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Stop and Smell the Gluten?

April 21st, 2010

Well I had an appointment with my General Physician yesterday to discuss some allergies and my progress with my new diet. I felt really weak over the weekend, like I just didn’t have the strength to do anything. This is different from the sluggish chronic fatigue feeling I had when I was eating gluten-full foods. I took a gluten-free Iron supplement on Sunday and Monday, resulting in increased energy but constipation. So I dropped the Iron on Tuesday. I discussed possible anemia with my Doc and he said he would run some blood tests.

I did okay yesterday, but felt faint around 4 PM today. This was about fifteen minutes after I went through the shampoo and soap aisle at the local pharmacy, smelling all the wonderful products. I was trying to find a natural soap and some shampoo that was gluten free. The doctor suggested I might have a chemical sensitivity. My skin has been so itchy and dry over the past few years. It has gotten better since I’ve begun to eat organic foods that are gluten-free, but I thought the process might speed up if I found some cleansers that were more sensitive on my skin.

The regular pharmacy didn’t have much to choose from that was low in chemicals, plus gluten-free. I smelled everything, including some Aveeno products, which are a big no-no…I just couldn’t resist picking up the beautiful packages and double checking the ingredients. I decided on some Burt’s Bees Bar Soap, and went to stand in line. That was the point I started feeling faint. I started thinking that maybe I should have taken an Iron supplement today, since I skipped yesterday. When I was pregnant with Corbin (3 Years Ago) I was anemic and my doctor had me take Iron every other day.

After paying I went out to sit in my car, I started coughing and my stomach started cramping up horribly. Tonight I’m having stomach cramps and back pain from smelling soaps? I can’t possibly be that sensitive. Maybe I have a major case of denial, or maybe it is all in my head. I did eat some kettle chips about an hour before shopping without washing my hands first, but normally if it is a problem food I react within a few minutes. My family is threatening to put me in a bubble. Seriously, how am I suppose to cope with this? I just want to feel better. Is that too much to ask?

The doctor said to keep a food journal and note my reactions. Then I need to eliminate foods that are questionable, then add them back in and see how I react. He said allergy testing isn’t really accurate, that it is just good for double checking to see if you really need to avoid something that you don’t want give up forever. My husband said that I could have paid him the $15 copay….he has been telling me to keep a food/health journal for a long time. I think putting me in a bubble may be the way to go.

Diary , , ,

  1. karylc
    April 21st, 2010 at 22:40 | #1

    Yes, I too was that sensitive – stomach cramps and diarrhea if I caught so much as a whiff of gluten when driving past a bakery, for example. This symptom seem to be in remission right now, possibly helped by doing very gentle swaroopa yoga and the deep breathing that goes with it. Or it could just be luck, but it has calmed down for me, for the first time in 12 years. I’m lately on Lyrica for fibro pain too, and I don’t know if that has helped, at least with letting me relax somewhat.
    Good luck. I feel for you…I know right where you are with this disease.

  2. April 22nd, 2010 at 10:30 | #2

    For me, I do best with scents that have food names. Orange, Coconut, vanilla, rosemary, etc. Anything with no name or with a flower scent gives me trouble. It turned out that I was allergic to cinnamon which gave me weakness, and I love cinnamon spice scents/flavors. It takes a lot of sleuthing and in the end, you will know more than your doctor about your own body. Don’t give up. It took me years to get to where I felt absolutely well. Small steps give you more energy while you chip away at the mystery.

  3. April 22nd, 2010 at 11:11 | #3

    I don’t react like that to smells at all BUT I did react like that when I took iron supplements! I was shocked because they said they were wheat/gluten free but no doubt about it I reacted to that iron something terrible.
    I have been struggling with a bit more fatigue lately and have been looking into low blood sugar: when I’m hungry I am STARVING, shaky, fatigue etc.

  4. April 22nd, 2010 at 19:47 | #4

    I’m glad I’m not the only one that has reacted to smell this way. I was beginning to think I was psychosomatic!

  5. April 22nd, 2010 at 19:50 | #5

    Barb, it could be low blood sugar. I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes about a year and a half ago. I just didn’t have the shakes or the sweats, but I just don’t know. I’ll mention this to my endocrinologist when I go in June. You are all so sweet to care.

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