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pony4me
Mar. 18, 2012, 09:38 PM
Over the years, a friend of mine, who now is in her mid-50's, has become allergic to most meats, fish, soy, peppers, bananas, peanuts, tree nuts, and much more.

She can eat bison, elk and some other exotic meats. As food choices become more and more limited, she is working with an allergist, but does anyone have any other ideas about what could be going on?

I've suggested she investigate immune system disorders because it seems to me that her body is mistakenly fighting food, and it shouldn't. Or is there something all of these foods have in common?

alterhorse
Mar. 18, 2012, 09:45 PM
What are the symptoms?

Is it a true allergy (hives, trouble breathing) or is it more like food intolerance where everything goes right through you quickly?

pony4me
Mar. 18, 2012, 09:47 PM
Yes, it's a food intolerance, with cramping and GI symptoms. She calls it an allergy, but you're right in differentiating between the two. No hives or trouble breathing.

danceronice
Mar. 18, 2012, 09:52 PM
I think you're right, she needs to see a specialist. And I second, is she actually wheezing, breaking out in full-body hives, swelling, etc (which is a true allergic reaction) or getting nausea, vomiting, diarrhea (a 'sensitivity' or something else wrong with her.) She's going on more than a scratch test (I reacted to so many different foods on the allergy skin test that the allergist was wondering if I was allergic to the 'neutral' media used to inject the allergens) or just her own gauging of her reactions, right?

I mean, I suppose it is remotely possible she developed a sudden allergy to soy and nuts and she reacts to beef that's been fed on grain that includes soy but..bananas? Fish? Other unnamed things? That's a really unusual list to be sudden-onset. There is such a thing as adult-onset allergies, but it's usually you either hadn't been exposed enough before and sometimes it's from a mass exposure (happened to both me and one of my chef-instructors with shellfish exposure) but suddenly becoming allergic to ALL of that suggests there's something else wrong...

ETA: Yeah, that is NOT an allergy. She probably should see both an immune specialist and a GI specialist.

alterhorse
Mar. 18, 2012, 10:00 PM
For food intolerance there is sometimes an underlying issue called "leaky gut syndrome".

Read this article and see if any of the symptoms sound familiar?
http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA361058/what-is-leaky-gut.html

AKB
Mar. 18, 2012, 10:06 PM
Some unscrupulous physicians will label people as being "allergic" to all kinds of foods based on "tests" that are poorly designed, unreliable, and usually lucrative for the physician who is performing them. This delays finding the real cause for the symptoms, and leads people to unnecessary food restrictions. I would encourage her to see a well known gastroenterologist who is affiliated with a medical school. Hopefully, a good GI doc can help her figure out what is really causing her symptoms.

sketcher
Mar. 18, 2012, 10:23 PM
Some unscrupulous physicians will label people as being "allergic" to all kinds of foods based on "tests" that are poorly designed, unreliable, and usually lucrative for the physician who is performing them. This delays finding the real cause for the symptoms, and leads people to unnecessary food restrictions. I would encourage her to see a well known gastroenterologist who is affiliated with a medical school. Hopefully, a good GI doc can help her figure out what is really causing her symptoms.

You would think this would be the way to go but people with food intolerances are not very well diagnosed by the establishment. Food intolerance,even though not an "allergy" can make you damn sick. Food intolerance,while not a"allergy"in the classic sense,is an allergy - but a different type of antibody is activated.

Also, I think that even with the skin tests, it is safe to assume that even if a substance does not make you sick, the fact that you have an inflammatory reaction to it when injected under your skin might indicate that you might have an inflammatory reaction to it when exposed in other ways. The body is a strange animal. I'm not sure what I react toin skin cream.When I put it on my dry skin,no problem.If I use the same cream when right out of the shower I tuen into a giant excruciating hive.

I think there is a lot to learn about allergies and intolerances. I think it will come to be proven more and more that "intolerances" are often a factor behind inflammatory conditions such as MS and arthritis.

The problem is that often the well known gastro guys are not so open minded. I went for 15+ years of lifesucking illenss and had seen many of these so called experts. One environmental MD was able to diagnose and change my life within weeks of diagnosis.

As for the OP's question, I believe a misbehaving thyroid can cause you to suddenly have a lot of allergies.

Daydream Believer
Mar. 18, 2012, 11:41 PM
Tell her to get wheat out of her diet NOW assuming she's eating any. It sounds likely from what you describe and honestly it's nearly impossible for her to not be eating wheat unless she's following a strict gluten free diet. Leaky Gut syndrome is often caused by wheat and is one of the many complications of gluten intolerance/Celiac Disease. Leaky gut syndrome allows "food" to leak out of your intestine and can be a major cause of the serious food allergies that develop later in life. I have Celiac and developed a serious shellfish allergy in my 30's almost certainly from leaky gut syndrome. I was misdiagnosed for years as having IBS.

Untreated autoimmune disease can lead to all sorts of complications and by far, the most likely cause is wheat/gluten. Gluten intolerance is nearly epidemic in the US right now and there are several possibly reasons why that I won't go into. Going gluten free would be a relatively easy thing for her to try for a few weeks to see if she feels any better.

http://www.leakygutcure.com/blog/digestion/gluten-intolerance/
http://glutenfreeworks.com/gluten-disorders/gluten-sensitivity/