough early in my Migraine Diagnosis to happen across a Chiropractor in the Bridgman area that had recognized some of my ailments and promptly diagnosed them as food Sensitivities to Artificial and so-called "natural" Additives that were contributing to my Migraines. She promptly put me on a food elimination diet after she did a month long saliva test where I had to faithfully collect specimens at home at a precise time w/exact timing at specific intervals and when I was done those samples were shipped FedEx to a lab and an extensive lab work up was done to determine I had food intolerance to Soy, Dairy and Egg in addition to MSG and Nitrates. Some people can walk around for years feeling so horrible and sick and mainstream doctors can come up at a loss at how to diagnose the ailment if they do not test you for food intolerance. There is a difference between an intolerance and an allergy so you need to make that distinction. You can have an intolerance but not an allergy and that food can still make you sicker than hell, pardon my French. So if you get a food "allergy test" like I had done and I tested OK for dairy, eggs, soy and the likes but I had a food intolerance test and it came back I had an intolerance there is a discrepancy. And to prove the point on went on a food elimination diet. I totally eliminated Soy, dairy, eggs and I was already avoiding MSG and Nitrates-or so I thought but more on that later. I felt a difference after 3-4 weeks. It takes that long to purge your system of these foods. Then one by one you add these items back into your diet. So for 1 week I'd add dairy and only dairy. I felt sick and had to eliminate it again. Then for 1 week I'd add egg-same thing and eliminated it again, and same story for Soy. The only thing I had no problem with is Gluten. I tested fine on sensitivity and allergen. Knock on wood.

Later on a neurologist tested me for allergies to which I was negative but he too recognized that a person can have an intolerance without having an allergy and he too had put me on a food elimination diet. I figured what the heck a refresher course wasn't going to hurt me as I already had done it a few years ago and it wasn't going to hurt me as I was already basically following it. But this time I was given a list of extra foods containing MSG and Soy that I was not aware of. This time is when I started doing some really heavy research online finding hidden sources of MSG and Soy as well as Nitrates and Nitrites and found Tyramine added to my list as well. Only in 2011 was my list of Tyramine extended to follow the MAOI Headache diet and became more extensive yet. I joked with my best friend that bread, water and grass so far was my safe foods, as long as the bread was home made because store bought bread  had Soy or Lecithin which is a product of Soy.

Now to complicate matters there are many hidden sources of MSG as well as Soy. I though back then if MSG and Soy itself was not printed on the label I was ok. WRONG. The manufacturers have gotten so slick and hidding sources of these products that there are many different names of MSG as well as Soy and in fact MSG is a derivitive of Soy. There is a long drawn out chemical process using Soy that converted it to MSG that the Japenese people discovered during WW2 that made food more pleasing to the taste and Dr. Blaylock wrote a book about it calling it an Excitotoxin. It sends the brain chemicals into overdrive and makes us crave foods that has this processed and engineered chemical in it and after a while of having our brain cells in this over excited hyperdrive so to speak it experiences damage over time and then we start having migrianes, obesity, diabetes and the list goes on. But I do recommend his book as I bought a copy off Amazon in October 2007:

Dr. Blaylock is a retired board certified neurosurgeon and was a clinical assistant professor of neurosurgery at the Medical University of Mississippi and has years of research to back up his findings in this book. And if reading this doesn't scare you off MSG and all hidden forms I don't know what will. But they put MSG and Soy in everything so that you get addicted to it and consume it in high quantities and it's amazing at how hard and to what extremes they go to and cover it up. But please check out all the hidden sources of MSG. And when you go out to eat don't ask flat out if the item contains MSG because they are prepared for that question. Instead ask if this item contains Glutamic Acid as they are less prepared for that question. And Glutamic Acid is another name for MSG. Also ask if this item has Yeast protein-another form of MSG, they won't expect that question either. Campbell's Soup has a line out that says "no MSG added" but then you see where they have "Yeast Protein" as an ingredient! Well, I've emailed Campbell's Soup several times and have yet to get a response-truth in labeling does not exist. It's a sham. They can say MSG not added because "technically" it's not on the label but a hidden form of MSG is in the can. You have to become a detective if your MSG sensitive and Migrainers have to avoid MSG like the bubonic plague-I know I do. And remember too that Soy is a by product of MSG-MSG comes from Soy. A double whammy. If Soy doesn't give me a full blown migraine it sure as heck contributes to my IBS. If your intolerant to Soy and MSG print the list and check everything you purchase.

And if your diagnosed or sensitive to Celiac Disease there are a lot of items labeled Gluten Free but are they really?? Look at the hidden sources of Gluten, Its in cheeses, spices, mixes, milks, butter-the list is extensive you need to check out the PDF file and check it out for yourself. It can say Gluten free but check the ingredients carefully to make sure. There are fillers and additives that are usually not Gluten free. Some people who are Gluten sensitive get skin rashes, intestinal problems and even migraines. Thankfully I can tolerate Gluten but you need to make sure you can. If your Gluten intolerant or diagnosed Celiac print the list and check everything you purchase to be safe.

Some of these Food Sensitivities can contribute to many conditions: allergies, dementia, Alzheimer's, fibroymyalgia (I wish this web program I have used spell checker so I apologize for my spelling errors) memory loss-short term,asthma-but the list goes on.

And we all know that Sodium Nitrate is a Migraine trigger as well as Tryamine, which is found in pickled, fermented and aged foods so we must be leery and avoid those as well-and that includes wine that has aged with the natural occurring sulfur as well and there are the natural fruits, nuts and veggies that have the high content Tyramine. And to avoid high Tyramine we cannot eat any leftovers that are more than 6-8 hrs old unless we freeze them right away.

All the pitfalls a Migrainer must avoid as well as all the chemicals and altered food. What I've come to live by is eat fresh and stay away from injected, canned, frozen and pre-boxed or pre anything. I make it all myself and hand made. No more store bought turkey for me as they inject it with chicken broth, which has MSG. No frozen dinners or side dishes, they have soy and MSG or Nitrates. You have to watch out for canned beans too-some have MSG in them as other canned veggies might. No canned soups or broths, I have to make my own from scratch. Have to be careful on the "fresh" chicken breast-some say they are "flavor" enhanced-read the fine print and it will say injected w/chicken broth and same goes for whole chickens as well. It's a mine field out there I tell you. Migrainers beware it seems like they're plotting against you. Or me rather. And sometimes no matter how hard you try or how careful you are, wham mo!

And organic they've proven isn't really organic. They had that episode just recently they process those cans and fresh fruits in the same facility and slap a different label on it and charge you more and get away w/it because it's the "in" thing now. Unless you go to your local farmers market and see it personally and talk to the farmer direct you have absolutely no idea what your buying. And the FDA lets them get away with it. There is no truth in labeling and no one to enforce it. It's all a scam and the consumer is left to their own devices and to do their own detective work.

So print your lists and do your own elimination diet if you haven't done so already but PLEASE do so w/the advice of your doctor. This is by no means taking the place of any medical advice or constitutes any medical advice. This is based solely on my own tried and true experience. Just passing this along to make you aware of food intolerance's and that there is a difference between that and allergies. Go see your doctor, be tested for both, then print your list and on your DOCTORS advice do your food elimination diet. And good luck to you all. I hope you find this information helpful. It was a real eye opener for me several years ago and a good reminder for me when I revisit it.

If only food triggers were the total solution to my problem. We're still working on it though, my neurologist, my therapist and myself. Although this Barometer with it's constant ups and downs has been no help-it's either too high or drops suddenly too low, I cannot tolerate either extreme. That's been part of the problem too but the weather has been drastically changing everywhere so there is no such thing as a safe haven in the US anymore. Long gone is the Dry Arid Arizona Desert where it stayed at a constant. All the man made lakes and over populating and all the in ground pools have changed that climate forever as Rick has told us often. The same goes for Vegas. My head would not even tolerate the pressure it would encounter of a plan ride to anywhere so that would be out of the question anyway. So I try to focus on staying on positive things and meditating like they taught me and releasing negatives, forgetting the past and using guided imagery and using progressive muscle relaxation. They are right about the mind body connection. If you hang onto negative feelings and thoughts it does tense up the body and makes pain worse. But who wants to be that unhappy and hang onto negative and unhealthy feelings and past negative things anyway. That is baggage that one needs to let go of. The past is yesterday, it cannot be changed it is done and over with. Today is what you can focus on and make better. Tomorrow is a gift for it is not promised so when you wake up you can make the most of it and treasure it. That is what I took from my lessons and it is what I will carry on with and pray to God to see me through each day and leave the past behind because that is what it is-the past and it is behind me where it belongs.

Until next time be healthy and be safe and have an honest conversation with your doctor and read the fine print on all your labels.

Take care.

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